Wednesday, May 21, 2008

So tired, so much to say, but I just can't ...

I always thought that “feminism” was a dirty word. That if I stood against the status-quo, stood up for my rights as a human (not just a woman), that I would unbalance … something. That “something” was never fully explained to me, other than, “It’s okay for him – he’s a boy. If a girl did that, she’d be considered a whore.” That is a direct quote from my Ga, when I asked her why my Uncle and (soon to be Aunt) were living together, but not married, and “when could I have a boyfriend?”

I think Ga, if born in a different time, would have been one of those loud, brash, and outspoken feminists – she always believed, down to her marrow, that women and men were equal. Each one could do what the other could. She even had my career planned out for me: I would first become the first CEO of Shell Oil, and then the first woman President of the United States.

But then … then she would say something like the above (that it’s okay for boys, but not girls), and that would chip away at the foundation she was trying so hard to build for me. A foundation that (now) is starting to take hold, one where I am strong, confident in myself, and not afraid (well, not too often afraid) to speak my mind.

I always thought that “feminist” was a dirty word. That if I succumbed to the dreaded feminism movement, I would turn into a misandrist, wear sandals, chop off my hair, move to Berkeley, turn Vegan, and be an unloved spinster. (Okay, well, I did chop off my hair and move to Berkeley, but no sandals for me!)


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.

I prefer the third definition: Character: “the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.”

We are all individuals, men and women. Each of us has strengths, each of us has weaknesses, and those vary from person to person. Being lumped into one category or another is unfair to us as singular beings, as well as the whole. Each of us has something to teach, and something to learn. When we start stereotyping based on gender, we lose out on this learning that we call life.

“Good lord woman, what’s got your panties in a twist?!” Quite a few things, actually: Honor killings, recent court decisions,29...173,00.html and and Phyllis Schlafly receiving an honorary doctorate degree from Washington University (This is also the woman who stated, “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape.”)

Gender equality has come a long way, and I am very happy to live in a country where I am allowed to voice my opinion, and where others can disagree with that opinion, and know I will not be stoned for looking at man by accident.

Some interesting takes are here, some I agree with, some I don’t:

This wasn’t as coherent or tongue-in-cheek as I wanted, but I’m friggin’ tired and sunburned. Night all.

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