October 29, 2006

5 Things Feminism Has Done For Me


Everyone has experienced the feeling of being talked to like an idiot. One minute you think you’re entering a conversation with another normal, respectful person, and then BAM! Suddenly you find yourself talking to someone who is condescending, patronizing, annoyed, bored, or a million tip-offs that indicate you’ve been instantly judged and the judgment ‘aint good. Sometimes it’s because of your age, sometimes it’s the colour of your skin, and sometimes it’s your gender.

Being disrespected because of my gender is something to which I’m never going to be accustomed. Whether it be denial of a job for which I’m perfectly qualified, a party joke with a mysoginistic punch-line, or the look of shock on someone’s face because I know how a car engine works or have a favourite NFL wide-receiver – I’m simply never going to stop being angry.

However, rather than let that anger eat away at my soul, I have learned to control and channel that negative energy into positive action that furthers equality, not just between men and women, but between all members of society. And where did I get the tools, the inspiration, and the courage to do this? Why feminism of course ;-) So this is my official thank-you to feminism. The concept, the movement, the history, and the supporters.

And without further ado, a sample of 5 things feminism has done for me:

1. Every time I hear an insult like “slut,” “ho,” or “skank,” I can turn around and say, “Yup. So what’s your point?”

2. I can swear as much as I want, and if you don’t like it, that’s your own fucking problem.

3. I can choose not to marry nor have kids and still live a fulfilling life.

4. When I see another woman, I don’t see her as a competitor, but rather a potential friend, compatriot, and source of support.

5. My self worth is defined on my own terms, and not what movies, magazines, rap music, or Focus on the Family tried to tell me when I was growing up. Disney Cinderella, Barbie, and Betty Crocker were imaginary women, but Henrietta Muir Edwards, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Rosa Parks, Indira Ghandi, my mother, and my grandmother were all real.

There is much progress still to be made, but I have profound respect for what’s already been done. Thank you, feminism.

16 Commentaires:

Blogger dollard_liberal a dit...

Can one be pro-feminist without subscribing to the values of, or being, a feminist?

I'm for equality and liberty; not superiority.

10/29/2006 4:37 a.m.  
Blogger andrewridgeley a dit...

It had better be Terrell Owens.

When Terry Glenn is considered the sane wide reciever on your team, someone in the front office deserves a trophy.

10/29/2006 4:48 a.m.  
Blogger Scott Tribe a dit...

THanks for the posting Denise. It goes on the big thread and list at Progressive Bloggers

10/29/2006 2:35 p.m.  
Blogger godot10 a dit...

//5. My self worth is defined on my own terms, and not what movies, magazines, rap music, or Focus on the Family tried to tell me when I was growing up.//

Isn't the rap music comment racist? Mainstream rap is hardly the only form of music that has aspects degrading to women.

Maybe you should learn something about hiphop before making such a flippant racist comment.

10/29/2006 3:35 p.m.  
Blogger Kyle Carruthers a dit...

Godot,

No other music genre comes close to Rap music in terms of sexist content. Acknowledging that fact is not "racist".

10/29/2006 3:44 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

dollard_liberal:
"Can one be pro-feminist w/o subscribing to the values of...a feminist?"

ummm, no. maybe you should change your name to dullard_liberal.

if you are for gender equality and liberty then you are a liberal feminist.

if you are for equity and affirmative action then you are probably a poststructural feminist.

if you are for the fact that patriarchy is an oppressive system of control that ensures all women are universally in chains then you are a critical or radical feminist.

if you believe that women do not share a universal experience of patriarchy; and that claims to universality are always suspect; and that much discussion of feminism in the West is the result of bourgeois, middle class, white, well-educated women who have achieved tenure in women's studies depts. who fight for their own rights while trying to paper over the plight of indigenous women and women of colour, then you are likely a postmodern feminist.

if you are for the fact that patriarchy is an oppressive system of control made to ensure a male bourgeoisie then you are a marxist feminist.

if you are for the fact that the notion of mother nature is a metaphor that illustrates male violence, and men's insatiable desire for conquest, in particular their need to rape the biosphere for their own gain, then you are likely an eco-feminist.

obviously there are many feminisms, and mine was not an exhausitve list. thus, it is challenging to generalize ontological assumptions to feminists. nevertheless, some commonalities exist. in particular, it can be said that feminists share an ontology that sees a social world characterized by gender inequality and view this inequality as socially constructed rather than naturally occuring.

i personally have never come across research on a particular variation of feminism that views women as superior, dollard_liberal. sounds more like someone feels threatened by "uppity women".

although, in the social sciences feminist empiricists and feminist standpoint theorists do argue that female researchers will have a less biased view than male researchers...the former argue that much research by men has been coloured by an androcentric ontolgy and that women can be less biased, whereas the latter reject positivst social science altogether and argue that the conditions of the opressed support less distortion in representing social reality...whereas postmodern feminists find this claim to epistemic privilege highly suspect, as various axes of oppression will colour someone's view of social reality (i.e. will a rich white women of the west share the same view as a poor indigenous women of the south...not likely).

10/29/2006 4:00 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

congratulations to Kyle Caruthers for perpetuating the stereotype that black males, have an insatiable sensuality that clouds their rationality. descarte would be proud.

as for hihop being more sexist than other genres, i guess you haven't heard of pop music...or ever watched muchmusic/mtv.

10/29/2006 4:04 p.m.  
Blogger Kyle Carruthers a dit...

Canuckistan,

Dont try to make this a race issue. Its pretty sad that anytime anyone takes issue with some of the horrendous lyrics in rap music someone has to play the race card. How you get from "no other music genre comes close to Rap music in terms of sexist content" to "perpetuating the stereotype that black males, have an insatiable sensuality that clouds their rationality" is beyond me. In fact the first person that comes to my mind when someone talks about sexism in rap music is Eminem--who, in case you havent noticed, is white.

While your comments regarding the way in which pop music sexualizes women are well taken; the manifestations of sexism most prevalent in rap music--condoning violence against women, and launching the worst of insults--is the most concerning form.

10/29/2006 4:22 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

kyle, why do you hate black people?

you know eminem is black to the bone...brutha's got soul, ya jive turkey. so don't turn this into a race issue ;-).

in fact, i think that rappers are the ultimate feminists. i mean, they do support a woman's right to choose...which degrading position they want to be in the video. they aren't arguing that a women's place is in the kitchen...it's on all-fours making sweaty pelvic thrusts to rythmic beats that make one proud to see how far women have gone since they were allowed to vote (in switzerland, 1974).

10/29/2006 5:32 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

ps...in case you didn't notice, i was poking fun at godot10 in a backhanded way. usually godot's posts are so funny, but i didn't quite agree with this post.


although...denise, was your focus on the family reference an indication that you hate christians? oh you godless feminists!

10/29/2006 5:36 p.m.  
Blogger Kyle Carruthers a dit...

Wow. Print just doesnt convey sarcasm very well.

10/29/2006 5:52 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

see denise

anything anybody says is controversial on Fuddle Duddle

10/29/2006 7:11 p.m.  
Blogger andrewridgeley a dit...

I think this argument has an easy remedy:

David Banner is a fucking genius. So is Christine de Pizan.

Everyone happy?





[honourable mentions: Ganksta NIP, Barbara Jordan, Brotha Lynch Hung, Camille Paglia, Project Pat, Séverine

10/29/2006 11:45 p.m.  
Blogger James Bowie a dit...

Denise, I think your blog is socially constructed.

10/30/2006 12:39 a.m.  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

Wowzer, i should check these comments more often.

To respond to a few valid criticisms:

Not all rap music is offensive, just like not all other types of music are unoffensive. I chose rap music because as a young woman growing up in urban Canada, it is the most prominent type of offensive music. This post is about my life experiences with feminism and listending to rap music is a major part of that. If someone chooses to be offended as a result of their particular life experiences, those feelings are valid, yet they don't invalidate mine.

Next, feminism is support for equality. Pro-feminism is also support for equality. To believe one gender should subjugate another is not feminist it's sexist. Period, end of story.

And Bowie, all i can say is touché.

10/30/2006 12:10 p.m.  
Blogger Paul Adams a dit...

Hi there Blogger, a real useful blog.Keep with the good work.
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I send you warm regards and wishes of continued success.

12/13/2006 3:53 a.m.  

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