Monday, February 18, 2008

i hate (radical) feminism.

I don't hate many things. I don't think I hate anything, really. I'm really a very loving person. But there's one thing that really pushes my buttons, and that is the idea that women can just do whatever they want in society with no objections from society.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for women's rights and women's equality and all that good stuff. I do believe that women were created to complement men. To help them. To assist them. To be their equal and their companion. Women have the right to make their own decisions and do what they want. But when women begin to want more power than men, and when women want to throw away their femininity because they think that it's somehow "offensive", then I think we really have a problem.

We had a discussion in my Media & Society class today about the objectivity of women in media. There were two videos, one of which discussed how Disney affects young girls' ideas of femininity by portraying all their female protagonists as curvy, eyelash-batting seductresses at one point or another in their movies. This one psychologist (who, I think, needs a psychologist herself) was saying how "Beauty & The Beast" in particular promotes the idea of a strong woman being verbally and physically abused, and how it's portrayed as 'acceptable' for her to go back to someone like this. She also cited the scene in which Lumiere (the candlestick) is getting frisky with the maid (the feather duster chick) behind the curtains, saying that it showed that men could have their way with you even if you say no. She also mentioned how, even though some heroines seemed really strong, they were never really able to save themselves. They always had to have a man save them. Call me crazy, but I must have watched "Beauty & the Beast" about a million and one times when I was a kid. And never once did I ever think that this was the subliminal message. I'm 20, and I turned out just fine, thank you very much.

So anyway, crazy shrinks aside, there was a soccer mom that they interviewed for the video. And she mentioned how she thinks that that kind of portrayal by women was unfair... So this chick in the back of class goes, "Well I think that's kind of hypocritical. I mean, She's saying how she doesn't want her kids exposed to that negative portrayal of women, but she chooses to stay home and leave her career to stay at home. What kind of example is she setting for her children?"

I almost had a heart attack. Thankfully, class ended. But I thought about it.. What makes you think that staying at home to raise your children is a negative thing??? How is it possible that a corporate businesswoman is stronger than a stay-at-home mom? I don't know about you, but personally, mothers are the strongest people on the planet. To be able to create life, give birth to it, and raise it is not for the weak of heart. It takes a certain kind of woman to be a mother. And if you choose to place your career goals over the lives of your children and your overall family, well I think that speaks volumes about you as a person. Not that I'm judging. If that's your choice, then hey, go for it. But for her to imply that mothers are 'weak' women really struck a nerve with me. This is the feminism I'm talking about. The feminism that places everything else above your family. The feminism that demeans men and sees them as lower life forms. The feminism that completely eradicates femininity from their idea of a woman.

A woman should be celebrated, no doubt. If she wants to wear makeup, she shouldnt be ridiculed for it. If she wants to flaunt herself, hey that's her choice. But I refuse to accept the notion that little girls can't watch a Disney movie without thinking that Belle should save herself. That completely ruins the idea of chivalry, of romance and of fairy tales. If people took this element out of Disney movies, what will a little girl have to look forward to? A crappy excuse for a love life? I mean, this is all just ridiculous!

What do you think?


Paula said...

lol i love how slowly, my anti feminist ways seem to be transferring over to you my friend. i completely agree with you. its like what we were talking about with yannick at cheeseburger in paradise, its when people take feminism, or for that matter, anti feminism, to an extreme that it creates chaos.

on another note. my sociology teacher told me i should go see a shrink about my problems with feet. funny, huh? lol

Merari said...

Well, I agree with you to a certain extent.

I think the feminism you're talking about is from the extremist side. Just like anything in life, the extreme is never good or healthy.

To me, real feminism is not about women ruling the world, and man-hating (though I will admit I've done plenty of that). Feminism is more about options. Giving women the options to choose to be what they want. Whether that be a lawyer, teacher, president or housewife, the important thing is being able to decide for yourself what you want to do.

Thanks to feminism, women have a say in the government(right to vote), able to help provide for their families(in the workforce) and have so many more opportunities in life than they did 100 years ago.

As far as the whole media thing, well, I have a whole theory on it, and really, I'm too lazy to type it all, lol.

But yeah. Go feminism! I will be a housewife, but I will choose to be one, not forced to stay at home because it is the only option I have.

I like options. ;0)

alexita said...

paula, all i have to say is, your sociology teacher is right!!!!! lmaooo

merari, i agree with you. i dont think that women should be shut out from society or not have a voice, thats not what im trying to say :/ I just think that its ridiculous how women now are trying to de-feminize everything so as to... i guess, in a way, try to assimilate themselves like men. i think thats wrong.

But i love having options too :)

Anonymous said...

Hmm...touchy subject. lol.

I've always been a bit on the feminist side. My family is full of strong, intelligent, stubborn women...who do it all! And so I've grown up in an environment where women are just as capable as men at providing for their family, etc... And on the same token, men are just as capable of cooking dinner as women are.

I have to say that I'm a strong believer in egalitarianism. Yes, I do believe that there are certain roles that are meant for men and certain roles that are meant for women...but we are both equal and important and valuable. And you're right, being a housewife is a noble calling...I know I wouldn't be able to do it! But don't hate on feminism. There are two types of feminism, liberal and radical. Liberal feminism is all about equality between the sexes...and equality through our differences. Radical feminism is the one that I find a bit wacky, lol. Read up on it in's the best source for information. ;-)

Anyway, I wrote a blog somewhat about this subject. You can read about it here:


Lauren said...

I believe the problem to be people have their priorities wrong in life. First should always be the Lord, then Family and Lastly work. Radicalist are just that extreme.

Anonymous said...

You know,I have to admit, i hate feminism tooAnd it has taken me a long time and much thought to come out and say it!I agree completely with your post.And you know gals, the 'freedom' to work and have a fulfilling professional life AND kids does in reality come courtesy of the WOMAN who looks after your kids(at minimum wage or less...) for you whilst you are liberating yourself, o emancipated womanI feel that feminism dictates to me, an independant woman,and trys to gender what i should value,fight for and represent in the world.NO!!!!I am my own person!As is every person!I dont want men to tell me what to do,what to be,why should I want women to???!!!!

Mejia said...

I love our class. XD

Anonymous said...

Alexita you are right on cue radical feminism is crippling American society...and making things worse for women world wide.

Kate O'beirne and Christina Sommers made the case. Keep it going!

Islander said...

Wow! I truly find it baffling that any women with the priviledge to speak up about what they want or don't want (and expect to get it), could actually say they 'hate' feminism! The very fact that so many women today have the choices we stay home with our children, or marry or not...etc, love whome we wish, to bear children or not...IS what feminism is all about! There are of course, many strands of feminism...including many definitions of 'radical' feminism, and not all women are going to agree on how far the critique of power and priviledge the feminist lens provides should go...but how fortunate that we have the opportunity to even consider different perspectives when so many women around the world continue to be denied even the most basic human dignities! THanks to the efforts of our feminist foremothers!

I guess it 'smarts' to read about disdain for 'radical' feminism, since I identify as one, and consider myself loving, compassionate, devoted to children and family, my male partner, etc! Then again, I have ZERO interest in equality on patriarchal terms. I identify as a radical ECOfeminist, and as Ynestra King has succintly put it, "We don't want a piece of 'their' rotten, carcinogenic fact, we want a whole new recipe!" So please consider...radical feminism for some is a complete rejection of the status quo measure of 'success' is an embrace of a more egalitarian, communal, compassionate, and empowered way of being in relationship to other women, men, and our environment...including other animals, incidentally, since like women they continue to be rendered 'worth-less' within patriarchal societies around the world...and hierarchical models continue to be what some 'feminists' are simply duplicating in their quest for 'equality'...maybe that's more the kind of radical feminism you dislike?!

On a related note, I do understand that it may seem silly to critique everything that has to do with stereotypical ideas of 'femininity',
but maybe that's only because notions of what it means to be a women are so deeply ingrained in our consciousness. I for one, certainly DID grow up feeling like I would never measure up...would never be 'pretty', slim enough, smart enough, or even trusting enough, in part, I believe, do to the constant bombardment of images just like Disney still emualates today!

But not all ecofeminists see eye to eye, and why should they? We all come from different life experiences...Many ecofeminists, for example, are critical of equating women with 'the earth', because they think it reinforces patriarchal notions of women being 'closer' to nature, and by association, more 'capable' of taking better care of 'Her'. However, others believe, as do I, that there is a balance that can be struck...that includes embracing and celebrating our connection with all of life, rather than distancing ourselves, at the same time as holding men responsible for their gargantun share of cleaning up the mess humans have made of this planet, our mutual home. Ahh...but I'm on a ramble...thanks for prompting my response, however incomplete!!

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Jamie said...

I'm glad to see there are others out there who share similar viewpoints on feminism as I do. Going to college for the past few years has started to scare me, haha.
But seriously, this constant ragging on other women for "traditional" lifestyles (staying at home, liking princesses) needs to stop. Live and let live.