The “feminism Google Alert” blogaround!

To provide myself with ample blog fodder, I maintain a google alert for the word “feminism,” but I’ve been putting off, y’know, actually blogging any of it. So! I present to you: posts about feminism!

First, the angry-making category (also known as the Darth Vader NOOOOs):

Anyone for a pink fairy cake? Be a goddess but don’t quit your day job.

Then a couple of weeks ago The Courier-Mail declared the rise of the young domestic goddess. “Housewives are back and baking, reclaiming the kitchen and returning to the ways of their grandmothers before them,” the paper, unencumbered by statistics, reported.

Ha! This looks like a good start! (emphasis mine). One of the things that really stood out to be in Faludi’s Backlash was the prevalence of articles reporting on “trends” that were, in fact, not trends at all, but wishful thinking. No surprise that it’s happening again! But wait… what’s this? An endorsement of this “trend”?

…I am glad we are moving beyond the drudgery mantra, where you are letting the sisterhood down if you speak about housework without using the word mindless and moaning about wet towels left on the floor. Was there ever anything modern and revolutionary about women volunteering to be martyrs then complaining endlessly about it?

Geez, misrepresentation, much?

In an article provocatively entitled “Women’s Liberation Through Housework”, Rena Corey wrote about how, growing up in the 1970s, she learned to view women who cared about housework with condescension. “A lot of girls in my generation took to heart this message of liberation from the perceived drudgery of housework and grew up to have careers that our mothers never even dreamed of. But apparently, even with the monetary and psychic rewards of paying jobs, we still yearn for that cozy, clean nest,” she wrote.

NOOOO! (Emphasis mine, again.) I promise you guys, I have absolutely no yearning to clean my kitchen.

Rethinking Feminism.

Rarely a good thing in a mainstream newspaper, but let’s see how it goes.

Media assault on feminism has now a reached a record “high”…

Yes…

…sadly those who support the movement have been caught up in their own web to take notice.

…NO!

Feminists chose their battle with haste. They jumped into the abortion debate with so much passion that other important issues were completely neglected. Work-life balance, affordable childcare, health, education, employment, violence against women-issues of importance to today’s women do not seem to be a priority. As a result, young women do not see the feminist movement as something for them to be part of. They see it as a fistfight between the pro-choice and pro-life groups. In short, religious right has a serious advantage.

NOOOOO! Seriously, what the hell? Feminists don’t blog about work-life balance, affordable childcare, health, education, employment, or violence against women? Who the hell has this reporter been talking to?

The no-casual-sex challenge: would you do it?

Yet despite how much feminism hoopla exists around the subject, and no matter how many times we are told that women needn’t be afraid of putting themselves out there if the chemistry is right, the lighting is good and he paid for her dinner (even if it is the first date, the first encounter or with a complete stranger), there are unfortunately some grave emotional consequences …

This is all thanks to a magical (yet detrimental) little hormone that gets released into our bodies when women do indeed do the dirty with a bloke that she mightn’t even have feelings for until the fateful night. It’s called oxytocin – otherwise known as “the cuddle hormone”. The way it works is this: even if she’s not that into him to begin with, she’ll inevitably start to have strong sentimental feelings towards the bloke she’s just bonked thanks to the surge of hormones racing in her blood and affecting her brain.

As former groupie Dawn Eden wrote in the Times Online while expounding on the subject: “Women are built for bonding. We are vessels and we seek to be filled. For that reason, however much we try and convince ourselves that it isn’t so, sex will always leave us feeling empty unless we are certain that we are loved, that the act is part of a bigger picture that we are loved for our whole selves not just our bodies.”

I would rant about this, if only I could stop projectile-vomiting. At least it’s horrific from start to finish– no awkward questions about how to categorize it! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been overwhelmed by the oxytocin released when I was messing around with Mr. Experiment With Bisexuality and I guess I have to go ask him to marry me now, or something. My “cuddle hormones” demand it.

——

Some in-between articles:

1960s pioneer Steinem: Every woman stands for feminist movement.

Don’t call her an icon of feminism or the instantly recognizable face of women’s liberation. Don’t even call her Ms. Steinem. Just call her Gloria.

Can you think of anything less feminist than insisting that Gloria Steinem be referred to be first name only, rather than by Ms. Steinem, the title she specifically invented so that women could be addressed respectfully? Augh! The article isn’t the worst of the lot, at least, since much of it is simply quotes from Ms. Steinem; those are good. Everything else, not so much.

Common Cents: Chivalry? A sandwich isn’t going to make itself.

Whenever the demon of nostalgia rears its nauseating head, it’s only a matter of time before someone points out “chivalry is dead.”

The next time this happens, stop whatever you’re doing, look them in the eye and say “good riddance.”

Traditional wisdom tells us to not speak ill of the deceased, but traditional wisdom is exactly what I’m speaking ill of.

Yeah! I like this guy! He’s a good ally!

Now don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I’ll play the doorstop.

If anyone — regardless of sex — carries something heavy, I might take a second out of my day to help.

Some doors are more easily opened from one direction or another, and I might give a well-timed nudge when a stranger is on the wrong end of hydraulics.

To be clear, I do these things, not because I have to, but because I want to.

Yeah! Chivalry sucks, but basic politeness is fine.

And occasionally if I’m on my way to class — and an especially good-looking female follows — I’ll snap the door shut behind me and sing, “fatty, fatty, two by four, can’t get through the schoolhouse door.”

Not because I have to, but because I want to.

Huh? What? I’m actually sincerely baffled here. How does that make any sense?

Gentlemen, the next time you sense a girl wants you to take the check, lean back in your seat and pre-emptively thank her for treating you.

Have fun with it.

Wait a second… are you a jerk after all?

I don’t have time to split ponytails over which side of the sidewalk to walk on. If we go out to dinner, we’re splitting the bill.

If that makes me less attractive, then those unique, entitled snowflakes can all run back to their fathers.

The world has changed.

Adapt, or worthy males will select someone else.

It’s only natural.

Oh. Huh. You are a jerk after all. How disappointing.

Is Rihanna a product of feminism, or a victim of it?

This is a bad question to be asking. I am not sanguine.

Some critics don’t blame Brown, or Rihanna, but the culture of feminism. “We’ve so confused ourselves that now many teenagers in Boston are excusing Chris Brown. Why wouldn’t they?” writes National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez. “He and Rihanna are equal, and we expect no more from men — in fact, we’ve conditioned a generation or two now to expect less.”

Is Rihanna the product of feminism, or a victim of it? RedBlueAmerica columnists Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk weigh in.

Bluuurgh. How is it possible that “men and women are equal” but “we expect less from men”?! Doublethink FTW! But let’s check out those two columnists:

Clearly, something is wrong with the culture when young people say that the young woman had it coming. There can be no doubt, however, that feminism’s futile effort to deny the differences between the sexes has had consequences.

Among those consequences is the widely accepted belief that girls can and should be a sexually aggressive (i.e. promiscuous) as boys. Another is the popular idea, born out by a national illegitimacy rate approaching 40 percent, that fathers aren’t necessary. Yet another is the trend among a subset of women to leave their husbands for other women.

I AM THROWING UP IN MY MOUTH RIGHT NOW, OH MY GOD.

Why is this article in the “in-between” section rather than the “angry-making” section? Well, it’s because our second columnist is a lot less of a raging douchebag than the first:

I don’t know why those Boston teens blame Rihanna for her beating. I know they’re wrong. And I know that feminists — informed by feminism — are the first to say so.

…Feminism showed us the beginning of a way out. It insisted that abuse victims not be blamed for violence done to them. It insisted that “no means no.” It insisted that a woman doesn’t give up her rights to safety and dignity once she signs a marriage license. And it insisted, most importantly, that women are not secondary, inferior beings. That last assertion, in particular, seems an obvious truth — and yet it has set off two generations of howling outrage from those who see the empowerment of women as the neutering of men. That anger, in turn, has been channeled into a bizarre effort to blame all of society’s ills on feminism.

I’m glad they included this dissenting view in the post itself, because otherwise I’m not sure I could have survived all the concentrated assholamine. (Check that link out too, by the way; it goes to I Blame the Patriarchy, an excellent antidote to antifeminism.)

——

Then, some stuff by actual feminists! So we can end on a positive note. 🙂

Forget feminism, films are still a male domain.

It has always been an unwritten rule in the film industry, both in Mumbai and the South, that when it came to the box office it was only the hero who mattered. If the film was a hit, none of the credit went to the heroine. While the actor dominated the film, actresses were expected to be content with a role that comprised of six to seven scenes with a few songs thrown in. To add insult to misery, heroines were also handicapped with a short career, — they had a career span of five to eight years when they could enjoy being at the top of their game — after which it was presumed they were over the hill, or were married with children. Of course, none of this applied to our heroes who, despite being married and having children —or for that matter — being on the wrong side of 40, continued to enjoy a career which spanned 20 to 30 years.

It’s fascinating (if sad) to get a take on the Indian film industry, and to see that Hollywood actually compares favorably some places. Feminism! We need you!

Islamic feminists distinguish Islam from Muslims.

Anyone attempting to take stock of the position of women in the Muslim world cannot help but be confused. One finds stories in the media all the time about injustices committed against Muslim women, such as “honour” killings, child marriages and discriminatory legal judgments in matters of divorce, custody and inheritance.

On the other hand, one also comes across stories about the remarkable strides made by Muslim women in education, career development and political activism in countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Morocco and Turkey.

How can we make sense of such a dichotomous picture?

The answer is simple: by distinguishing the religion of Islam from the Muslims who practice it.

Those who study the Qur’an know that Islam elevated the rights of women beyond anything known in the pre-Islamic world. In fact, in the seventh century Muslim women were granted rights not granted to European women until the 19th century, such as property ownership, inheritance and divorce.

That said, Muslims who codified the Qur’an and Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) into Islamic law did not succeed in expunging the patriarchy of the pre-Islamic world from their practices.

This distinction between the faith and the various manifestations of its practice is a subtle but extremely important one.

This is one of the more serious posts I’m linking to today. Read it. It’s good.

Grrl Style: Feminism — JK!

I have to confess, when I saw only the first line of this in my RSS reader, I was sure it would enrage me. Rarely am I so happy to be wrong.

I am so over feminism. I mean, honestly, who was I kidding with all that “women and men are equals” bullshit?

Thankfully, I’ve finally come out of my bra-burnin’ college phase and into a new realization: that women are, in fact, the weaker sex.

I have no idea who this gal is, but I love her.

History is the proof: Out of all of the United States presidents, how many have been women? None. Coincidence? I think not.

Girls are simply too fucking crazy and hormonal even to vote, let alone govern. To quote the great Brooke Hogan ruminating on Hillary Clinton’s ludicrous presidential campaign, “I think it’s kinda crazy that a woman is running, because I think that women deal with a lot of emotions and menopause and PMS and stuff.

“Like, I’m so moody all the time, I know I couldn’t be able to run a country, ’cause I’d be crying one day and yelling at people the next day, ya know?”

Hey! Whiny privileged college dudes! This is what satire looks like!

——

So there we have it! Two thousand, three hundred and eighty-three words on THE STATE OF FEMINISM TODAY. Wasn’t it a fun ride?

I only made it through, like, a third of the posts I planned to look at it, but whatever! Plenty of time to come back for seconds tomorrow!

If you’ve got any more links, leave ’em in the comments!

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9 Responses to The “feminism Google Alert” blogaround!

  1. Jo says:

    But apparently, even with the monetary and psychic rewards of paying jobs, we still yearn for that cozy, clean nest,” she wrote.

    Because, clearly, only women can do housework. If a woman might so happen to live with a man, this is Never Mentioned, as men are Never Mentioned in conjunction with housework, EVAR.

    There will be more, but I really could only get through the first bit. A piece at a time.

  2. eloriane says:

    Haha, yes! I am throwing kind of a lot at everyone. But there were 178 articles unread! I had to get through them! I only showed you the highlights!

  3. Joel says:

    I am proud to be much less of a raging douchebag than, um, certain collaborators of mine. If I ever write a book, I hope you’ll allow me to use that as a blurb!

  4. eloriane says:

    Oh man! Uh, welcome to the blog!

    You’re certainly welcome to use my assessment as you wish, but, er, let your colleague know that he’s only a raging douchebag on my feminism-o-meter? (As opposed to on my being-a-decent-human-o-meter.) I meant it as an expression of the hilarious extent to which he has misunderstood feminism (just, you know, I did so in the way us crazy man-haters do when talking amongst ourselves… I tend not to be polite to people who think that my woman-lovin’ ways are a tragedy.) Hopefully he doesn’t mind that I don’t think he’s a very good feminist ally. Anyway, it wasn’t personal. Some of my best friends are raging douchebags. (Bizarrely, that’s completely true.)

    But I like you! Haha. You appear to have a basic idea of what the heck feminists are fighting for! Here’s a hint for those playing along: it’s NOT increased violence against women! So, you know, thanks for explaining things.

  5. Joel says:

    eloriane: I’m pretty sure he knows he’s not a feminist ally. Just one of many issues about which we *strenuously* disagree.

    And thanks. I claim no credit: My radical feminist wife has A) educated me and B) constantly challenged me to think about stuff like this.

  6. eloriane says:

    Yeah, I didn’t think he’d mind failing to make my cut. 🙂 Which is honestly why I wanted to point out that that’s what I meant– this was a pretty feminist-insider-y post, and I didn’t want to offend when all I meant was “this dude’s no feminist!” rather than, I don’t know, “this dude is evil and should be hunted down and killed!” I didn’t realize there was a chance he might read it; alerted to that possibility, I wanted to make it totally clear what I was saying and what I wasn’t.

    And I have to say, I appreciated your fine defense of feminism, but I appreciate even more the fact that, unlike many feminist “allies”, you’re not demanding cookies as a reward for good behaviour! …Which only makes me more inclined to give you a cookie! Was this your devious plan all along?!

    Is there any way to congratulate you on your radical feminist wife without the horrible patriarchal implications? I think not; alas. Regardless, the whole marriage thing is a bit awkward over here in lesbo-land (although we have a straight, married co-blogger now), but if you’re going to do it, radical feminism is the way to go. So, congrats on that, at least. 🙂

  7. Pandora says:

    Women are built for bonding. We are vessels and we seek to be filled.

    UM, WAT. Also, hello there awkward double entendre.

  8. eloriane says:

    I know, right? It’s almost too hilarious for me to be angry! I mean, really? Our empty vaginas just need to be filled with penises in order for our poor lady-brains to be happy!

    Plus, the “cuddle hormone”? Someone is saying with a straight face that all women have a biological imperative to cuddle??

  9. […] I’ve been dwelling on this post about chivalry, which I mocked briefly in my epic “feminism Google Alert” blogaround earlier. The dude in question is anti-chivalry, a stance which I applaud, but seems to have a very […]

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