03/28/2014 by syrbal-labrys
Some 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!