March 08, 2006

My Own Feminist Manifesto

cross-posted from Not Exactly Rocket Science
**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. :)

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. The things 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 05:53 PM

Wow, great post, Caltech Girl!!

Posted by: Beth at March 8, 2006 07:39 PM

Amen, sister. Me and my blog friends have been discussing this all day, of course, views like yours and mine were in the minority.

Posted by: Miss Fire at March 8, 2006 08:18 PM

This seems to be the attitude of younger women today. No respect for the struggles of the original feminists. Focus on individuality and ME, ME, ME...I did it all me a
girlie who made her own way in your generation and I'll show you a pile of bullshit!
Personally, I think the world is moving back towards female servitude because you chicks think it's all done and the world is your oyster. You don't owe anyone help with female liberation all over the world. We raised you to be narcissists, unfortunately. Probably too much day care time. Oh, well. The world will go back to hell in a handbasket before you chics will lift a finger for anyone but yourselves.
original boomer feminist

Posted by: original feminist boomer at March 14, 2006 08:48 PM

Excuse me, but you made me laugh. You see, if YOU were in touch with the feminist movement of today, you'd see that THEY are the narcissistic ones.

"female liberation all over the world"? Are you kidding me? It's people like me who are trying to raise the cause of muslim women, not the NOW crowd.

You're right, though. The world IS moving backward towards female servitude. But not because of me. It's because of the sexual morality of your generation and the drive to discover your "inner slut" that it instilled in girls all around me.

And for the record, I never went to daycare.

Posted by: caltechgirl at March 15, 2006 01:32 PM