April 30, 2005

Some thougts on Feminism

Iím not a ball breaker, not a bra burner, not a lesbian or tragic and desperate. I donít want to be unfeminine. I donít want to be a man, I justÖ
I donít want to be judged on my breasts first, or my face or my arse. I donít want to have to look a certain way just to get anywhere. I want to be taken seriously when I try to do something serious, and if I do it well enough, earn the same respect and pay that an man in my position would earn.

I donít want to be unfeminine, or de-sexed, but I donít want to have to flirt and look pretty in order to get anywhere. I donít want to have to be weak and girly to get some help. If I need help, I want to be able to ask for it without being judged. I donít want to have to be strong all the time, proving with my every breath that I have a right to exist, a right to be doing what I do. I want to be allowed to be fallible occasionally Ė because everyone is, even men.

I want to have the opportunity to have it all without censure. To have a family and have a career. If I want to choose only one, I donít want to be criticised for it, and I donít want to be criticised for wanting both either. Men have always had both Ė it is so normal that people wouldnít even think to comment, but for the disparity, but it seems whichever way a woman chooses people will find fault. I donít want to be forced to make an either/or choice. I donít want to be forced to have both, but I want the option of both.

I donít want to be seen as an object. I donít want to wear high heels that hurt my feet to make my calves look better to watching men. I donít want to feel I have to paint my face and wear clothes that expose myself in order to be noticed. I donít want to be forced into a concept of beauty. I want to be me, seen as beautiful in that I am a person, with a mind and personality and feelings and ideas. No woman who conforms to patriarchal definitions of beauty is asking for it. Not every woman who doesnít is a lesbian or a troll.

No woman wants to be raped or beaten.

I donít want to feel incomplete without a man. I donít want to feel a failure without a husband, as if all of life revolves around marriage and children. I donít want to be afraid of ending up alone, and as a result be pushed into marriage with a man who thinks it is alright to have an affair because it is glamorised in the media, or because he canít be bothered to try and make the marriage work. I donít want to feel I am anyoneís property. I want to be left alone by society to find a man I care for and who truly cares for me. I hate this culture that makes men feel that they have to be promiscuous, and women have to be virgins or whores. I hate this culture of casual sex that means loving relationships are passť, and marriages without divorce are few and far between. I want to celebrate my golden wedding some day.

I do not want to be dismissed out of hand as a ďfeministĒ. I do not want to be above men, just their equals. I do not want to be ostracised, victimised or made out to be a monster or a villain, because I do not want to conform to what a male dominated society expects of women. I do not want this to be about Ďusí and Ďthemí. All I want is equality.

Questions

Why is it supposed that women are intrinsically inferior to men? Why, if we want to be treated as equals, do we have to emulate them? I do not want to be accepted as a man, or ďas good as a manĒ as if maleness was the benchmark against which I should be measured. Why canít men and women be different, but equal, both measured against a gender neutral standard of achievement? Why does one sex have to strive to be superior? To be the standard? Why is it strange to suggest that men are failures if they do not emulate women, and define their success by making a home, and being nurturing and compassionate in that way? A virtue is a virtue, whether it be seen as typically male or female. Why must a woman be criticised if she only excels in one? If only feminine, she is Ďun-ambitiousí if only masculine, she is Ďunfeminineí. We must be both, or we are nothing. Men can only excel in masculine. If feminine, they are almost ridiculed, but still they are only expected to live up to one standard, not both. Why cannot the sexes choose by which standard they wish to be measured? Why is there no parity?


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  1. I really enjoyed reading that, very well written and I agree with it all! Unfortunately some women have already fallen into 'the trap'. I don't think we can change the world, I guess much of it has to do with religion and social history etc. Well said :D

    30 Apr 2005, 20:26

  2. I agree, it was a very interesting and well thought out entry.

    I hate the way that people just outright dismiss feminsim- not all people who want equality are scary, bra-burning man-haters. The media potrays a certain image of feminists that is not true and causes men to fear it. Only a very small minority of feminists are extreme, people need to realise this.

    30 Apr 2005, 20:56

  3. Peter Thomas

    An interesting and thought out entry but far from original.

    30 Apr 2005, 21:22

  4. Unoriginal? Hmm. I wonder then why it persists as the Staus quo?

    Thanks for your comments Lisa and Phillipa. Though I would like to say that perhaps we can change the world. I often get discouraged, but then if we don't believe we can do it, then we've defeated ourselves before we even start.

    30 Apr 2005, 22:18

  5. Interesting, and I mostly agree with what you say.

    I disagree with what you say about the media portrayal of affairs. If a man is shown to have an affair, he is generally (normally rightly) condemmed as a bastard. For example, David Beckham. If a woman has an affair, normally it is seen as a failing on the part of her husband. For example, when Zoe Ball had an affair, the media portrayed Fatboy Slim as a bit a sad bastard, a figure of fun.

    My response to your essay is the same response I have for those who despair at attitudes towards homosexuals and ethnic minorities, which is to be patient, as unhelpful as that may sound. Over the past forty years, the erosion of traditional attitudes of class, ethnicity, sexuality and gender has been simply jaw dropping, considering it is working against several thousand years of patriarchy and conservative thought.

    Fifty years ago, the pill, divorce and abortion did not exist as we know them today, and homosexuality was still an illegal act. There is still a long way to go, and we must certainly not be complacent, but impatience is unnecessary as well. Things are improving, there is hope for the future. Prejudice takes time to disappear.

    02 May 2005, 16:16

  6. On the David Beckham part- if you remember correctly, when the affair originally came out Victoria was condemmed by the media for not moving to Spain to be with him- the blame was placed on her. Again it was the women's fault her man strayed, she should have 'pleased' him better- it is, after all, her duty.

    Furthermore, press covergae of feminism is generally negative and women fighting for equal rights are often potrayed as man-hating bitches. This unfortuantly is still true- ask most men about feminism and they will probably give and expression like their balls are being twisted and look bloody petrified.

    Women are still not equal, owning only 1% of the worlds assets and in 1993 women represented only 14.8% of all parliaments. People think just because we have the basics covered, such as votes for women etc, we should just give up and accept it. We shouldn't- there are still double standards (aka men=stud, women=slut), women are different but not inferior- women don't want a world were men are our slaves and should rule under us. That, is unfortuantly, what many men think is a feminists' agenda, and until the media help portray various feminisms in a positive light, this will not change. Women should be given the right to equality, both ideologically, politically and economically.

    That is all (oooh, rant over)

    03 May 2005, 01:46

  7. Of course you shouldn't settle for the basics, but the point I was trying to make was that change takes time. Certainly there are still a great many problems with how women are treated in society.

    I don't think feminists are man hating bra burners. Some of them have let their cause twist them into hatred and mistrust of everything that bears an XY chromosome, but they are only a small but vocal minority. Equally, I would say that most men want equality for women, and it is only a small, vocal minority that are chauvinist shitheads, and they deserve a good kicking. It just takes time to erode traditional socialised gender attitudes.

    03 May 2005, 12:01

  8. Sadly I seem to have come into contact with too many of the "small vocal minority" of chauvanists in my lifetime.

    03 May 2005, 16:39

  9. maddie

    okay. I’m so glad that I found your blog- because I am so sick of being seen as an OBJECT by men that i actually broke down and cried today. wow. thank you- totally agree with it all and I’m sorta glad that I’m not the only one that feels this way.

    27 Nov 2006, 00:31

  10. Hero

    I know what you mean, I was upset for years when I found out that an ex of mine was only going out with me because she thought I ‘had potential’ what is wrong with me for who I am?

    05 Dec 2006, 14:51


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