Monday, July 7, 2014

Feminist Perspective

I've read feminist books. And chose purposely not to expose my daughters to all that Disney princess some-guy-is-gonna-come-rescue-you-because-you're-so-beautiful-thus-way-too-stupid-to-rescue-yourself-crap.   So, my girls watched a lot of Mulan.  Even so, I never considered myself a feminist.  Feminists just always looked so pissed off and serious.  Gloria Steinam-Naomi Wolf serious.  And that just never engaged or appealed to me.

But, everywhere we've travelled, I've always noticed other women, the way they present themselves and social cues about the way women are treated.  The contradictions.  Like in Russia.  Which has the largest concentration of some of the most beautiful women I've ever seen.  Russian women dress like they're on a cover shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine.  Every day.  Russia must have a lot of podiatrists per capita for all the stilettos worn in country. And I'm sure you know Russian mail order brides is a thriving business for this (and many other) reasons. Sexist you say?

Did you know the Soviets put the first woman in space?  Not only that.  The year was 1963!
(America didn't put a woman into space for another 20 years.)

Meanwhile, in America in 1963, a notorious womanizer dismantled the "President's Commission on the Status of Women".  The womanizer?  President Kennedy.  But, only after its final report which later paved the way for maternity leave, equal opportunities for women and affordable childcare.  Another reason I never connected with feminism?  It's so confusing!

This past weekend, turned out to be that one day of the year I wear a cute strappy halter top that requires I not wear a bra.  Jade, my 13 year old daughter, was mortified and asked me to change.  I did not.  But, I did do what I always do.  I over thought the situation.

Can a feminist wear a halter top?  What about make-up?  And that push-up bra I own?  Oh here's the kicker.  Pole dance.  Surely, feminists don't pole dance.  Unless...unless this is completely stereotypical misogynist thinking.  Maybe I'm a post modern feminist.  Who believes strong, smart women can also  Not because anyone says we have to be, but because we want to be.  Because feeling feminine is a huge part of being a woman.  As is laughing your ass off at how absurd it is to be told what you can't be, usually by another woman.  We are the sex that keeps the entire human race in business after all.

And that's exactly what converted me to calling myself a feminist.  Humor.  Specifically, Caitlan Moran and her book How to be a Woman.  However, I'd also credit Sarah Silverman and all the other women who take me to the verge of pissing my pants with laughter while making me think at the same time.

So any day I damn well want, I will proudly wear a halter top braless in honor of all the women who paved the way for me to do so.  And for my daughters so they one day can wear a halter top or miniskirt or anything else they want only to be judged for being a slut because of it.


Mountaingmom said...

One of my young (2 1/2 years) wears a T-shirt that says "self rescuing princess." I think that is a great motto for a young girl.

Leah Griffith said...

Hey sistah! I enjoyed this post, partly because of the Mulan reference and partly because of your badass self wearing that halter top. You go girl!

The older I get, and more wrinkled, the less looks matter, thus the less pressure I feel to turn the world on. Everyone knows you're only visible to men if they want to bed you. So now that nobody cares about bedding me I can be me...just a human, with a brain, and opinions. Not a male accessory.

Boy, I just read what I wrote and I sound a little angry. LOL! The thing is I am a bit angry. I think most women are, because we are marginalized in so many ways, but I'm also grateful to be a woman, born in a country where our rights are acknowledged, and we have come a long way in many ways. Who knows, perhaps some day one of us will be president or Pope;)

I hope your summer is going well.

Joy Page Manuel said...

I agree that 'feminism' can be a bit confusing and intimidating. So I've decided that for me, being a feminist means believing that women are entitled, and are able to choose who they want to be. It can be a pole dancer, a teacher, an astronaut, a writer, or a stay at home mom. It's our choice. :-)

Blogger said...

I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the best virtual strippers on my desktop.


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