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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Feminists: Why We're Better Than You

Here's a little-known fact about feminists: we can be women, men, young, old, single, married, career gals, students, stay-at-home-moms, stay-at-home-dads, whatever.

Here's a little-known fact about non-feminists: they generally fall into one of two groups.  Pseudo-feminists and stay-at-home-fascists.  Pseudo-feminists believe they're the true feminists, and that anyone who doesn't agree with them is secretly repressed.  Stay-at-home-fascists believe feminism is evil, and anyone who doesn't agree with them is selfish or bad.

In case it isn't abundantly clear, the distinguishing feature is that feminists want people to be equal and do what they want with their lives, and non-feminists want everyone to be the same depending on their personal world view.

When men are misogynists, it usually doesn't bother me.  Sure, it's annoying, but they're on the wrong side of history, so whatever.  What is truly bothersome are women who are non-feminists.  I'm not talking about the pseudo-feminists, because everyone already finds them irritating.  I'm talking about the other kind.

You know who you are, 70% of female commenters over on the Blog-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named-At-The-Moment-Because-I'm-Still-Moderately-Irritated who took umbrage over a man criticizing acrylic nails rather than a man criticizing women who want careers.  (Seriously ladies, it would have been better to say nothing at all.)  All you little Mollies, so eager to get an anonymous blogger (who may or may not be real) to fall in internet love with you that you sold out your self-respect.  (And, no, I don't think that's being melodramatic.)

Sure, it's great that you're a stay-at-home-mother.  (Or, much like the nineteen-year-old Mormon walking stereotype to which I am referring, an aspiring stay-at-home-mother.)  If you would allow others the right to choose to be stay-at-home-mothers, or career mothers, or some combination of the two, then you would be happily in the feminist camp with the rest of us.  WE LOVE EVERYONE.

But nope.  You find people who don't agree with you "soooo annoying" or "selfish" or (best of all, considering there are just as many stay-in-bed-moms as there are stay-at-home-moms, and some of your kids WOULD be better off in the custody of a daycare) "bad parents."

True feminists will take your side when you exercise your right to choose to be a stay-at-home-mother, but when it comes time for you to return the favor, you non-feminists stab us in the back.  I'm sure you're glad that our feminist forebears won you political, legal and economic rights -- so if your plan doesn't work out, you will have some recourse regarding child custody, support and alimony, unlike them -- but you sure are quick to throw mud all over the feminist title.  But when you've got rock-solid logic like, "What else are these birthing hips for?" on your side, I guess it's hard to make that choice.  Never mind that we also got brains along with these birthing hips.

At the end of the day, you're more dangerous to women than any sexist man could ever be.  But that's okay, because when you're ready to admit the error of your ways, we'll be happy to welcome you over to our side.

Sincerely,

An unapologetic feminist Mormon, who (usually) likes her career, who is quite happy with her life, who will not quit her job if she happens to get married, and who may or may not stay at home with her kids, but considers that decision nobody's business but her own family's.

42 comments:

  1. Yeah. I stopped reading it. I would suggest you do the same before you kill anonymous bloggers over the internet.

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  2. Yeah, I've been iffy on that blog for awhile now, but they officially lost me somewhere around "lesbian selfish bitch," haha. Oh well, gives me a reason to find a new fun blog to stalk.

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  3. I'm more sad about the comments, like you seem to be. Seriously, women?!?!?

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  4. ditto and amen. amen amen amen. this is awesome.


    i can't give them my page views anymore. i really can't. i also can't read the comments, which as you mentioned, are often worse.

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  5. dang - I am late to the party [as usual] I have no idea which blog you mean.

    Can I have a hint? Sounds like some hysterical reading. Then again I shouldn't give them page hits.

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  6. Oh, what a fantastic post. My recent life choices as a new lawyer and SAHM seem to infuriate/baffle a number of pseudo-feminists and stay-at-home fascists in my life and the whole thing confuses me. We all have different experiences and can do what we want. I don't know why that idea is such a threat.

    And I also think it's funny when people act like they are taking the higher moral ground in their choice to either work or stay at home when for most people, it's really not much of a choice. Many moms who are employed have to work for financial reasons and couldn't stay home if they wanted to, and many moms who stay at home don't have marketable skills so couldn't work for pay (at a real or rewarding out-of-the-house job) if they wanted to. So they dramatically defend their "choice," which is often just their default position.

    PLUS of course the 19-year-old stay-at-home-wife has zero personal experience with actually HAVING kids or HAVING marketable skills or facing any sort of decision that would require much critical thinking which for some reason makes her shout even louder about the birthing hips or what have you.

    Anyway, sorry for the tangent. I obviously have strong feelings about this. ((begin deep relaxation breathing))

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  7. As an unapologetic Mormon feminist male, just let me say "Bravo!" Let everybody do what they want--stay at home, work, combo meal the two.

    As gurrbonzo brought up, these two camps often just feel like people very loudly declaring that what they do/did in regards to this situation was the best way and how could anyone else possibly choose a different scenario?!

    Hate to break it to you kids, but to each individual there is an individual "Best way." My Mom worked until her third kid, then spent about 15 years as a SAHM, then went back to work. She enjoys her job a lot, just as she enjoyed her time at home with the kids.

    The more I reflect on this, this is an eery movement stalking feminism. Women who outright reject feminism and, instead of merely embracing SAHMness as their own preference, force it on others as the only possible choice. This is a paper just waiting to be written.

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  8. I've never understood the phrase "the wrong side of history." I mean... I thought history was kind of one-dimensional, thus lacking any sides. It exists. No one ever says ancient Rome was on the wrong side of history, or Genghis Khan was on the wrong side of history, they just existed had their time in the sun, then the world went on. Thus I've ever been confused by the saying. I propose we replace it with "clinging to a culturally outdated stereotype." :)

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  10. This was very well written and thought out (stopping by from boob nazi's link). I always find this to be a touchy subject. I, personally, am a SAHM. I draw no income, but I am extremely convicted to be where I am. (I also homeschool, light the fires and grab your pitchforks now, liberals.)

    I agree with the commenter above that said that for each individual person there is an individual way. We each have a right to find that way. Great post.

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  11. I've been wanting to write about this since I saw it, but so far I've mostly just struck up lively conversations with friends.
    I'm really, reallly glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

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  12. stopped by because of BN's link.

    I don't think I need to read that entry or the comments. In fact, I quit reading that blog after about the 2nd or 3rd time. Argh.

    I see the self-righteous unfeminists a lot and they make me crazy. Especially when they defend their position and then talk about how much WIC or other aid they get ... rawr.

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  13. Thank you for this response. I'll never understand why so many women feel the need to tear other women down for not doing the exact same thing as them. I swear, my life choices were not done as a condemnation of yours. Cross my heart.

    Really, I think that's one of the coolest things about feminism - its ok to do whatever works best for you, because women are individual people not some weird archetype of woman who must live the essential female life.

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  14. I have to admit I read that terrible blog. Mostly for the comments. I am amazed at the ability to get riled up about an anonomyous writer who may or may not be who he says he is -

    Anywho - I loved this post. I thought it was very well written and relevant despite the motivation. I wish ALL women would just accept each other and support each other. Each person pretty much lives their lives the best they can with the time and talents they are given.

    Shouldn't we celebrate each others achievements and accomplishments whether it is getting a degree, a job promotion or sucessful potty training? And comfort each other in our disappointments?

    IF only everyone would listen to me! JK!

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  15. Feminists take themselves way too seriously.

    -c

    ps I'll give Boob Nazi a million dollars if she never reads our blog again. She's promised it enough times that it shouldn't be too hard.

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  16. Well Cal, we're in good company then. :)

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  17. LOVE this! We take ourselves seriously b/c it's a serious issue. Men, particularly White men, have never had to fight to be allowed to work outside the home or be paid a fair wage.

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  18. Wow. This restores my shattered faith in humanity just a little. My faith in my gender has been constantly worn down by reading MBP, but my faith in your gender has been eroding faster by reading their comments...

    Thanks for restoring it a bit.

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  19. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVE this post.

    Stopped by thanks to Boob Nazi, and I'm so glad that I did! I've been trying to think of a way to express these feelings through words, and you've done a much better job than I ever could.

    The example of this that I hate the most is when Mormon girls run off to a BYU school simply to get their "Mrs." I can't stand it. It undermines the value of education and gives Mormon girls an unrealistic stereotype.
    I fully intend on attending Medical School after graduating from BYUH. A lot of girls think that's crazy.
    I also want to be a SAHM, because I love kids/families just as much as I love biology/medicine, but we'll see how things work out :]
    Like ebv said, everyone's situation is different! It's so important to remember that and to not be judgmental.

    THANK YOU for this lovely post!!

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  20. Came here from BN's post, so glad I did!

    This raises all sorts of interesting questions that I wish people would talk about more. I never know if I should classify myself as a 'feminist' because I'm not on a career path, and I choose to be a housewife. But if that's an honest choice made by myself and my husband as to what's best for our family, then I guess I shouldn't feel like I have to apologize for it - even though I do feel like I should apologize. And I've been hesitant to call myself a 'feminist' because I thought they were the hard-core, in-your-face-fish-don't-need-bicycles type, know what I mean? But after reading your post, I guess I can call myself a feminist. I just don't care what other people do with their lives, and I don't feel the need to lecture or dictate policy to anyone.

    BTW, I tried to read the Unnamed Blog, and ohmyword, I just can't handle it. I don't think it's more than 1 person, I don't think they're currently Mormon, and I'm not even sure if it/they're guys. But whatever they are, I really wish they'd stop! I'm Mormon, and I hate it that people can find that blog and think that's how everyone in my faith really is! They're worse than TAMN, at least she's clearly a satire! Grrr...

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  21. I also got here from BN's post. I've read MBP once and I will NOT go back, mostly because I think its little 22 year old boys who are trying to be cool and all these STUPID STUPID girls feed into it, and/or its some Jack Mormon who has been grossly misled. I too am Mormon and HATE that MBP gets SO much attention and that other people out there think this is how ALL Mormons feel. I am also a mother of 2 and have one on the way. I was a full-time working mom and now work from home part-time. Some mothers have no choice, they have to work to keep their family going.

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  22. Amen to what you said. My sister is a feminist who has chosen to stay at home. I love that she did. But she thinks it's equally admirable that I am making the choice NOT to stay at home. I couldn't do it. I'd probably lay in bed all day and never do anything. So I will choose to be a full-time mom and career woman. Thankfully, my job rocks and is really family-oriented. It'll make things easier in the end. :)

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  23. P.S. I think we can be friends.

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  24. I LOVED this post!! Yeah after Boob Nazi mentioned THAT website I went over and read a bunch of it and was so disgusted, I was like shaking in anger. It seriously pissed me off and I was shocked at all the women going, you are so funny Calvin, which made me want to spit! I left a LONG nasty comment, apparently TOO long to go on their insult wall. Too bad as it was all true.

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  25. I'm so glad we're getting so many hits from MBP linking to us. You know I'm dependent on validation from people from my blog. :)

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  26. I'm kinda blown away by it - I'm used to having three of my friends read this thing, hahaha. Honestly, I don't think the MBP boys even would have noticed me if not for you linking to my post. Gracias, Boob Nazi. :)

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  27. Seriously, will you email me? theboobnazi@gmail.com
    You don't have email enabled in your profile, so I can't email you!!!!

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  28. Oh my gosh, I thought I did email you! I'll try again

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  29. Feminism is and never was about a woman constantly being offended by a man attempting to define them. It is very immature to assume a man who wants a feminine female is a chauvinist. This just is not the case. Feminism has always been about defining women as equal under the law and equality is not comparative under the law it is subjective. Feminism in the sense that you are defining it, is a disservice to women. We are not men, we are women. Women need not be masculine to be a powerful female. Leveling the playing field and demanding feministic reproach is such a turn-off to a male, good luck with that. Feminism the way you define it is the biggest threat to masculinity in men, not to mention the femininity of women. Your demands of respect are not feminine nor are they helping the equality cause for women. Equality must be accompanied by respect, you use fear and intimidation by demanding it through disgust. Respect out of fear of being called a nasty name such as a chauvinist pig is not respect, it's called fear-mongering. Such a victimization philosophy does not render power to us women. Why should you stomp like little girls when a man suggests what they want. It degrades the male and it masculitizes the female. You will be seen in the future leading your man by the nose and men will run from you as well they should like scared little bitches.
    Feminism has confused the modern woman, especially the Mormon modern woman. Your righteous indignation while noble is over the top ridiculous and I am a self proclaimed semipro-choice feminist. Give to the male what is his and keep your feminine attributes. A man who wants a woman who will let him be a man as defined by him, is not a chauvinist. And you are not a feminist activist just because you shiver in the face of the male psyche. You just don't understand that most feminists want there to be no differing definition between the male and the female.

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  30. Thanks for sharing, Nikki. Since you took the time to post, I figure I ought to respond.

    1. I don't believe anything I said affects the masculinity of men and the femininity of women. Wanting women to have the same range of choices as men, and being supportive of whatever they choose, is not in my opinion degrading to either gender. Pointing out that both women and men are guilty of wanting to put women in the "only choose this" box does not, by itself, damage inherent gender qualities.

    If a man would prefer a woman who wants to be a stay-at-home-mother, that is fine. But claiming there is something wrong with other women is not.

    Furthermore, I don't believe that the stay-at-home, career, some combination debate has anything to do with femininity or masculinity. Women who work to support their families are not less feminine than women who do not. If a working woman effects a man's masculinity, he's got bigger problems than that working woman.

    2. I don't believe that calling a chauvinist a chauvinist is the same as trying to get respect out of fear. It's simply calling things what they are. I don't expect to get respect from someone who doesn't respect women--that's kind of the point. Political correctness mania seems to cut both ways. Along with being politically correct, we apparently no longer can call sexists sexists or racists racists, which is just nonsense. Furthermore, if we're referring to the two gentlemen over at MBP, I'm more than happy to let their words stand alone. People can read what they've been writing about women for nearly a year and decide for themselves. If they don't think they're chauvinists, fine. But I'm not going to take back what I said just because someone else thinks that someday, I "will be seen in the future leading [my] man around by the nose and men will run from [me] as well they should like scared little bitches."

    By the way, isn't labeling a woman a ball-buster as a way of scaring her into her to changing her ways exactly the same thing as what you accused me of? But that's okay. If you see me as a femininity-destroying, man-crushing person, I'm more than happy to let my own words stand for themselves and let people call it how they see it.

    Happy Valentines' Day. :)

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  31. 1. Maybe nothing you say effects a man, but over time the feminist movement has in fact degraded men into scared wimps. Having an opinion at all about a woman has turned into man aggression and women oppression. How does a man's opinion and choice and who he marries and what he wants from a wife affect you in any way? And if it does that is your choice and your problem and not a reason for cultural outrage. Even if he thinks it is wrong for a woman to work after having children, again and this affects you how? I don't see how an opinion is oppression. Even if he thinks you are a horrible mother for working after having children, again this affects you how? You are not oppressed because of an opinion, and quite frankly neither is his wife who he prefers stays home. This may be primeval to you in your choice to accept modern definitions, but oppressive to you IT IS NOT.

    2. I don't expect you to take back what you said, own it. But calling a man a chauvinist for merely speaking his mind is silly. Mormon women should have a more traditional view of womanhood than what is defined by the world or your local professor. Though I do agree there is a degree of chauvinism in the church, this MBP incident is NOT a chavinistic one and you diminish the real struggle for women when you flippantly throw out the term with such indignance about such a silly statement.

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  32. And remember...the definition of a bigot is someone who is intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions. Your view is in fact a bigoted one. You have officially been intolerant to another persons view by calling it something negative.

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  34. Also, I thought your post was more directed to the women who commented on that blog, not the writers.... But that's just how I took it.

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  35. 'Sup, pot? Just wanted to say you're black.

    Love,

    The Kettle.

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  36. Boob Nazi, I am cooler than you in a lot of ways, bigger boobs is just one of the many.

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  38. Oh stop it boob nazi...the "I am younger than you" thing is so over used and pathetic. Do you honestly think that is an insult? I hear it non-stop on MBP, boo-hoo. Woman up and stop being age-centric, you know you love me and want to be me when you grow up. In fact, you are me, an opinionated bitch who is afraid of no one. We really could be pals if you weren't so busy being offended. I wasn't aware of an age limit on blog reading and commenting, my bad.

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  40. Tit Fascist, If you don't read my comments then how did you know I said I had bigger boobs than you? I said that on a MBP thread not here. Lying is pathetic. I would love for you to prove to me that you are not a liberal idiot, come on over to my place and talk politics. Sorry about my reading comprehension. I'm retarded.

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  42. BN, I came here and responded to what Ru wrote and our discussion was pretty amicable until you butted in. You are the one who started with the insults, let me refresh your memory:
    "Nikki has bigger boobs than me, so that makes her so much cooler"...
    "that's why you're arguing on someone else's blog about how cool you are with a much younger woman. At least I have the excuse of youth. You have none."...
    "I've noticed that you can't understand what comments and/or blog posts say. Please, you need help with your reading comprehension"...
    Thanks are you saying I am stupid?? again you insulted me and never addressed my argument, I can only assume you have reading comprehension problems and I wasn't even talking to you when I followed this link.

    I could go on but I think you get my point. You are the one who called me stupid, old, a conservative idiot and you will cry if you end up like me. Fair enough, but don't go away from this back and forth feeling victimized, you started it. Why do you think it is ok for you to call other people stupid and yet you freak out when someone calls someone retarded? You are a pathetic sophomoric hypocrite. How did you know I was conservative without reading my blog? Don't respond, but do think about what you have said here to me and have fun trying to justify it, oh yea, because I am an idiot. Nice. My comments to Ru were that of disagreement and that is all. Thanks for tolerating other opinions. You attacked me, I only responded to your bullying.

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