Sunday, March 4, 2012

Archive Sunday: Chauvinists in Feminist Clothing

This post was originally published last year.

Image borrowed from Moons Stars and Paper
Okay, so I'm normally not one for excluding people from the feminist movement, but lately facebook has been advertising some website called "The Bido," which claims it'll answer the question "Feminism. What next?" As a curious feminist, I decided to click.

Well, (they're really not worthy of links, but you're welcome to copy and paste the url if you so desire) informed me of some really surprising things! First of all, apparently feminism has already run its course, and women are now free from masculine bondage. However, according to someone who goes by "her" (gag me with a spoon - is it part of femininity that we don't get to be individuals?) women missed an important opportunity by not embracing their freedom and becoming the perfect feminine counterpart to masculinity. Instead they continued to act like men (presumptuous of them, I know!) by competing in the work place and daring to act like individuals. Shameful, shameful, shameful.

Anyway, now we can reclaim the procreative force of "bido" and save the world from the silly little men who just can't stop killing and stealing on their own. We're not supposed to "berate" men, we're supposed to "liberate" humanity. (Li-berate; li-bido. How clever!)

Now, I realize that right now some of our male readership may be thinking this website doesn't sound all that bad, since they don't want to be berated for things they're probably not even doing. But consider this - when you tell a group of people that they're not allowed to criticize a group of people whom they perceive as still having power over them (and those are the women that this movement is targeting), you are essentially silencing that group. You're trying to take their voice from them, even if you don't intend to take it by force. Maybe a better way for me to say this is to say that this group is trying to persuade women to give up their personal voices and become a homogenous gentle, no-complainy "feminine" voice (whatever the heck that means).

But of course the biggest problem with this group is that it's stereotyping women and denying the variation we find all over the place among women. Women vary from one country to the next, one religion, state, continent, race, economic class, social class, education bracket, political allegiance to the next. Not to mention that we're just plain different from each other by virtue of being people.

Now, I'm all for bringing back respect to all those personality traits that have been devalued by virtue of seeming "feminine." But I don't pretend for an instant that all women do or should possess all those traits, just as I don't pretend that all men do or should possess all the traits that seem "masculine."

So please, please, please, please


don't buy into any of these "women need to start acting like women" movements. Anyone who denies individuality is just lying.

1 comment:

  1. So, thanks for this. I get it so often from my own mother, most recently when she asked what I didn't like about Daughters in My Kingdom and I mentioned how fluffy and "pretty" it was. She kept insisting that "women like that". And I kept insisting, "Mom! I am a woman, and I don't like that. If not all women like it, then it can't be something that all women like." But she didn't get it.

    There is no such thing as "acting like a woman". You act like yourself; end of story. Why is that such a difficult concept?