Tag Archives: feminism

The OTHER other “F” word….Feminist

10 Mar

I found this in my drafts from September, 2014,  I suppose I never finished it before because I had a stroke a few weeks later, and since I accidentally deleted a very long post about my health bullshit (that had some delightful moments of levity as well) and I’m sad about that, I thought I would check this out and see what it’s all about and it turns out, I like it and I’m publishing it, dammit.

A couple of weeks ago(now years)  I made a HUGE mistake. One that I regret to this day.  I made a comment on the internet about feminism. I didn’t think it was an especially explosive or derisive comment, but for days, DAYS, I was notified of people telling me they disagreed with my comment, or agreed with it, or people felt the need to let me know that my definition of feminism was actually wrong.  As if in a nightmare, I could not figure out how to turn off notifications for this post. It was hell. HELL I tell you.

 

feminist

Okay, that might be a little over dramatic. It was a pain in the butt for a few days, but it was not hell. The comment was made in response to what a comedian on Facebook posted about Beyonce performing in front of the word FEMINIST at the VMA’s.  Her post was, and I am paraphrasing because for the love of all that is good and holy I don’t have a desire to go back and look at it to get it verbatim,  Beyonce dancing around in front of the word feminist makes her as much a feminist as me performing in front of the word scientist makes me a scientist, not at all.  My, what I thought was benign comment regarding this status post update was something along the lines of  “when I was growing up, my mom, who was a business owner and also the room parent for practically every class I was in throughout school, taught me that feminism is the notion that women should be paid equally, and it is about equality. It’s also about the notion that a woman can choose to express herself in any way she damn well pleases.” That’s it.  What’s funny is I’m not even a huge fan of Beyonce (bracing for the Beygency to burst in any second). I respect her as an artist, and for the amazing things she has accomplished in her life and career, and that child of hers and Jay Z’s is just too cute, but I’m not a rabid fan who will defend any and everything she does. Not by a long shot.

According to some of the comments I received (when I was still reading them and trying to respond to them in a civil way) Beyonce cannot be a feminist because she –

Is a wife and a mother, and needs to start acting and dressing like one
Doesn’t have many female friends
Didn’t defend her sister during ElevatorGate 2014

Lets Jay Z “PIMP HER OUT”
Has songs that are not especially about women

The comments above anger me, and the fact that they were made by other women, angers me even more.   I am not one to subscribe to the whole sisterhood over, um, blisterhood (that’s wrong, isn’t it? What is it…chicks over dicks? That works) thing that is reflected in the comments above with the comment that Bey can’t be a feminist because she doesn’t have many female friends, so I don’t want to perpetuate that notion, but for women to not recognize that the very crux of feminism MEANS that Beyonce can make her own decisions about what she wears, or how she dances, breaks my heart a little. Don’t get me started on just what the hell it means to ACT AND DRESS like a wife and mother. I have a very close friend who has beautiful tattoos all over her body, and she is a grandmother, twice over. (three times now) She often is met with disapproval because she doesn’t fit the definition of how a mother should look, but who makes those rules? Women bashing women over how they dress or dance or choose to express themselves just disheartens me. And it’s dumb. Very dumb. Tend your own garden, in other words, you worry about you, don’t want tattoos, don’t get any, but respect the fact that other people might not think the same way as you, and that’s okay, hell, it’s glorious, imagine how dull it would be if everyone thought and dressed and looked exactly the same.

I think there is confusion about what the word FEMINIST even means. I think it’s got a bad rap, and people like Katy Perry stating “I’m not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women” doesn’t help. What is so scary about being called a feminist, Katy? All it means is you are free to cover yourself in candy and sing like a mythical creature inhaling helium if you want to. You get to make that choice, and be on birth control, and do what you want to do. You are a strong woman, and you are a feminist, and it’s not scary and it’s okay.

Feminist women can choose to get married and have children. Feminist women can choose to not get married and have children. Feminist women can choose to get married and not have children. Feminist women can choose to work outside the home. Feminist women can choose to work as homemakers inside the home. The combinations go on and on and on. OH and men can be feminists too! If men think women deserve to make the same amount of money in the same position that men make then guess what? FEMINIST. Tend your own garden

There is no set uniform or behavior that one must conform to to be a mother. You don’t have to have a certain number of female friends to be a feminist. You don’t have to defend your sister’s actions. You can sing about whatever the hell you want to sing about including having sex with your husband in a limousine.

And here it is. Not scary. If you embrace this word I promise,  it doesn’t come with comfortable shoes and a sack cloth to wear as part of a uniform. It just means this –

fem·i·nism
ˈfeməˌnizəm
noun
noun: feminism
the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men
Women helping women is a beautiful thing, but I don’t think there’s a special place in hell for ones who don’t, mainly because I don’t believe in hell at all. Let’s be nice to each other, let’s not be scared of F words, any of them, For instance, I’m a fucking fat feminist https://momticks.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/the-f-word-no-not-that-one/I’m okay with all of those words.

 

Blurred Lines and my Opinion on Feminism. You Know you Want it

3 Jun

The ridiculously catchy song featured in this awfully cheeky video  is called Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams.  If you don’t know the song or you didn’t click the link to watch the video, you really should do so now. I’ll wait.

Was I right or what!? So catchy and that video is so bad, it’s hilarious, but in an unintentional way, I think. The ridiculously overt sexuality of all of it is, well, it’s ridiculous. Scantily clad beautiful women constantly licking their lips, and biting their fingers, and at one point there is a stuffed dog and a (real) lamb thrown in for, I don’t even know what for really.

The lyrics are… pretty…well, they’re bad. They’re just bad. I’m not going to post all of them, but this is the chorus

And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

My first instinct when I heard the song, besides “that sounds like Marvin Gaye” was it was misogynistic,  but I was wrong. The definition of misogyny involves the hatred of women. No hatred here.  It’s sexist, right? Granted, the video looks like it was made in a warehouse and cost about $40 total, but does the mere presence of women wearing bikinis with plastic skirts over the bottoms (can I just tell you, BAD idea) make it sexist?

sex·ism

noun \ˈsek-ˌsi-zəm\

Definition of SEXISM

1
: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :discrimination against women
2
: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex
Well, referring to women as “animals” would probably be considered fostering a stereotype of the social role of women as sex objects I presume, though he does say that the previous man in her life tried to “domesticate” her and that she presumably fought that role because she’s an “animal” but I presume switching one societal stereotype for another doesn’t make it any less sexist.
Another of my issues with the song involves this line in particular –
You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with hug me?
“Snug me”, ‘bug me”, “slug me”, all acceptable rhymes. “Fuck me”, however, is not, and I presume that is where they were going with that.

My biggest problem with the song is the whole “blurred lines” concept, like a woman can’t be a “good girl” if she “want(s) it” (and for the sake of argument, let’s just assume sex is “it”).My views on feminism, and I appreciate your patience up to this point because I know you have been waiting breathlessly for this part, is that a woman can be whatever she wants, and do whatever she is comfortable doing.  If a woman wants to be a Jedi in the streets and a Sith in the sheets (like you needed any more proof of my nerdiness) or vise versa, or any or no combination of those words,  then have at it, and make those terms mean whatever you want them to mean. Women can work, they can choose not to work, they can get married, they can choose not to get married, they can have a lot of sex, they can abstain from having sex, and so on and so on. Not one of these choices make a woman less of a woman.

I have read far too many comments in regards to this video about the “sluttiness” of the women (and apparently there is a topless version that was banned from YouTube). I don’t agree when women who are portrayed as sexual beings are also viewed as something “bad” or “slutty”. The crux of feminism to me hinges on this concept. Women should  be allowed to behave  in whatever capacity they are comfortable without being called names or being told they are setting back the women’s movement when they dress or behave a certain way. I see this when women insult other women for what they are wearing ALL THE TIME. You cannot judge a person by their clothes, but let’s say that woman in the short shorts and halter top does have a lot of sex. So what?

I will say, I think men are exposed to a lot of this crap too as far as how society defines what makes a “man” and all that. Sorry, guys. I’ll write about that another time.

So in conclusion, yes, that song is sexist, the video is silly, and part of feminism is respecting other women’s choices.  Nowhere in the definition of feminism does it say “must adhere to stringent rules and wear comfortable and sensible foot wear or will be accused of setting back the women’s movement and will be kicked out of the sisterhood.”

Definition of FEMINISM
1
: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2
: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
J. A. Allen

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