Archive for February, 2014

27
Feb
14

This post started with a post on Facebook of a picture of men. Which led to a Google search of “real women have curves”. Let me just say, it was generally nauseating. That being stated, said search linked me to this (http://recognizablefruits.blogspot.com/) blog. Same blog then led to this post. Back story now complete, let the games begin…

This young woman has a fabulous point; a point I once thought Feminism had gotten beyond. I like to pretend in my head that the bulk of Feminism is truly and honestly rooted in a desire for equality; the movement of women and men to place all people, regardless of sex, gender, race, socioeconomic status, disability, or age on the same equal footing. I sometimes have this delusion that the bulk of Feminism (both within and outside of academia) is capable of celebrating our similarities, while still recognizing our differences. I did state that these are delusions though, didn’t I?

In reality, there are young women who are degraded because obese is the new beautiful. Of course, this isn’t actually new. There have been times throughout history where thin is celebrated and times when heavy is desirable, but with mass media being what it is, there is a stark division between the ‘skinny chicks’ and the ‘fat girls’. In reality, women want more rights in birth control, but to the removal of men’s (not taking sides, simply stating fact). In reality, first world problems of body image overshadow the problems of women that are unable to feed their families or provide even the most basic medical care for their children. In reality, women are being degraded for staying home with their children; and so are men. Where is Feminism on these issues?
Many Feminists are doing the degrading of the ‘skinny chicks’ while popular media continues to show the very thin as an ideal. Truth? There is a spectrum of what constitutes beautiful. To each his own, and if someone is healthy, their body shape is nobody else’s business.
The term ‘reproductive rights’ in Feminism (on the whole) refers only to women. I get that this is a touchy subject. I get that by giving men choice, it reduces the choice of women. I completely understand that women are not incubators for the singular purpose of carrying children. BUT. If Feminism is truly about equality, we must, MUST recognize that expanding women’s reproductive rights diminishes those of men. We must also recognize that men have VERY limited options in birth control. Men have very few choices, while they abound for women. Don’t get me wrong, it is WONDERFUL that women have these choices, but what about men? Condoms, sterilization, abstinence. That’s it, folks. That’s all they have. This is not equality.

While there are many Feminists who acknowledge the problems facing women over seas, suggesting that women in India, the Middle East, and other conservative cultures just demand that men use condoms to prevent disease is, well, stupid. Yeah. I said it. A bunch of middle class white girls telling grown women to threaten their own lives, when same white girls have no real understanding of the implications that request holds, infuriates me. Really.

Last but not least in this rant, why must Feminists degrade women who choose to stay home with their children? Granted, there are many Feminists who support men staying home, but others who (while they may support it ideologically) will make fun of or degrade the ACTUAL men they know that stay home. Really, though, while I think we need to shift away from this ridiculous essentialism that only women can nurture, at this exact second, it is the first of these two that bothers me the most. ‘The Problem with No Name’ was supposed to be about choice. The second wave was supposed to be about opportunity. Why must Feminism step back to the 80’s ‘mommy wars’? If a woman wants to take advantage of her birth control options, have sex, not get married, and have a career; GREAT FOR HER! If a woman wants to remain abstinent until marriage (or at least monogamous), then have multiple children, and stay at home with those children; GREAT FOR HER! Of course, there is a great deal of variation between the two, but none of those variants are attacked by Feminism (and Feminists, themselves) with the same vehemence that is aimed toward chastity, and the nuclear family. If that is a woman’s choice, that choice should be equally supported and celebrated.

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