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Ys
ysabel
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May 2011
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Ys [userpic]
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

Gah. Rereading this, it sucks. It's an outpouring of emotion, not any real attempt to explain things. So, just skip it, 'kay? I'll try to come up with something more coherent some other time. I'm going to quit writing for now. I don't really want to post it, but hey, it's an honest peek into my brain, so there you go.

(Cut because it's a rambling rant rather than a well thought-out argument, and that annoys me. I should be able to write something more coherent...but I'm just too frustrated at the moment.)

So, in a post elsewhere I got into a conversation about the word Republican. For context, I'm registered Republican, largely because I am relatively moderate/libertarian, and at the moment everything in the U.S. is shifted far enough right that the Democrats aren't going to put up a candidate that I can't stand, but the Republicans certainly will, so I want the chance to vote for the moderate candidates in the Republican primaries, on the off chance that makes any difference.

I'm also philosophically small-r-republican (and small-l-libertarian), but I don't believe the Republican party has been republican for a long time.

I said something about why the hell would anyone who was small-r-republican be willing to call themselves Republican these days, given what the Republican leadership is doing. (Which has led to more discussion, which isn't done, I suspect.)

But someone pointed out that they didn't agree with much of modern feminism, but still considered themselves a feminist. Which is what I'm going to bitch about a bit here.

(As an aside: the answer to why I think that's different is all about power, frankly. Academic feminism just doesn't have that much power, so even when they're obnoxious they can't touch that many people -- I'd rather try to reclaim the name. The Republican party has a lot of power right now, and can affect everyone in the freakin' world at the moment, so when they do things that are reprehensible I see no realistic chance of reclaiming the name they've appropriated. It's a depressing realism thing.)

Okay, there are two groups actively trying to define the word feminism right now, both in ways that I don't agree with. One group is Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, and they're having some success in making "feminist" a dirty word. The other group is academic feminist seperatists, who're providing the stereotypes that Limbaugh and his ilk are using to tarnish feminism while they drive away moderate feminists.

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. ~Rebecca West, 1913

To me, feminism is about seeing the crap that both men and women get handed in this society in the name of maintaining the status quo of sex roles. It means noticing that the line between "considerate boyfriend" and "abusive stalker" is almost nonexistent. It means noticing that girls and women censor themselves around men and making a decision not to do that myself, and to encourage other girls and women to have voices. It means taking advantage of my rights as a human being and living up to my responsibilities, even when society would take away my rights or let me off the hook because I'm female.

The academic feminists would tell you that I am a threat, for many reasons. I have sex with men. I was not born fully female, by some arbitrary definition. (Go read The Transsexual Empire sometime for a nauseating sampling of hate and paranoia, if you ever think the religious right have a lock on that.) I'm not allowed to be a feminist. Well, fuck 'em.

I have some chance of winning that battle. I'm not letting either group have the name.


You know what? I just want to fucking live my life. I want to pursue the best I can for myself and my family. I'm unwilling to hurt innocents if I can prevent it, but I'm quite willing to hurt those who deliberately stand in my way, for whatever reason. I'd like to help folks who need it along the way, whenever I can. (I don't claim to be someone who'd sacrifice everything to help others, but I'd like to do as much as I can, and am certainly willing to inconvenience myself.)

Comments

This rant wasn't disjointed at all. I get what you are saying and agree with how you feel.

I love that quote by Rebecca West. The two camps you mentioned who are trying to define "feminst" have alienated a LOT of people from the term. Alice Walker coined the term "Womanist" in an effort to separate from those academic feminists who are just as prejudiced, intolerant and blind as the men they denounce. "Third wave feminism" started in answer to all of the intolerance in the academic feminist community, too.

It made sense to me. And i LOVE that quote you used. Never heard it before but it's SO on the mark.

His ~angel~

Ysa? Mwah.