Why is feminism so uninspiring?
This is not a question I should be asking. After all, I was raised by my mother - a step in, take charge sort of woman who leads her life letting no restrictions get in her way. This is a woman who, some thirty years ago as a blushing bride cancelled her Montgomery Wards charge account because the store had a policy requiring married women to get permission from their husbands for their credit cards, even if the account had been opened by them, alone, as singles. My mother is not dainty. She's not really even all that feminine. She thinks women can do whatever men can do. I am my grandmother's granddaughter, too. A woman who became a schoolteacher in her late forties, went back to college, and decided she was the leader of the pack. Of course I support voting rights and I think women can work whatever career seems to be their calling. But feminism, feminism....
A couple of days ago, a friend loaned me a feminist magazine that goes by the name of "Bitch". That, right there, is a problem. I've heard the line about taking the word "bitch" back, and other demoralizing or offensive words, but truthfully, I think when women call each other bitches, it's out of cattiness and anger. A woman who defines herself as a bitch is, in my opinion, trying to prove how invulnerable she is in a very scary world of offensive people. So, yeah. I looked over this magazine to appease my friend. She's an ardent radical feminist who, I recently found out, reads Andrea Dworkin and has adopted the philosophy that straight sex is rape. Of course rape exists and must be stopped, but all sex? Married people in a loving, committed partnership? Come on. She sees being a lesbian as a feminist statement and has recently come out as the flauntingist, most masculine lesbian ever. My religious views are pretty clear that I see homosexuality as wrong, but I can still be her friend and not harp on that. However, it's weird to me. She seems to think she's gaining power by having sex with a lot of different women but in truth, she's not. She's just becoming more vulnerable and more at risk. Already, she's had her heart broke by certain cads, as there is this minor undercurrent in the world of lesbianism: lesbian women who refers to themselves as "boys", take on the appearence of boys and want to score (aka sleep around randomly and irresponsibly) with as many lesbian women who are not "boys" as they can. So, these women treat her like a shallow, immature, sex-maniac jerk might...but she's proving something? No, I don't think so.
Anyway, the magazine. What stands out for me is all the multitude of ads for sex toys. I know I'm fairly sheltered but I found it shocking. Vibrators and all kinds of stuff was for sale throughout the magazine. I'm not used to that, and I don't get how having sex with abandonment is liberating anybody. Without love and meaning, sex is nothing but a feel good, but there are too many risks for that pleasure, in my opinion. Most of the articles too touched upon stuff that was totally irrelevant to me. It seemed like every other page touched on "reproductive freedoms" -- meaning, if you sleep around with just everybody and a baby comes along, you should be "free" to kill it and continue pleasure seeking. Abortion is, of course, a touchy issue. I wouldn't presume to say it's never allowable because in certain medical cases, it is, and also in emotionally traumatic situations where carrying a baby to term could be destructive, such as post-rape, it may be. But I don't see why instead of advocating safer sex practices, including teaching the freedom, liberty and security of abstinence until marriage, isn't pushed more. There's a lot about the right to abortion, but very little about the right to say no.
Women, of course, aren't supposed to say no now. How can we be liberated, mature and sophisticated if we say no? I think we've been sold a lie. Society says the way to gain independence is to be sexually promiscuous, but who does that really serve? Not women. If women only ever had sex because they really, really wanted to -- they couldn't keep their hands off the guy, they were desperately in love, it was something they enjoyed -- then I'd have less disgust for premarital sex. Usually, though, it doesn't seem to work that way. Girls give in under pressure. You've got to please the guy or he won't love you anymore. He doesn't have to be nice, sweet, loyal, trustworthy, reliable or respect a girl's dignity, because if she won't service him, there are plenty who will. I'm sure there are women who love sex, really. But I think we're all told we're supposed to love sex, that it frees us, but really it just makes us available to men. And that adage about not buying the cow when the milk is free? We're living it. Men don't have to do anything anymore, including opening doors or paying for dinner, let alone settling down with a ring, because we are trained by society to hand out milk to anyone who asks. If we don't, we're weird. Sadly, many feminists have bought into this, too. We're not "oppressed" by virtue and modesty anymore. Instead, we are free to be gawked at, date raped, pressured into losing our virginity, and fighting for abortion on demand.
I'm sorry for the tirade, but it irks me. I believe in feminism meaning equal rights, access to opportunities, fair pay, the right to stay home with children, raise a family, work the job you love, vote, walk down the street without being harrassed and able to speak your mind. I don't believe in what is commonly sold as feminism. Sorry if that offends.
- Long rant on feminism