i posted this in 2013. it’s now 2017 and the mad king Trump is president of the US.
there have been a lot of posts written by women to women who don’t identify with the feminists who march against the government that would see their country (and others, with the global gag ruling) head back to the dark ages.
it prompted me to repost and update this ‘love letter’ to a woman in south africa, a country in a world of pain when it comes to GBV, but with a constitution that allows NGOs and activists to press forward for women’s sexual and reproductive rights.
someone RTd this little gem into my stream this morning:
“I’m not against feminism but YASIS feminists give us normal females a bad name.”
hm. ‘normal females’.
‘People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that distinguish me from a doormat’ – Rebecca West
Dear Normal Female
you know. i’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and pretend you’re actually referring to misandrists who focus solely on male-hatin’ when you say ‘feminist’.
surely you don’t mean those women who have fought – and fight – for the rights you enjoy today?
you know, those pesky ‘bra-burning/equal votes for women’ crazies and those loud-mouthed bats challenging ‘discomforting issues’ such as gender violence and sexism, or those banshees who fought for your right vote and get paid fairly, wear whatever you like, say whatever you like and have autonomy over your body, your sex and your life decisions…
surely you don’t mean ‘those’ feminists?
surely you don’t mean the people who challenge old and outdated gender stereotypes ACROSS THE SEX AND GENDER LINES for your benefit and the benefit of everyone around you, including the daughters and sons you may have one day?
luckily, as a ‘normal female’ you don’t have to worry your pretty little head about that since all those angry feminists are doing the work for you. also for men. and the LGBTI collective. and anyone who isn’t a white dude with money.
and hey, actually, even him.
you see, i hate to break it to you, but ‘The Patriarchy’ isn’t a bunch of dudes swinging their willies around and grunting (although, to be fair, this is the face it carries).
it’s a deeply entrenched ideology, founded on the fact that the male of the species got the upper hand in social control due to greater physical strength when we were wee almost-munkeys, then perpetuated by religion and politics when our brains got bigger, and finally entrenched generation after generation by the men and women who cling to its constructs as truth.
and it affects everyone: boys are strong and don’t cry, girls are weak and must serve, everyone outside of the heteronormative ‘idea’ is a freak, a kinkster, a queer, a weirdo, an other, an outsider, godless, faithless, unclean – and must hold all the attendant shame the idea, the social agreement, demands of it.
jesus it’s so limiting. it’s so EXHAUSTING.
and yes, yes ‘normal female’ (and all the uneducated man-children scared of the big, bad feminists eating their balls), of course there are a smattering of misandrists and sex-negative peeps who call themselves feminists. but they’re not the mass. extremism is extremism because it’s not the normal.
naturally i understand that polarising everything is the easier path for limited people such as yourself, dear Normal Female, so you have some of my sympathies. not a lot though.
only a little bit of education and some forward-thinking helps to see the past the little black dot that these angry outliers become.
if you’re wondering what that education might entail, consider this: just because men and women’s bodies are biologically different, it doesn’t mean we need to be socialised differently. we are not, after all, almost-munkehs any more and our reptile brains get a good talking to by a thing called our frontal lobe with all its capacity for self-awareness.
the wonder of evolution and all that.
still, there’s a shit load of work to do to reconfigure our socialisation. people like you, conservatives, the deeply religious and patriarchal systems like to maintain the status quo of domination over, and subjugation of, women’s bodies.
luckily, we have people who believe in gender equality and physical autonomy and are willing to stand up for it on everyone’s behalf: yup, those noisy, loud feminists that just keep getting up everyone’s status quo nose when they fight and shout and march for a human’s right to choose what happens to their own bodies.
so i guess, dear Normal Female, you can keep sleeping while the rest of us ‘not normal’ females and males get on with the business of EVOLVING.
- Durex and feminism [clickety click]
- Move along folks, nothing to see here :: Everyday sexism, misogyny, rape and gender violence [clickety click]
- The Good Men Project
love this. it’s like lame joke gets a perspective overhaul. from my new favourite site in the world – the hangover chronicles.