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?

19 comments:

  1. I like the way you think. I love that clip from Portlandia. I have been daring myself to post that for weeks and didn't have the nerve.

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  2. Thanks Q. I love the show Portlandia watch it all the time. I think there is a marathon this weekend but have to check. I know I may take heat for this article. I have told some friends I hate feminism and they are not happy with me. I hope maybe you can write on it later. :) If you go way back in this blog's articles--can't believe it is 4 plus years old, you will see that I was an outcast in a lot of size acceptance circles for not being braindead and drinking the Cultural Marxist Narc Pleasing and Elevating Kool-Aid.

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  3. But you see, the ideals you describe yourself as having ARE feminist ideals. What you aren't is a radical feminist. I'm not a radfem either, but I am definitely a feminist.
    "Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women."
    This is the Wikipedia definition for feminism, and it works well for me.

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    1. Helena, yes I know the definitions are fluid. Most people of good intentions would agree with certain basics. Radfem has turned into something else. Sadly it has too many overlaps in areas of size acceptance.

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  4. I have been pounded as a misogynist since the beginning. Mainly (I think) because I referred to a couple of women as chicks. I write the way I speak. If I have to alter my persona to placate a bunch of perpetually snitty people ...why bother? I don't cover much new ground in my writing these days. But if I do feminism will be at the top of my list. It really has become synonymous with adults acting with zero agency and accountability, and the glorification of the personality disordered. I don't think first wave feminists would recognize it, or care to be associated with it.

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    1. Hey the politically correct speech police have come after me too Q. I am sick of fascist liberals {remember I am not a fan of the right either} who want to tell everyone else how to speak or what to talk about. One sees this in the size acceptance world and I'm not going with it. I don't think calling women chicks warrants all that. Are they going to get mad at me for referring to some men as some guys? Yes first wavers would be sickened. One knows if anything things for women got worse, as moral degenerancy and bootlicking to sociopaths became the name of the game. Ever see any of those top feminists question the bankers and other corruptions? They are too busy playing corporate sychophants being "empowered" [cough] brainwashed.

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  5. Thank you my thoughts exactly, the feminists always wonder why more women have not taken advantage of the new "freedoms" and I remember a couple of years ago an article about how one well placed woman in DC wrote of her experience taking a high level job and than gave it up because it was too much on her family. We have managed for me to stay home for quiet an extended period of time with the kids and I would not change it for any job in the world. People have ridiculed me, discounted me, and have implied I am nothing more than an albatross to my husband, but this is what we both wanted. One woman even told me I had been given a gift by generation one feminists in the 60's and I was wasting it, I said wait a minute, first no one asked me and two what they gave us was more choices and my choice was to stay with my children, and be there for them. I was a first generation latch-key child and hated and resented that MNM told my father she did not make enough and went to work. That job lasted 20+ years was low paying and she did nothing but complain about her co-workers to anybody who would listen. Most of the women now have nothing jobs and dump the kids at daycare because they see no other option, they do, but you must sacrifice, thanks for letting me rant. I think women are worse off today than 60 years ago

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    1. Yes what freedoms? I got tired talking to overly spoiled Baby Boomer women who had great jobs and still believed in the feminist dream as most women have nothing dead end jobs that just take them away from their families and leave them no time. I am glad you did stay home and had that opportunity. Millennials and Gen X know that the promises of "empowerment" are a joke in today's economy. The powers that be basically got more control over people as family and social connections were sacrificed. My NM worked too, and I was latch key, making dinner by the age of 10, meatloaf and cleaning the house for hours a day. I would come home to the long lists of household chores. I think how they sold all this as being based on freedom and options is one of the biggest jokes going and agree with you that women are far worse off then they were 60 years ago.

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  6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1168182/Catfights-handbags-tears-toilets-When-producer-launched-women-TV-company-thought-shed-kissed-goodbye-conflict-.html

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    1. That one says it all, doesn't it? I wonder what happened to the Sisterhood too. Even in the 1960s and 1970s women came together a bit more. Now they are all competing about who is more hot, more sexy and if married who has the bigger house or best job? I guess the Utopian dreams don't plan out the way they think they will. I much preferred male bosses, for an Aspie some neurotypical female bosses can be hell on earth as everything is about your personality or what they perceive are it's lacks. Some of course are narcs who derive pleasure from grinding you into the ground.

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  7. Women do need relationships and connection, not free sex. Its funny, women will say they want free sex to get the commitment, but that is not what works. Yep, this society is tough.

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    1. Free sex just made women's lives harder. I believe it made women even more beholden to men as everything became about looks and staying "sexy". In other words women could focus on more pressing matters. Also with all the men getting the milk for free it left women more economically and otherwise vunerable. It made true commitment that much harder to come by. I watched a few Sex in the City shows with a friend and told her the show was morally degenerate and the outcome of modern feminism, the women were even more slaves to men I noticed, I mean when you are always having to sell yourself on the meat market, rather then having one man support and love you as you are, it means more enslavement. I've seen women like this stuck in perpetual competition and seeking after men who just use them and throw them away. Hey the narcs probably love this stuff.

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  8. I would think it's obvious why most fat activists are feminists...because they believe that women shouldn't be defined by how much their body pleases men.

    I recognise very little of what you describe above as being representative of any activist feminist movement, and I notice you don't attribute any of the things you've described to any specific feminist writers or collectives. The closest you come is referring to Gloria Steinem, but not citing a specific work - I'm confused by this as the work that originally made her known was about women being mistreated and underpaid at work, so could you tell me which part of Steinem's writing you're referencing? (She's still talking about women being underpaid and mistreated by employers even in recent interviews; " I realized we're all Bunnies--so yes, I'm glad I did it. If a writer wants to do a similar exposé now, there's no shortage of stories that need telling. For instance, go as a pregnant woman into so-called crisis pregnancy centers and record what you're told to scare or force you not to choose an abortion-including harassing you, calling your family or employer. Or pretend to be a woman with a criminal record and see how difficult it is to get a job. Or use a homeless center as an address and see what happens in your life. Or work at an ordinary service job in the pink-collar ghetto, as Barbara Ehrenreich did in Nickel and Dimed. But be warned that if you're a woman journalist and you choose an underground job that's related to sex or looks, you may find it hard to shake the very thing you were exposing.")

    Narcissism turned me into a feminist. I spent my teens being told I had to do all the low-skilled grunt work required to care for a household and child because I was a girl, and that I had to look a certain way and act a certain way because I was a girl. Now I am very, very happy to throw my all into having my own life.

    A lot of what you're blaming feminism for is clearly to do with advancing technology, not feminist ideology. Automation ended a lot of skilled, well-paying jobs. The Pill freed up women to work low-wage jobs alongside their husbands. These technological forces had the same effect in nations that did not experience a feminist movement. Saying that feminism hasn't achieved what you once thought it would, that would make a lot of sense. Blaming feminism for all the ills of the modern world, not so much.

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    1. I'll admit I stopped reading Steinem circa 2000 but I have read many feminist writers. I even used to go to feminist book stores from college into my 20s.

      Here is list of ones I have read off the top of my head

      Andrea Dworkin--more extreme but yes I read her
      Naomi Wolf
      Sylvia Plath
      Kate Millet
      bell hooks
      Margot Atwood {The Handmaidens Tale and many others too}
      riot grrl literature
      oh who wrote the book that had Backlash in the title? Read that one too.
      I read Bitch magazine even LOL So by anyone's definitions I used to subscribe to both liberalism and feminism when young.

      I agree with you that girls could be oppressed but now we are oppressed from the other side. I feel like young women are told they have to look and act a certain way now, now you have to be sexy, skinny, and have a great job in certain fields. I know narc parents love to turn little girls into would be Cinderellas, I had a taste of that too.

      I suppose its good Steinem is dealing with some of the class issues, but I bet dollars to donuts she still advocates globalism, and other liberal causes that lead Americans into more severe poverty. I have always seen feminism as for the upper classes, even the myth that jobs bring empowerment is based on women who have jobs where they are respected and have some degree of power. This is a conclusion I came to as a result of my impoverished 20s.

      You have a point that the advancing technology had it's influences too. Problem is, technology was supposed to free us more wasn't it? People's quality of life was supposed to go up with far more leisure time, we haven't seen that happen.

      I see feminists as living in an elitist world. Now I will give you this, this issue has been addressed by some. bell hooks seems to be the one who has touched on these matters the most honestly [Oh I have read all of Barbara E's books too]

      "Masses of women feel angry because they were encouraged by feminist thinking to believe they would find liberation in the workforce. Mostly they have found that they work long hours at home and long hours at the job. Even before feminist movement encouraged women to feel positive about working outside the home, the needs of a depressed economy were already sanctioning this shift. If contemporary feminist movement had never taken place masses of women would still have entered the workforce, but it is unlikely that we would have the rights we have, had feminists not challenged gender discrimination. Women are wrong to “blame” feminism for making it so they have to work, which is what many women think. The truth remains that consumer capitalism was the force leading more women into the workforce. Given the depressed economy white middle-class families would be unable to sustain their class status and their lifestyles if women who had once dreamed solely of working as housewives had not chosen to work outside the home."

      http://caringlabor.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/bell-hooks-women-at-work/

      I may not agree with all her conclusions and her beliefs but there is an admission there that pleases me. Gen X and the Millennials know freedom doesn't lay in the hands of the bosses either.

      It's not going to sell the same way to today's generation like it did during the most prosperous time in history that is fading to an end.

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  9. Feminism is a bunch of lies!!!!! Sue

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    1. I agree. Too many false promises and things that do not match the real world. I am sickened even by women being put in combat, that is a set up for rape if there ever was one. >:{

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  10. Do you realize that the "nonsense advocated by feminists today such as the legalization of prostitution or "sex work," is intended to protect women and children that are being subjected to violence and slavery, that is rampant in today's sex trafficking trade? In turn, many state's laws classify these women and CHILDREN as criminals, as if these women and girls didn't have enough to worry about. I would agree wholeheartedly with you that you are most definitely not a feminist, nor do you have any idea what the meaning of the word means in today's world. You bring up valid points in your argument but you act as though the movement is over, and it surely isn't, it is merely evolving. We are surely paying for previous generations mistakes, as the next generation will pay for ours. But the fight for equality for ALL genders, is only a small part of what it means to be a feminist today. Of course, it is always easier to blame the world and not ourselves for our misgivings.

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    1. I think legalization of sex work will make life WORSE for women and young children. They will not have government protections. Imagine a woman raised in a prostitute family where one is groomed for the brothel then and it's all then sanctioned by the government [Thailand?] I think the johns should be criminalized more then the women so we agree there. The word feminism, I discussed with another friend and it is like the words liberal and conservative more and more hard to pin down. I fear where feminism is evolving, I find third wave sex and looks obsessed. Maybe I don't think I am a man nor do I want to have the same expectations of a man, and even on here I talked about how I was treated like a man like my family and how the personal and political got interwoven there. Where is feminism taking women, but to worse more unhappy lives? Gen X knows they got a bum deal.
      http://www.nber.org/papers/w14969

      "By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women's happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women's declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging -- one with higher subjective well-being for men. "

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  11. I wonder if anyone ever considers genetics/biology? Women and men are simply wired differently! Sue

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