Friday, June 26, 2009

Can Anyone be a Feminist? Apparently Not...

The answer is more complicated than you think. It depends on what CAMP of feminism you want to belong to. Feminism is very fractured as a movement, and does not mean the same thing to the same people within the movement, never mind how loaded the term 'feminism' is to people outside the movement. Lately, I have been writing a lot on feminism, making films about feminism, and thinking a lot about it. But according to the Reclusive Leftist site, even I am not a feminist. Why? Because I don't get one of the poster's statements about forced pregnancy and sex. Because I didn't get it, and because she didn't explain it, and I pushed it, I became a Neanderthal-knuckle-dragging-Republican-Buttlick, or something of that ilk.

So no, not anyone can be a feminist, depending on who you're talking to, even if you've been a feminist your whole conscious life, and have advocated for it. So let's survey the field a little, and maybe you'll recognize the tribe of feminists you've been talking to, and see whether or not they'd let you join.

1. Second Wavers -
Theme Song: I am Woman, Hear Me Roar.
Persona identified: Hillary Clinton.
Motto: Equal Rights for Women NOW! Over-arching themes: equal pay amendment, pro-choice movement, advancement of women at work and in politics, mostly baby-boomers.

How outsiders see them: dried up vaginas (Obama Boyz), irrelevant, pantsuits-wearing masculine wannabes, bra-burners, lesbians and dykes only, and rabid.

Arch-nemisis: Sarah Palin, and third wavers. Sarah Palin because she's pro-life, hot, has a family, and a stay-at-home husband...which are the things a lot of women want. Hell, I wanted them. But she's a Republican, damn it! How did a Republican achieve the Feminist dream without sighing up to be a liberal feminist??? She's The Enemy. Third wavers suck because they are ungrateful brats who don't respect what their elder feminists did for them, and have mostly pissed the legacy away.

2. Third wavers -
Theme Song: My Hump, by the Black-Eyed Peas.
Persona identified: Madonna, Brittney Spears, or any sexy thing who achieves equality by shaking her butt in front of the camera, thus proving she is as in-charge of her sexuality as men.

Motto: We can pick on women as much as the men! It's our right as equals to men! But we still love Boyz.

Over-arching themes: navel gazing, boyz, Obama-girrl, fitting into hip hop culture and then saying how great it is that rap songs call us all ho's and bitches. Calling each other ho's and bitches. Seeing second wavers as old and irrelevant.

How outsiders see them: (men) hey this is great! Women who can prove they like sex as much as men! (women) hey this is great! Now we can be bitches and ho's. Who cares about that equality thing? Pro-life / pro-choice debating is sooo...boring. Just take birth control already! Then you can have all the sex you want! Let me twitter...

Arch nemesis: Hillary Clinton (I'm not going to support a woman for higher office just BECAUSE she's a woman), and Sarah Palin, because she's hot, got it all going on, became a successful governor, and she's a (gasp!) rotten pro-life Republican! Vile creature! Hang her in effigy!

Fourth wavers:
Theme Song: don't have one yet, but would combine something like 'can't we all get along?' with ''searching for my purpose'. This movement is trying to get off the ground in the wake of Hillary Clinton's sabotaged run last year. Some 4th wavers came to Palin's side against the sexism. Some 4th wavers feel the fight for abortion is still on, and they're violent about it. Some 4th wavers want to be 4th wavers but aren't sure because they fear that once it becomes known they're conservative, or pro-life, they'll be kicked in the teeth and ejected to the curb.

They will.

How they look to others: can't see 'em yet because they're lost in 3rd and 2nd wave hoopla. Worse, they can't agree on what 4th wave is. And most people out of any wave are standing around, wondering when and if feminism will ever talk to them, instead of shouting them down.

So there you have it.

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