Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm a feminist, dammit.

In it's next issue, Newsweek asks Is Now the Right Time for the ERA? In the 1970s and early 80s it was a HUGE FREAKING DEAL, but I have to agree with the article when it suggests that the ERA (renamed the Women's Equality Amandement) is largely symbolic now and will do little to change things. I have to wonder, does that make Phyllis Schlafly satisfied or upset, as she prides herself on defeating the passage of the ERA is 1972. But we do symbolic things all the time, and it still means something.

We're still out there working to better things for women everywhere. Women nowadays are in positions that our feminist predecessors could only dream of. It's not always the hardcore grassroots activism the likes of Gloria Steinem championed (who married Christian Bale's father in 2000, by the way), but we're still around doing things in another way. The 2004 March for Women's Lives saw record numbers flood the capitol. For the first time in history we have a female Speaker of the House. A woman has a viable chance to win the presidency (don't laugh). We still have the right to choose when it comes to reproductive rights. Locally, Women of the Storm formed to help our city and region recover from Hurricane Katrina.

I attended the Feminist Majority Foundation Southern Leadership Conference a couple weeks back. The group was small, given it was for the region encompassing 15 states, but great none the less. Networking, educating, giving men and women alike resources to go out in the world and work towards the greater good of women everywhere.

Of course there are still those out there who hate on the feminists. was recently nominated for several Blogger's Choice Awards and of course there has been a backlash of the get-back-in-the-kitchen-you-are-a-dumb-woman variety. We deal with that everyday. The typical question that ensues if I identify myself as a feminist "Oh. Are you a lesbian?" Does it matter? Little do those ignoramuses know that Feminism and Romance Go Hand and Hand (or other "romantic" activities). However, Schlafly would advise you men to remove yourselves from any relationship you may have with a feminist ASAP.

I'm a feminist, dammit.


Leigh C. said...

I am too, dammit. And if that's supposed to elicit a divorce paper from my husband, so be it, dammit.

Cold Spaghetti said...

Years ago, I tutored football players at Virginia Tech in Women's Studies. (The football team saw it good form to have players take a WS course after all the press about VT being the school that started the court case that would reverse VAWA.) Anyway, the first thing I would do during the very first meeting was ask, "what is a feminist?" And they would get really uncomfortable and try to say nothing. So I'd start... "Feminist... man-hating, lesbian, hairy-legged, ugly..." writing all of this down in a list. After a few really messy words escaped my lips, they'd get sort of surprised and start getting into it themselves... "dirty hair, hippie, moon-worshiping...." We get it ALL out there.

Then I'd say, "Okay. Now, let's do football player." And they'd pause, so I'd start. "dumb jock, rapist, hairy-ape, thoughtless, selfish, arrogant..."

And there would be this moment where they'd get it. We'd talk about it -- where those words come from and how they might not be the full story. They'd get that we had a common bond: being misunderstood.