March 08, 2006

My Own Feminist Manifesto

This post also marks my Cotillion debut!

**The following post contains R-rated language**

Today is International Women's Day.

I could give a shit.

Truth be told, in my entire life I've never had much use for the feminist movement. Sure, I've benefited from my "sisters" who came before me. I suppose. But I feel like I've had to make my own way. I work in a profession dominated by men. I went to a university where men outnumbered women by as much as 8 to 1. And yet, I have never experienced discrimination because I am a female.

Yeah, maybe it's because I don't act like a girl. I'm loud, ballsy, and I like to be right. I WILL stand up for what I believe to be the right thing. I give as good as I get in the chain-yanking department, and I have been known to make the men I work with blush because of what I say.

Or maybe it's because I don't look like what the magazines say I should. I'm short, dark, and big. No barbie doll here. Her boobs, maybe, but that's about it. :)

See the rest in the extended....

Most people live their lives hating the way they look. Frankly, I embrace it. Saves me a lot of headaches. Men don't catcall as I walk down the street, I don't get thought of as a bimbo. Maybe some people think I'm lazy and fat on first impression, but that goes away as soon as I open my mouth. I get a kick out of that really. Yeah, people can say hurtful things, but they say them about Lindsey Lohan, too. Everyone gets shit on.

But I'm off topic. The point is, regardless of why, the feminist movement has never held any attraction for me. And really, I have no real knowledge of the modern feminist movement. What I do know are the things I don't don't like.

How can any woman say that she is a feminist and dismiss gender based murder? Islamic women are women too, and yet they are raped and murdered by a culture that sees them as property. What is the difference between slave women who were seen as property in this country before the Civil War, and Islamic women who are considered as property today? Sure enough, not all muslim women are treated this way, but the honor killings and rape-as-punishment is practiced widely in the muslim world.

And the abortion debate. Why is it impossible to be a feminist and be pro-life? Why is it somehow less than kosher to believe that the SINGLE MOST EMPOWERING thing a woman can do is to bear a child and be its mother? Or to bear a child that can be the answer to someone else's prayers? Certainly it IS an important thing to have the right to decide what you will do with your own body, but isn't giving life also important? Are the ideas incongruent? I consider myself pro-choice only because I fear the slippery slope, and I want to be able to decide everything that happens to me. So in my mind, these two things are not mutually exclusive.

But that's not good enough for these "feminists". Anonymous abortion on demand, anytime, anywhere, to any woman, even a 12 year old girl raped by an older boy. Ironically enough, shielding these young victims from their parents and law enforcement, which is so important to them, also keeps their victimizers free. Those who would protect women are also exposing them to danger. Funny, that.

The original aim of the feminist movement was equality. Well, we've got that. Now what? World domination? We certainly seem to be on that path. Women make up more than 50% of all of the entering students in graduate professional programs, including grad school, law school, and med school. Recently the feminist movement was up in arms about the selection of a man (who is also apparently pro-life **gasp**) to replace the first female Supreme Court Justice. These women and their sympathizers claimed that doors were being shut and women were stepping back twenty years because a man was nominated to replace a woman.

Give me a fucking break.

If the point is equality between the sexes, then it should be the ULTIMATE recognition of that equality that a man and a woman are EQUALLY qualified for any job. Nominating a woman for that seat would have been the equivalent of painting that chair in the SCOTUS chamber PINK, a de facto affirmative action in the nominations process.

Don't even get me started on "embracing my vagina". I don't have enough joints in my arms to hug it. Really. Not that I would ever try, either. Since when is "vagina empowerment" the keystone of the feminist movement? How is this supposed to help? I suppose that many women would do well to get in touch with their sexuality and embrace it. It certainly can't hurt.

But you know, I can't get over the idea that reducing a woman's identity and her power to her genitals just puts us back where we were half a century ago, just sex objects, things to be fucked (over). And yet it is presented as some kind of uber-woman empowerment. I know bright women who actually BUY this garbage.

As a woman, proud owner of a vagina, which is but ONE of my many parts, and certainly less important to me than, oh, my brain, my eyes, my smile; here's what I think. A person is a person. Each one as certain inalienable rights, including to be evaluated fairly by others according to their merits and failures, to live without fear of punishment because of what they say or who they love, to choose what they want to do with their body. These rights also come with some responsibilities: To take responsibility for their own failures, not to blame them on others' prejudices; to respect your own body; to take care of your family; to treat others as you would want to be treated. Pretty simple, actually. Anything else is crap.

There's plenty more to say, but frankly, it's enough for several more posts....

Posted by caltechgirl at March 8, 2006 01:40 PM | TrackBack

I definitely agree with everything you have said in this post. Not only have "feminists" inadvertently reverted back to the idea that women should be defined by their physical (sexual) characteristics, but I think they have lost sight of what the true feminist movement was all about. Like you mention, it was all intended to bring about equality between the sexes. Now it seems, at least to me, that a majority of feminists want to wipe men off the planet. Men are not the enemy here. Its the women who like to feel victimized and underprivaledged (i.e. feminists) that are keeping women down. I have never once felt discriminated against because of a certain XX chromosome...I've gotten (or was offered) every job I've ever applied for, and I was accepted to all but one of the universities I applied to out of highschool. These feminists need to stop complaining about what they don't have and actually start to work for it.

Posted by: The Skirted Menace at March 8, 2006 04:09 PM

Y'know what? You ARE a feminist. "They" are just strawmen-totin', angry fascists who consistently sound like they just need some psychotherapy to get over their pasts and toughen the hell up.

I'm tired of left-wing groupthinkers claiming "feminism" as their own. They're an outdated cult.


Posted by: Beth at March 8, 2006 04:15 PM

Here here!

Although, what you describe (and I heartily endorse every single thought above) is what I think the feminists had in mind in the first place. I imagine Susan B. Anthony is spinning in her grave - as are so many of the original women's movement.

Posted by: beth at March 8, 2006 05:11 PM

Couldn't have said it any better than that. Fantastic post.

Posted by: Miss Fire at March 8, 2006 05:31 PM

You write very nice in the beginning and you seem to be a very smart woman. But when you start to want to limit other women's choice, you become just another hysteric american. Why is it so hard for you to accept that other people have another opinion. No one is going to force you or anyone you love to take an abortion. Why do you want women to go and take illegal abortion, and maybe risk their life. Women will always try to controll their fertility. Please, wake up! Don't be a fool and limit other peoples choice.

are you kidding me? Did I say anything about illegal abortion? Or are you one of those who reads that into everything? How did you miss the pro-choice part? Sheesh.

Oh, and thanks for the laugh -- CTG

Posted by: therese at March 9, 2006 04:56 AM

"the SINGLE MOST EMPOWERING thing a woman can do is to bear a child and be its mother" --- You're not kidding. I've always believed that I could do anything I set my mind to, also. And after having a child and being his mother 24x7, I know that I'll never do more important work than mothering.

"These rights also come with some responsibilities: To take responsibility for their own failures, not to blame them on others' prejudices; to respect your own body; to take care of your family; to treat others as you would want to be treated." ----- Applause!

Posted by: Marie at March 9, 2006 07:05 AM

This is a great post. I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 14. I was raped by an older man very well known in my community. In 1964, to get an abortion I went across the border to Juarez, Mexico. A lot of bad things happened in that clinic and a strong father came and got me off that table. I believe I owe my life to my father. Anyway, we, my dad and I chose life and I had to relinquish my son.
I do believe in pro choice. i got very involved in helping birthmother's, adoptee's and adoptive parents reunite. I found there were birthfather's wanting to find also.
The feminist movement gets me furious! I can not watch so many sitcoms because the man is shown as the weaker link.
I am older, 56 now. I have seen the movement grow in to a national embaressment in my opinion, if that mounts to much. I will not ever tell my daughter or granddaughter what she can or can not do being a woman. Instead I tell them how very great they are and they can make their own choices. My daughter went from welfare to work and now she is helping women in Washington State to do the same and is giving programs where she is the main speaker.
All of the above goes to show just how strong women are and we need not join any radical group to get ahead!
Didn't mean to ramble just to tell you this post is EXCELLENT and THANKS!

Posted by: Janelle at March 9, 2006 12:09 PM

go girls you will always kick butt

Posted by: rori at June 12, 2006 04:39 PM