And no, not the cooking show. No, I’m talking about the misunderstood and often maligned one – feminist.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am one. It’s something I’ve wrestled with for years, because I don’t like feminazis; extremists tend to turn me off. Though, I admit, the specific issue that turned me off was the draft/selective services – I have two sisters, and one brother. My brother is the last person in our generation bearing our father’s surname (he was the only boy too; he has two sisters), so as far as I understood as a kid, that meant me and my sisters could go and die, but my brother could be left alone (Selective Services says otherwise – myth dispelled!). I kiiind of took umbrage at this, even if I went on and served myself.
But as this nice young lady points out in an opinion piece, the basic tenant of feminism is believing that women are equal to men. It is not necessarily about burning bras, or wearing next-to-nothing – you can do and believe without shoving yourself into a narrow cleft. And as pointed out on Livejournal, it’s a matter of changing attitudes. That women and men should feel free to dress as they want without it being ‘understood’ that they’re wanting to get laid (though if I did see a boy in a codpiece… *giggles*). So much like making it clear that being a feminist isn’t about man-hating or bra-burning, effecting a change in culture requires people to stand up and say, hey – let’s fix this.
Unfortunately, doing that seems to cause a rather vehement backlash. We are seeing an increase in Western cultures telling women that they have no right over their bodies, no freedom to themselves. Most of us know just how ridiculous it’s getting in the States, but even here in the UK, we’re seeing more anti-abortionists being given viewpoint time. While I certainly hope to never need an abortion, I would never deny a woman the right to choose for herself. Heck, even anti-abortionists think that they’re special sauce and the ‘exception’ when it comes to *needing* one *snorts*. Does a catty part of me want to snark about people using abortions or morning after pills as contraception? Sure – I’m human, and have some rough edges to smooth out. I don’t actually think that people really do, even if it’s common to slutify peoples’ trials and tribulations to big ourselves up.
And of course, the big thing that gets me here now is that there is the push for abstinence education… but only for girls. It pains me that boys are thought so little of that oh, they can’t help wanting to shove their penises into everything. Sex takes two parties – rape takes one. And telling little girls that sex is bad is telling them to deny themselves – sex is a right jolly time! And as most of us know, that hormonal cocktail known as the teen years is explicit – your body wants you enjoying sex, and it wants you enjoying it lots. Why screw with kids’ minds by telling them that they’re a walking sin for being, oh… human?
Maybe I’ve been reading too much Heinlein lately, but there is nothing with being sexual – that’s healthy. Sexualized, on the other hand? That’s what happens when you shove all your sexy-sexy in the closet and try to pretend that it’s wicked and naughty and evil. But eh, that’s just me, and I’m a bit of a prude anyways. *chuckles*
And as there’s a proper thunderstorm brewing here, my thoughts are fractured ’cause I keep getting up to run around gleeing and whooping at the sky. So for the tl;dr – redefine feminism for yourself, and reclaim the word. I think you’ll find that, if you think about it, you’re probably a feminist too. 😉