Saturday, January 8, 2011

12/29/10-- feminism

**Theme week?**

**Asterisks: Rena** Every other typeface/parentheses: Vita

I thought I was a feminist, but I think I'm more of a humanist.

See, I believe in equality for women.

(And we aren't equal, no matter what you say.)

We get paid less.

We don't have nearly as much political power.

We are ridiculed. We are your: bitch. whore. slut. lesbo. go back to the kitchen. want to hear a joke? women's rights. ha-ha-ha. stop being so sensitive.


I can wear pants in public. I can wear a skirt, a dress, and not just 'cause it's traditional clothing for my culture.

If I slap my boyfriend, if I leave a burning mark on his cheek -- fiery because of the splintered blood cells, or because of the blood cells fighting to hide out of shame? -- you will tell him:grow a pair. suck it up. you, go apologize.

If the bigbadcountries start launching their atomic bombs, so close that even in peacetime I cower under my bombshelterbed, I will be asked by a frantic-eyed uniformed lady to: please please sign up for the army. the airforce. the navy. the don't-you-love-your-countries? ration your food. donate money. donate time. please. please. please.

If I am raped, I will fall onto my bed of pity and I will wrap myself in your sympathy. I will weather the storms of humiliation, of maybeAIDSpregnancyabortion, and I will be judged, but I will survive with 155.8 million hands holding me up.

And what will he get?

If he wears a skirt in public, he will be: your laughter of disbelief. fag. your slap on the shoulder, your you're just kidding, man, right? tranny. dick. fuck you, man. what the fuck you playing at, man?

If he slaps me, and my handprint-skin and I run crying to my momsisterfriendpolice, they will slap him in handcuffs and slap him with a restraining order and the shame of your stares.

If the bigbadcountries push the bigbadredbutton, he will get the horse blinders clamped onto his temples and he will watch as they stuff his name into a magnificent lottery ball and ifwhen they choose his name, he will go be a man and sacrifice for the Greater Good and he will think of the children/women/country you're protecting.

If he is raped, he will be asked how that even works, man; he will go to a counseling session where they will ask him to leave, and they will tell him that a real man wouldn't let some dumb bitch/fag knock him around like that, and he will wonder if it even happened at all.

And God forbid either of them wants to kiss/snuggle/love the same sex. We can't talk about that in polite companysociety 'cause that's a goddamn mental disorder/fucked-up lifestyle choice, fuck the APA, my Book and I know better.

It's not the women who need to be lifted up.

It's not the men, either.

We need the crushing down.

It's the gender roles. It's everything. It's our way of life. It's our assumption that this is okay, that this is how it's meant to be, that evolution says this and evolution says that.

It's our refusal to acknowledge that: clothes don't define the person, the intention of violence is as bad as the power behind the blow, atomic bombs erase our gender lines, rape is inhumane no. matter. what., love is love is love is love.

So does that make me a feminist? Or just a teenage kid holding out hope for all of us?

**A.) PREACH. B.) My only edits are here because I didn't want to disrupt from what Vita had to say; it's really quite poetic. I'll try to be more eloquent than I usually am, but honestly, to borrow a term from elsewhere in cyberspace: THIS. This is my problem with the wording of the phrase "women's rights" or "gay rights" or just any group treated as inferior to an upper-middle class heterosexual Caucasian male aged 25-55 (and even then, he has to fit rigidly into society's expectations to hold onto the rights society has given him)'s rights. It's not about special treatment, and these groups shouldn't have to be defined by the rights denied to them. Rights are rights. Granted, I have most of them. I am not fighting for these rights out of life-or-death necessity. (Is the lack of urgency why this is ignored? Or, on a personal level, is it because I'm a teenager, placing this where it's only going to be read by 50 people tops?) My life is pretty damned okay, on a base level. I have the opportunity to whine and rave and fight without fear of anything.

Vita asks if we're just teenagers straining against the odds to see the good in humanity. I don't know. On one hand, if I were to say that we're all going to die insignificantly anyway, I'd get called an emo little attention whore--and on the other, if I were truly Mary-"my generation can fix the world"-Sunshine, I'd be told to grow up and that that's not how reality works. I don't even know if this is specific to this age, if one day we'll all grow out of it and become hardened into absolute realism by the world. I don't think this is anything anyone stops wanting, but we still have the resolve to try even knowing we can't win.

I'm not saying it's impossible to change the world; I'm not dashing the hope that remains even in the face of a society that is, bluntly, fucked up. I'm just saying it's impossible to change the world in a way everyone agrees is right, if that makes sense.**

1 comment:

Alex said...

I like what you said about how it's impossible to fix the world in a way that everyone agrees is right. TRUTH.

And, of course, both your[s?] and Vita's thoughts are as eloquent/poetic as ever.