Friday Feminism: Too Many Voices?

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03/28/2014 by syrbal-labrys


1dont judgeSome years ago, in a brief hiatus when all our children had  left the nest and none had yet returned, my husband said to me, “We can run around the house naked if we want!”  Well, yes, we could.  And we could fly down the hallway, undressing as we went, to pop into the tub or shower after an afternoon slaving in the yard.  We could dash to the bathroom in the morning and forget to close the door.  Ah, freedom!

That was what I thought feminism was about, too.  Freedom.  To be naked or not.  To be religious or not.  To be employed outside the home or not.  To wear pants instead of skirts or not.  To drive or not.  To wear pink or not.  To get an education or not.  To marry or not.  To divorce or not. To have wild sex or not. To smoke or not.  To drink or not. To choose an abortion or not.  To have a baby or not.  To buy a house or not.  To own a car or not. To vote or not.  To like boots better than high heels or not.  To use make up or not.

But somewhere on the road from there to here, something prescriptive happened.  It stopped being a choice with an attached ‘or not’ somewhere.  If there is not an “or not” how the hell is it a real choice? Women HAD to have an education.  Feminists should NOT marry and “sleep with the enemy”.  Dressing up and being pretty meant you HAD to be pretty — not that you felt like it would be fun.  Having sex with a man was equated to rape in EVERY penetrative event. (They really lost me at that one.) Voices seemed to lift, not in any jubilation over freedoms discovered and celebrated — and freedoms gained; but in condemnation of ordinary human things.  Everyone nowadays — male AND female — seem answerable to entirely too many commanding voices.  Some of them are pretty stupid, too.

Women should keep silent in church, not even saying “Amen” because Paul said so.  (Fuck Paul!)  Big boys AND big girls don’t cry now — emotional suppression for ALL; yay, that is some good psychological bit, eh?  Real equality of misery for all, yay!??  Stay at home moms are lazy bitches.  Women who work are taking food out of the mouths of men and THEIR families.  I love how it all contradicts itself within pages in the same reading material at times, don’t you?

These days?  I think the first tenet of ANY ideology should possibly be like that little graphic up there — there should FIRST be a freedom to still all those shrill demanding damned voices so one can hear one’s OWN voice.  And decide one by one, if the other voices belong to thinking humans — or assholes!

 

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4 thoughts on “Friday Feminism: Too Many Voices?

  1. Everyone nowadays — male AND female — seem answerable to entirely too many commanding voices. Some of them are pretty stupid, too.

    Agreed.

    It is what happens when you let dudes start defining what feminism is and what it should be about.

    I agree with what Bell Hooks has to say about feminism and the challenges it faces:

    “The foundation of future feminist struggle must be solidly based on a recognition of the need to eradicate the underlying cultural basis and causes of sexism and other forms of group oppression. Without challenging these philosophical structures, no feminist reforms will have a long term impact. Consequently, it is now necessary for advocates of feminism to collectively acknowledge that our struggle cannot be defined as a movement to gain social equality with men […]”

    -Feminist Theory from Margin to Centre, p.33

    She wrote that in 1984, and I think that much to her displeasure no one took her seriously, and thus we get the much of the mess that we see today in feminism today.

    That was what I thought feminism was about, too. Freedom.

    As it should be.

    Great post Syrbal.

  2. fallconskat says:

    dang. here i am, a housewife, wearing pink as though my life depended on it, wearing skirts, divorced (TWICE even, and NO religious divorce from the catholic evil ex), liking drinking at times, smoking at times, sex at times, and even loving my husband as he is, the hairy beast.

    why on EARTH would it not be ok to CHOOSE? i thought that’s what feminism was, too. including supporting MEN to be the best people they could be.

    it’s absolutely stupid.

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Herland

The name of this blog, and my Dreamwidth blog, Herlander Refugee, is taken from a 1915 feminist novel "Herland". It makes my heart sing that modern women are experimenting with creation of a new "Herland"! Yes, comments are closed. Anyone who just MUST reach me can do so at syrbal6 at gmail dot com.

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