Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm A Feminist, Ask Me How!

Feminist:  A person who advocates for the social, sexual, political and economic equality of women with men. 

"Oooo! Scarey stuff, ay kids?!" It shouldn't be but alas... The "F" word has been twisted by frightened, ignorant, mean spirited and power-hungry people (via the news, entertainment and info-tainment media for the last 30 years) into something unrecognizable by those of us who grew up with the women's rights movement in the 60's and 70's. Foolish as they are, these influences have been very effective at discrediting feminists in the minds of the public. 

While there are many and varied legitimate, thoughtful criticisms of the women's movement and feminism--much of which happens between feminists--I am focusing on the more outlandish and unfair rants that are meant to discredit.

 Here are just a few examples of common myths and misconceptions about feminists brought to you by television, films, the Internet, radio, the printed word and word of mouth:

 "Feminists hate men"---We do not! Many feminists are men so there's problem number one with that statement. Feminists hate injustice. Feminists hate abuse. Besides, hating men would defeat the purpose of fighting sexism. If there's no hope for bad men and male regimes to change, then we might as well give up right now. 

"Feminists are sex hating prudes"---Again wrong. This is one you've probably heard a lot from Hugh Hefner and the entire porn industry. No one expects heterosexual males to shun attractive women. The problems begin when a man looks at a woman and sees only sex instead of a whole human being. Unlike women, men are not defined by their sexuality alone.

"Feminists encourage promiscuity in women"---Whaaa?? This myth is a favorite among extreme religious groups like the Taliban and ultra right wing so-called Christians. They think this because feminists believe in a woman's right to choose when and if she will have sex and when and if she will become pregnant. I think Hefner and the Taliban should get their stories straight.

"Feminists are ugly hairy women who can't get men"---Oy! Feminists come in all shapes and sizes and both sexes. This is a common tactic of anti-feminists who want to throw you off your game. Don't play! Stay on topic. Having said that, many feminist women are in happy relationships with men. They're even married...with children!

"All feminists are lesbians"---Again, difficult if you're a male. Some feminists are lesbians but not all lesbians are feminists. Not all women are feminists either so it stands to reason. Using "lesbian" as an epithet is another tactic to derail feminist women (straight or lesbian) from the subject.
 Which brings me to....

"All anti-sexist men are gay"---So, men who like women are gay and men who don't like women are straight? Are you as confused as I am? It's meant to be confusing. Nothing scares a straight man off the feminist bandwagon quite like this tired and untrue "accusation". It's just like calling a boy a "sissy" or a man "p***y whipped". That is so school yard! Oh and really, the only people being insulted besides actual gays are women and girls! 

By the way, it's mean to use one persons' gender, race, sexuality or religion as a stick to beat others with. Not only does it dehumanize the aforementioned groups of people but it silences those who are trying to do what's right by standing up for them.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blog-xiety

Okay, so I finally get a blog going (thanks hon) and now I'm having too many thoughts that all want to come out at once...a sort of ...blog clog if you will. Now, I have to form complete sentences. Not like the short ones you post on Facebook but real ones with clauses and everything! Then, paragraphs are expected. This is too much. Oh, and then there's my attention span; another thing besides my metabolism that was more efficient in my youth. Oh well, at least the argyle background design will give the first impression that an erudite and well spoken person is about to say something brilliant. Too much pressure. Better change design.