Tuesday, February 27, 2007

FEMINISM IS NOT A SWEAR WORD

Ok, I just stumbled upon an extremely misogynistic and homophobic website. I wish I had never seen it, but I did (I found it, strangely, in my search for "feral children" ie, children raised by wolves, etc.) and now I just need to clear the air for a second or two.

First and foremost, this is the dictionary.com definition of feminism:
fem·i·nism [fem-uh-niz-uhm] Pronunciation Key –noun
1.the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2.(sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3.feminine character.

That's all it is. women=men. THAT'S IT. Yes, there are radical edges to feminism, like there are radical edges to everything, but I feel like, in people's minds, feminism is associated directly with the really radical and fundamentalist feminist movements, and the true meaning of the word has been abandoned, and the fact that there actually was a time when women had to ban together to fight for basic rights, and the fact that women of the world are STILL fighting for basic rights, has been completely forgotten.

Example: I was on the Tufts bus and a girl said "I'm taking Intro to Feminist Theory." The girl to whom she was speaking turned up her nose, and the speaker quickly said "Oh but I'm not a feminist." I wanted to shake her by the shoulders and say "Honey, you are a woman at a college. Already you're a feminist. Do you want the same rights as a man? YOU'RE A FEMINIST" You don't have to subscribe to the radical, the fundamental, the psychotic - all I'm asking you is to grow a set (of boobs, of course, unless you are a man, because this applies ot you to) and say "I'm a feminist" because all a feminist is in its most basic sense is a person who believes in equal rights. That's ALL. Calm down for chrissake!

Example: A person responded to aforementioned website with a great post on their personal blog, basically saying how lame the site was. Someone replied to the blog saying "I know many American women who don't believe in feminism. They believe in staying home with the family. But most were fundamental Christians." WOW. This smacks of so much crap, I can't even get into it, BUT staying home doest not equal "antifeminism." My mother is a shining example of this. She went to an all-women's college in the midst of the feminist movement and I'm sure would 100% of the time call herself a feminist. But, oh no, OH MY GOD! She stayed home with the kids! God forbid! Oh wait, it's because she wanted to? Oh well, then she's not a feminist. WRONG! Maybe to some women, she wasn't being a feminist when she made those choices. To me, she absolutely was. Why? Because she did what she wanted, which was stay home and raise us, and also know everything there was to know about the house, therefore making my father look a bit dense when repairmen came to fix things, like the furnace (these are her proudest moments, when repairmen look at my dad and say "now Mr. C, where's the turnoff for the natural gas." My father will look dumbfounded and say "uh, you better ask my wife, she knows all this stuff." Then the tables turn suddenly and the men are all like "Mrs C. this, Mrs. C that" while my mother wears a look of triumph. Go mom!)

I believe in staying home with you're kids if you're lucky enough to do so! Would staying home with my kiddies and crafting and enriching their lives whilst doing a bit of biology on the side make me the happiest woman alive? Definitely. Would I be any less of a woman, or any less of a feminist for doing so? No. I don't think so. I think I'm also "feminist" enough to realize that if by some odd and strange and irrational miracle of God I make more cashmoney than Jam, enough to single-handedly support the family, the child-rearing may fall to him. Does that make him less of a man and me less of a woman? Nope. Does that make us both feminists? Yes. Here's why (stop cringing Jam, it will be ok, LOL): we believe the sexes should be treated equally. That's all.

Of course, Jamaal does have that tendency to pay for things or buy me things because, as he said, "I'M YOUR MAN!!!!" Different situation entirely. That's not anti-feminism, friends, that's just pure chivalry -And I don't think many feminists would have a problem with that ;)

3 comments:

amy said...

I love that you were searching for "feral children" online.

Al said...

AHAHHHAHA oh I know. I was trying to remember the title of that great book "Magic Hour" Then you know, you start reading about feral children, and hey, they're interesting!!

Excalibur said...

OMG, you are so crazy.

This was a great post.