I'm so steamed right now! In fact, I tried to calm down as I got cleaned up after being at the beach, but all I could do was have a conversation with myself about what made me so angry. Take a look at the following shirt I ran into on the web:
GGGGgggggRRRRrrrrr!!!! Now I realize that "Feminism," with the capital F seems to scare the crap out of people, and it has been demonized into this thing that can be equated with abortion rights, bra burning, and man hating, but P-A-LEASE! Now, while I can only really agree with one (sometimes two--yes, the bra and sometimes the man thing) of those things, it's honestly not what feminism means today! In fact, when I started at K-State, I worried a little about what I would be getting myself into with Cultural Studies. Feminism, which is more often called Gender Studies, was one of the very first things we touched on. At times I was pretty uncomfortable, because it challenged my belief systems--not my RELIGIOUS belief systems, but my cultural ones. For instance, it challenged me to consider why it's all right for women to wear men's clothing, but not the opposite. I often ask my own students to consider this question, and to really ask themselves why? I'm not saying it's right or wrong, or even such a big deal, but an interesting question. If you look at some cultures such as here in Hawaii, men often wear a lavalava to church. The Scottish wear kilts. Why is that okay? It's on an EXAMPLE of the power of culture on our identities.
In the end, there is an entire range of feminists, and one of them that surprised me was a when we read a set of articles that discussed how feminists have been fighting for the validation of stay at home moms, and how they have been belittled and made to feel less significant by other women with careers. In the end, they support a range of issues pertaining to men and women, to acknowledge what makes us unique and valuable, in whatever sphere that might be. It ALSO asks us to look at the stupid things we do to belittle one another based on gender, such as saying something as horrid as my own grandmother did when she said that Hillary Clinton shouldn't run for president because she was a stupid ______, and that women weren't capable of being president because they're not as smart as men. Yes, I had to start chanting to myself things like, "She's my grandma...she's old...she's in a nursing home...she comes for another generation...," but not before I said, "Thanks grandma! Does that mean the men I work with are automatically more talented and intelligent because they're men?!? Even you know that's not true!" I think I shocked her for a second because she must have assumed I'd agree with her. She quickly smiled though, patted my knee, and told me what a smart girl I was and that she was very proud of me. I get it, that she was only spouting what she'd been TAUGHT to think. In the end, modern feminism is about valuing ALL VOICES, regardless of gender and stereotypes based on them. Is there anything inherently evil about that???
Sigh...so there's my rant. No one will probably even take a second to read this. Either that, or the few of you that do look at my blog will chuckle at my Femi-Nazi side (as my dad used to call me). It used to make me really angry when dad would call me that, because it implied that I didn't want to be a woman. Today, I've come a long way and feel MORE like a woman, and one that values all the sacred and beautiful potentials that we have BECAUSE I claim to be a feminist!!! So if you're ever worried about that t-shirt holding even a modicum of intelligent truth (BIG NOT), then my blathering posts below about Richard Armitage and tore up psyche over breaking things off with the love of my life will surely put an end to any credence that shirt is trying to gain! As my final send off to that stupid shirt...this feminist sends Rosie the Riveter your way!