?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

oh ffffft.

Said it before, probably shouldn't bother to say it again, but, in response to this:

It's no great news that "feminism" -- the word and, by extension, the movement -- has an image problem. Women of all ages and colors have, at turns, bristled at the term, embraced it, lauded it and disdained it, practically since it was coined. However, after years of soldiering on under the burden of a heavily loaded word, a new crop of progressive and politically active women are finally addressing the problem. Some are looking to reinvigorate "feminist" by laying claim to the word -- a new magazine and a recent book are both cheekily titled "The F Word" -- while others are contemplating new words and phrases to employ in the fight for women's equality. After years of quiet debate, women are tackling their own labels with the energy of a movement anxious to make itself fresh again.
I'm not scared of the word. I got fed up with the people who seem, so easily, to become its public face. I got tired of being told over and over "if you believe in equality, then our word applies to you, and you must stick it onto yourself and be proud of the label, no matter how uneasy your alliance is with us. You're allowed to disagree vehemently with us on some matters, of course. We promise we're indulgent. But the moment you decide our word is not for you, you label yourself a hater of your own freedom, fool."

Why do these people never ask how much being condescended to a person can take before she leaves? Why not ask whether it's more important to her to be recognized as a freedom fighter -- or at least, to parade around like an idiot using the phrase freedom fighters are supposed to use, while doing nothing more than smugly blogging from behind a wall of (usually) white privilege and class privilege -- or more important to her to stand in solidarity with her sex worker friends, kinky friends, femme friends, SAHM friends? Or to stand up for herself, should she fit into one of those categories? I've seen people in all of those groups critiqued for insufficient slavish loyalty to some official concept of women's "liberation," and more than a few of them called enemies of women's freedom. And, as I've said before, I am so done.

I'm loyal to my people and my principles. Not your names. As I've said a thousand times, call me a feminist if you want. You won't be wrong. But hearing "but if you believe in basic decency, you're a feminist" for the thousandth time won't make me don the badge again.

Also, it quite honestly demeans feminism when you claim that anyone who believes in equality is a feminist. Plenty of people "believe in equality" from their couches. I don't think they should get to count alongside actual activists, simply because we'd like more people to like the word "feminist" better.

Comments

sweetconcord
Oct. 24th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
I think the logic there is either very calculated or, if not, then remarkably indicative of the mentality of the people who spout that kind of thing.

Those two seemingly contradictory statements add up to "If you don't agree with us on any points we consider important, you're an enemy of basic human decency and equality." The outward appearance compared to the eventual "agree with us or face the scorn of Decent People" statements seem like a kind of PR bait and switch.
erin_c_1978
Oct. 24th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
I think the logic there is either very calculated or, if not, then remarkably indicative of the mentality of the people who spout that kind of thing.

Those two seemingly contradictory statements add up to "If you don't agree with us on any points we consider important, you're an enemy of basic human decency and equality." The outward appearance compared to the eventual "agree with us or face the scorn of Decent People" statements seem like a kind of PR bait and switch.


Exactly. It is well and truly fucked up.
fierceawakening
Oct. 24th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Those two seemingly contradictory statements add up to "If you don't agree with us on any points we consider important, you're an enemy of basic human decency and equality."

This.

Thing is, I've never minded being e-insulted too terribly.
makomk
Oct. 27th, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, pretty much - certainly that's the basic conclusion I came to not too long ago. Technically, the statement "if you believe in women's equality, you're a feminist" isn't even untrue or contradictory - as long as you accept that branch of feminism's definition of "women's equality", and the myriad nasty assumptions and ideological restrictions packed into it. Which, of course, the person making the statement always does. As you say, bait and switch, and the perpetrators may not even realize it.

Also, thank you trinityva for writing this post. It's good to know that I'm not just imagining things, even though they are so unpleasant. (Besides, you're a much better writer than me!)

Profile

pwnage
fierceawakening
Minister of Propaganda for the Decepticon Empire

Latest Month

January 2013
S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Tags

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner