Friday, August 29, 2014
Not A Fan of Feminism
One thing I have noticed is most fat activist announce they are feminists. They call themselves that on the Fattitude trailer. I am not a feminist as defined today. Yes I know the definitions have a wide range. Call it traditional Christian values interfering or whatnot contradicting with feminism. I won't get into the personal religious reasons as to why I find modern feminism distasteful but will share with you my other reasons.
Here is a caveat, I do not think men should lord over women. I do not agree with patriarchy movements. I do think fair pay, abuse shelters, property rights, voting and items like that are good things. The fact the Duggars keep their daughters at home for life unless they marry horrifies me. Maybe some would consider me a first wave feminist, or a 19th century one, but even extreme radical Andrea Dworkin if she came back from the dead would scream upon seeing some of the nonsense advocated by feminists today such as the legalization of prostitution or "sex work".
I used to read books about the 1960s, and how even though free sex reigned, the men still expected the women to cook and clean in the commune. Now women get to do double-shifts of cooking, taking care of the children, cleaning AND bringing home the bacon. When do they get a break? The business world benefitted as both Mom and Dad had to work which meant lower wages and less family and personal time. Replacing Dad with the state just gave the state more power too. I believe feminism helped lower the quality of life for us all.
However when I think of feminism, I think to myself "Ah that's why my family was socially sanctioned in tossing a sick Aspie into the sink or swim streets!" "Ah this is why my father treated me more like a man because I was not traditionally pretty!" I was told to become a nun by my family. I was told I never would marry. My mother's best friend who was a lawyer nun, who later scaled up the career ladder to great heights, was held up as someone for me to emulate. She advocated for female priests and was an extreme feminist. Liberalism in the classic sense didn't rule my household, but whatever politics served their interests and their interests were in treating me like a proto-man, problem was I wasn't a man. I was a girl and needed some protection and love and didn't get it.
Years ago you could have called me a feminist. I read Ms. magazine for years. I thought about women's rights. I was on the outlook for sexists. I had the women studies class and did the Take Back the Night marches. However I was less protected as a result of feminism. I got sexually harassed at a job. I got jumped on the streets. I got out into the ever-gloried career world and realized the promises of empowerment were a joke. I was cleaning toilets in other people's houses. I was cooking meals at the group home and dusting it's beat up furniture. I spent my 20s taking care of OTHER people's children instead of my own.
Feminism screwed me.
Girls in my mid-sized town in high school were raised to get married young and now everyone I went to school with is a grandmother, and have big families of their own. This includes a friend from high school who now has two daughters, a son and several grandchildren. She got pregnant at 17 while I was a freshman in college and I remember she was devastated but who ended up with a better path?
Careers don't hug you at night, and if you are not a big whig especially in this economy, jobs don't build a life. The personal side of life was ignored for false carrot-stick chasing dreams of "you need to have a great career!". The Baby Boomers especially for Generation X, advertised this path as being the happier one. For many it was not. Women need relationships, and connection. This is ignored in our society.
All feminism means to me is that women got to trade husbands for bosses. One traded the admitted tedium of housework, and childcare for the tedium of the workplace. Sure some richer or upper middle class women may see jobs as "empowering" but for most it means they are beholden to bosses who may be less kind then husband or less personally invested in you. There is a reason that Gloria Steinem and pals seem to live in a fantasy world of flex time and jobs that make 6 plus figures while advocating this as a lifestyle for all women. Why should women for so many years been made to feel ashamed of staying home and being housewives?
I have had these discussions with very close friends in my 40s, and one even managed to achieve some career success and we have talked among ourselves that the promises of feminism were a total bag of hot-air. What does women's lib mean if you are sitting and staring at a wall alone on a Saturday night? I got married kind of late, and only barely escaped Selma and Thelma spinisterhood. Being disabled in the feminist world where you are unable to be defined by your "career" too is another loss.
What gets me about feminists is they seem to just want to load on all the work and responsibility of men onto women. I don't think women should fight in combat, and that we are not emotionally or otherwise set up for that. It sickens me that now we will have women on the battlefield who will be expected to be hard like men. What is wrong with women being protected by men? I think men should protect their women. I wasn't protected or even treated like a girl in my FOO. Why did I have to prove myself to be manly? Seriously I did. Why wasn't I allowed to cry or be vulnerable or ask for any help? How many young girls are being treated this way and told they are not allowed to have any "softness" to be acceptable? How is this changing the men or their treatment of women?
Realities are denied by feminists. The whole you can earn the bacon and fry it up in the pan, thing denies that time for human beings is a limited thing. I have read more women are staying at home who can afford to. I am glad. They know quality of life and time with their children counts. I wish many weren't forced to work tedious too low paid jobs. Now working class and poor women have always had to work but when they ripped the stability of family life away, they gave the bosses and corporations more power to direct their lives. There was less of a safety net for all. It made life more of a solitary venture with less back-up.
I remember when early feminists used to protest objectification of women, now that is worse then ever. Whatever happened to that?
Also feminism denies differences between men and women. Weren't some of the differences why men and women were attracted to one another? I tired of women always being presented as strong and independent. What if I don't feel strong? Why does every heroine in every novel have to be capable of flying airplanes or building houses from scratch? In the Victorian era, women could cry and faint, now we have to all act like studs without a tear in our eye to earn our feminist street cred of being an empowered, strong, independent woman!
Feminism was supposed to make things better for women, but from what I have seen since the days of the bra-burners in the 1960s is life has gotten far more oppressive and hard for women. Elderly friends of mine who raised their families in the 60s and 70s, told me life was far far simpler for women. They told me their daughters [all at work] while disabled me was at our book and writing clubs, all had far harder lives with no time for anything including fun.
Pitting the sexes against each other is just making everyone more miserable. I too wonder why feminism and fat activism go hand in hand. What is floating that boat? Aren't 50% of the fat male? Why are they being cut out to serve liberal agendas?
Where did all that promised freedom come in?