Saturday, November 12, 2005

Feminist Is Not A Dirty Word

Feminist is not a dirty word.
(crossposted at maTREEarchy)

When women are feminists, they are often labeled as lesbians

or dykes

which aren't dirty words either. Although some feminists are lesbians and some lesbians embrace the "dyke" label, many feminists are heterosexual, some lesbians don't like the word "dyke" and some lesbians aren't even feminists. Some men are also feminists.

Labeling feminists as lesbians and dykes is intended to insult them or to place them into neat little categories so that some people don't have to try to understand or deal with the concept of equality for women. It is intended to divide and conquer, and, in the past, the tactic has often been successful in dividing groups of women who are working for equality. Hopefully, that tactic won't work much longer.

Another tactic is to claim that feminism is no longer necessary, that women already enjoy equal rights, and that being a feminist is something your grandma did.

Anyone paying attention to the world today knows this isn't true.

"Herstorically" some women ARE better off today, however many are NOT.

A long time ago, the stage was set to blame women for all the world's misery.

And in case that early message wasn't clear enough, the theme has been constantly reinforced through the ages.

In the United States, there has been a lot of progress through the years. Women enjoy the right to vote, when the votes are counted properly. Title IX breathed some life into women's sports, although there is now an assault on that legislation.

Some of those troops we're supporting with yellow ribbons are women, though some in Congress have recently attempted to limit women's combat roles. They know that it's hard to deny other rights to women when women share the burden of defending our country.

One issue that tends to divide every group of women is the subject of abortion. Some women value life at all its stages. They are consistent in their opposition to abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, and war.

Other women believe that a woman won't ever achieve equality if she can't control her own body. They believe that whether they reproduce is their decision, in consultation with a doctor.

Until sex education is universal, contraceptive methods are foolproof, and childbirth is risk-free, abortion will be around, whether it is legal or not. Many people have a goal for safe and legal abortions to be available and rarely necessary.

With a "Pro-Life" president in office, the numbers of abortions have actually increased. I also couldn't help but notice the lack of female presence during the signing of the Bush "partial-birth" abortion bill.

These men could always try a different tactic to take matters into their own hands.

Feminists will never be a homogenous group, but that's part of the charm. From healthy debates come good compromises.

For instance, feminists working for peace probably aren't all that concerned about whether women are allowed to participate in combat.

Feminism is mostly about women realizing that they are autonomous beings, complete with or without a man,

Women are every bit as capable of doing what men do. Some feminists believe in a more militant in-your-face type of activism, others are more quietly running boardrooms and statehouses.

In any case, the job isn't complete, and we aren't going away.


puddle said...


Olde Witch said...

Hey, powerful designs there! Do you lend them out? I'd love to have the 'Eve was framed' and 'I'll be post feminist post patriarchy' ones on my blog. With credits to you, obviously.

Anonymous said...

Hey, very powerful designs!Do you lend them out? With credits to your handiwork, obviously. Would love to put up 'Eve was framed' in my blog.As well as 'I'll be post feminist in the post patriarchy'.

Anonymous said...

sorry, was wondering where my comment went.

jc said...

olde witch,

You're welcome to post them elsewhere. Credit and links appreciated, but not necessary.

The reason your comments don't appear right away is because they wait in a list for me to moderate them. I don't delete real comments, but it helps weed out the spam that is prevalent on these blogs.

Olde Witch said...

Thanks a ton!