Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I only play a feminist on TV

These days anybody who is allowed on TV and publicly claims to be a feminist isn’t one. She’s straight, conventionally attractive, takes pole dancing lessons, and espouses the belief that femininity empowerfulizes her. If any “feminist” should accidentally let it out that being sexually manipulative has not a high moral purpose, or that patriarchy even exists, let the ridicule fly.

Twisty discourages straight quoting, but I can't seem to help myself. Her prose and point are perfectly stunning...I hope if we met she'd forgive me.


Amanda said...

Interesting - though I'm a strong believer that there's no one definition of feminism, and that we shouldn't criticize anyone for identifying as a feminist. There's so much stigma as it is, why be exclusive and act "feminist-er than thou"? Just because I have been lucky to be born white in a good family/neighborhood with access to education and haven't struggled per se, that doesn't mean I'm any less of a feminist than someone who has been affected by sexism directly in the worst of ways.

DancingGrapes said...

Thanks for commenting!

I hear you on the white, straight and privileged (I also wear make-up, get my hair cut, and spend too much $ on clothes to be beauty-standard compliant. And I'm all for inclusive - I want to reach out to people and wrap them in feminist love and enlighten them to patriarchy hate, and start them on the fem path (it's a long one). However, not just anyone can put on the feminist t-shirt and be one. Feminism's a theory, a set of beliefs. One has to love and believe in women and work towards equality which is the opposite of objectification. Any while it drives me equally crazy when people ARE feminist and don't CALL themselves feminist, it's not the answer to lose sight of what feminism really means in order to up the numbers. "I'm a feminist but I still like to have fun and pole dance for Girls Gone Wild because being sexual is empowering" isn't feminism. I understand why women do it - it's survival - but that doesn't make it any less patriarchy-serving. And patriarchy hates women, even when the women are complicit.

Criss L. Cox said...

I understand your frustration with women who call themselves "feminists" but then their actions go against what most of us would consider "feminist"/empowering. But as Amanda says, there are as many definitions of "feminist" as there are women... a good friend of mine who is never afraid to speak her mind, even though her family is very "conservative" and raised her to be a good little submissive girl, recently took a pole-dancing class, and loved it.I see this as something that IS empowering her, something she's doing to stand up for herself instead of following what her family wants her to do (like she did when, in her late 30s and with four kids, she divorced the older man she'd married at 17).

Of course, my friend is not pole-dancing in front of the Girls Gone Wild cameras, she's doing it for herself, but the lines are still fuzzy...

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