Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On Gender Politics and Feminism

There has been something bothering me of late, swirling around in this insane, manic head of mine.

I feel I must apologize now for the highly political, unapologetically opinionated (as I apologize. heh.), and entirely too cerebral post for a blog that is to follow. I just can't help myself.

It bothers me that there seems to be a new brand of "feminism" which isn't feminism at all, but because it parades as such, it carries an air of authority it shouldn't have. It tells you that if you disagree, you're not femisnist, or something. Which, frankly, is bullshit.

It's specious rhetoric at its worst.

I'm talking about the rise of conservative feminism, which I see as matriarchal feminism. But I'll get to that.

Then I heard a sound bite the other day from, wait for it, Fox news. Surprise surprise. Which I couldn't find anywhere online so I know I'll butcher. But it was something like, "the last frontier of misogyny is the hatred of conservative women."

To which the fury of a thousand suns rose up from the depths of my soul and if I could breathe fire, I would have.

First of all, misogyny, I think, is really about the hatred of all women, despite or regardless of type. So let's just take that word off the table since I think it was completely misused.

Second...ly, no. Just no. You can't just say that the hatred of conservative women in such a blanket way as to take away any sort of logic at all and make any liberal man or woman (or, I guess, conservative men, or even moderates for that matter) look like hateful monsters.

"Communism is just a red herring." Uh huh. Exactlty my point.

I don't think anyone hates conservative women, individually or collectively. I have serious problems with their politics and their logic, however, and that is not the same thing.

I have a problem with calling yourself a feminist and not listening to the needs of women (and men) as a whole. When you ignore gender issues in politics or you fight against gender equality or gender freedom, you just cannot call yourself a feminist. You just cannot.

Which brings me back to matriarchal feminism. This is what the majority, this trading of patriarchy for matriarchy (and it's not just conservative or liberals or whatever. this is a big trend, I think, right now) is touting.

We wanted to overthrow the patriarchy and achieve freedom for the genders (and I won't even get into gender studies and the looseness of that word and the implications for the GLBTQ community and civil rights) but we just traded one for another just as oppressive.

Gloria Steinem said that feminism was supposed to free both sexes and what we're seeing is not freedom, but simply a shifting. 

Instead of strict gender roles prescribed by the male dominating class, we're seeing a female dominating class which prescribes just as strict gender roles for females (and males too I suppose). It's not okay for men to tell us what to do, but it is okay for women to tell women what to do? How does that make sense?

 That's not the feminism I subscribe to at any rate.

I don't expect to achieve some genderless utopia where we all enjoy life free of any gender roles or normatives, but I would like us to wake up and see that we're not really achieving anything this way.

3 comments mean you love me:

Mel said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I fully support you! I could write another blog post on the end of your blog post, but I'll keep it short: I support women in all of their various endevours. I support thier right to disagree with me and even to do things with which I strongly disagree (so long as it doesn't harm anyone). It just infuriates me that these same women whom I support do not support me!

alonewithcats said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

People need to mind their damn business. But you said it much more eloquently.

Nush said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have never understood why feminism should mean that women are better than men (or other women with a different point of view). Equality means that all are equal and for me this is part of what feminism stands for. For women to have the same rights. Why some seem to think it gives them the rights to suppress men and other women baffles me.

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