Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm a guntoting Stepford Wife with Slipknot on my iPod (well, not really)

SO I'm writing this new post and getting this flow of ideas down (Thank you Mrs. F, for teaching me to type), when I'm interrupted by the need to get #4 to the doctor (he has pinkeye...grrr). We go ,eat lunch at Chik Fil A, get eyedrops and come home. I read what-all I've written and boy howdy does it ever come across as sanctimonious. So I'm not going to post it because I sound like I'm pigeonholing everyone and I get the top spot. Gag.

The truth is, most of the time I am dazed and confused. I wander around in an intellectual wasteland populated by gun-toting children who listen to Slipknot...oo that sounds bad too. The guntoting child is not the same as the one with appalling taste in music. Plus all the ammunition is locked away in a safe. OK that's better. Anyway, my life is rich and full, well stocked with interesting, opinionated people, but I am so busy figuring out the best way to roast a chicken today or making sure I get the shirts out of the dryer before they become permanently wadded and have to be washed all over again, that I forget to think about loftier things.

I forget that women are suffering. I forget that I'm supposed to beat myself with a stick just for relying on a Man (of all things!). I mess up and shave my legs AND put fake tanning lotion on them. I enjoy myself. I'm not supposed to enjoy myself, not when I am oppressed, me being white and female and fairly wealthy. (Just the other day I asked SD to oppress me some more, and you know what? He did! He's taking a day off work and got us a tee time! Shocking!)

See, I'm so deluded I can't even take anything seriously. How could I possibly think serious thoughts whilst operating under such? I can't! I'm a Stepford Wife (only not thin). That reminds me...I'm not supposed to like thin people either, because they have Thin Privilege which I still haven't figured out. I've had no shortage of approving smiles from teh Patriarchy, and I'm anything BUT thin...so where's the privilege? Oh. Silly me. I'm not supposed to like approving smiles. They are Oppressive. (SD! Oppress me, you fool!)

I am bothered by some things I see. Renegade Evolution is constantly getting bashed over the head for her lifestyle/career choice. While I admit it's not the life for me, it works for her, on many levels, and it pains me to see her treated with such contempt. She has been nothing but gracious to me, and I have learned that if you treat her nice, she'll be nice back. She's quite willing to allow you your opinion (she knows how I feel about her line of work), if you allow her her's.She'll also be ready to put the smack-down on you if you cross her. Thing is,she's treated like some sort of posterchild for How Not To Act by the feministas. How she acts is her business. They say her porn is used to abuse women. Well. So are baseball bats. Why aren't they screaming about that? What about football games? Isn't SuperBowl Sunday supposed to be the day with highest domestic violence incidents? I guess it's easier to pick a target like RenEv, who's particular brand of pornography isn't exactly Miramax popular, that to take on the Real Patriarchy: NFL. Chickens.

The fact is, no one knows anyone in the blogosphere as well as they think they do. I've never met anyone (with the exception of JerseyChick, whom I've known since before Al Gore invented the Internet)that I 'talk' to in blogs. Chances are some of the folk who I like online, I'd not like at all in person. It doesn't matter, because I only know one bit of them, that one bit they are willing to expose. Same is true of everyone else. You don't know me except for what I choose to allow you to know. Some of you probably wouldn't like me one bit. So judging a person's life based on a tidbit of information that they choose to show is like that story of the blind people feeling the elephant "It's a tree. No it's a snake. No its a cowhide." No one has the complete picture about anyone, so condemning someone based on a fragment? That's silly and shortsided, not to mention immature.

7 comments:

Vera Venom said...

I have to ask - who is it that tells you you're "oppressed" or "wrong" or whatever? Who tells you that you can't shave, put on sunless tan, etc.? Do specific people tell you this, or is this what we've all been told they would say? This is a sincere question. Someone who tells you these things is, imo, neither a feminist or a friend.

Recently on my blog I posted a piece done by Ginmar on her blog about "strawfeminists" ( http://ginmar.livejournal.com/1038352.html - language warning). She's absolutely a radfem - but notice she's not saying feminists (re: women) can't do things. A quote: "One of my very first encounters as a feminist was with a male roommate who helped me do laundry. He was aghst. "You can't be a feminist! You like fancy underwear!" Now, I figured that seeing as how I was the feminist, my underwear was my own damned business, and furthermore, I'd received no marching orders that specified boxers. Still haven't, by the way."

Read the comments - there's several people making it clear they decide for themselves.

This is what has turned me off of feminist blogging. We don't talk to eachother, so we get the wrong idea about eachother and then arguing points the opposition hasn't made. And ironically, this isn't the fault of feminists at all. Strawfeminists are set up by people hoping to discredit, mock etc feminists. The old "feminists can't wear make-up" thing is a classic example of a strawfeminist.

We all agree that feminism is about women having the freedom to chose. This does not mean, however, that our choices are sacred and above questioning - or even outright disagreement. Just because a woman makes a choice, doesn't mean it's a good one. This is something Twisty says quite a bit.

There is no excuse for attacking someone, for insulting someone, or for being insenstive, or rude. I do think there's a way to talk about things that we disagree about without hurling bombs at each other.

But I've realized lately that that this "don't question me" stuff is really a silencing technique - whether it's intended or not. We can't talk about any potential negative consequences of a choice, because someone will inevitably take offence - regardless if one was intended. And if the question comes anyway, it's perceived as an insult.

So, we're still not talking about anything. We're still seeing enemies where there aren't any. We're still spinning wheels in the sand and accomplishing nothing.

But, perhaps that's a result of the nature of online forums? There's a lack of context, subtext, tone, etc. We have to guess at someone else's meaning or intention and we do guess wrong.

~~~~~~~

Re: Ren Ev. I totally dig Ren. She's good people. I like her fierceness; I like her posts. Since deciding to chuck the feminist blog however, I've decided to limit the ones I go to as well. (less likely to be pissed off, you know?) and severely limit the ones I will comment on. I read Ren's because I dig her so, but I've decided not to comment there anymore because of some of the others that do. I don't want to be be a source of conflict on her blog, neither do I want to read the insane ramblings of some clueless misogynists.

Anyway, her views on porn aside, she doesn't say that much that is that different from mainstream feminists. I've tried pointing this out a few times, though it does seem like it was lost in the shuffle.

~~~~~~~

Sidebar: as I understand it, Thin Privledge refers to how fashion/media focuses only on thin people. I.e. if you were once thin and became heavier, do you find it now harder to find clothes that fit and look good? I have a friend who lost over 100 lbs. When she was heavy she avoided stores as much as possible because everything that actualy fit her was hard enough to find and - in her words - 'atrocious'. Now that she's much thinner, she goes shopping all the time. Because everything fits her and it isn't "atrocious". But, I'm not 100 % on that concept either.

SuperBee said...

You'd totally like me. I'm very charming and very sparkly. People like me.

Because I ask them questions about themselves and pretend like I'm interested in their answers. :)

Rootietoot said...

I was encountered by a very sincere and well meaning young woman on the local college campus, as she tried to explain to me how shaving is unnatural and like make-up, drilled into our heads from puberty that is necessary to succeed in today's society. I explained my experience, that shorn legs are cooler than hairy ones here in the deep south, and also that my husband, who hires people, couldn't care less if a woman had hairy legs, as long as she did the job she was hired for. I was told that caring about one's appearance to that degree was feminine vanity. And then there are a churches who eschew makeup, flattering clothing, and haircuts as being vanity, and we have many of those (even streetcorner shouters who yell that women with short hair are emasculators..I still can't wrap my mind around that one)

I have tried several times to engage in conversation on several feminism sites, to be ignored, so I don't try anymore. I realize I am making assumptions, but I believe I was ignored because my opinion didn't count to them. Again, making an assumption, I think it was because I identified myself as a Christian housewife. Perhaps if I'd kept my affiliations to myself that wouldn't have happened. I completely agree that there are lots of accusations (guilty) flying around, and very little meaningful conversation. (also guilty. Frankly they scare me)

What I take great exception to are the accusations that a persons choice is wrong. Sure, wrong for one person, but one person's experience is not another's. I can't tell you that you are wrong for being an athiest, because I haven't lived your life. I only know that I am not an athiest, and that belief colors everything I do, as yours colors your behavior.

re Thin Privilege- ok...I can see that. I have trouble finding clothes that fit, because I'm larger than I "should" be. I don't see that as anybodies fault but mine own, because I got this way all by myself.

I hope you'll keep coming here, and commenting when you feel like it. You make me think without making me feel stupid, and I like that. And, you know me, I stick my neck out about once a month, and the rest of it's fluff.


Superbee- I'd totally have you at my parties. Totally. If I had parties.

Northern_Girl said...

"The truth is, most of the time I am dazed and confused."

Uh-huh, me too.

How sad that people are walking away from blogging because of this:

"There is no excuse for attacking someone, for insulting someone, or for being insenstive, or rude. I do think there's a way to talk about things that we disagree about without hurling bombs at each other."

Until we can learn to have conversations, not fights, meetings, not wars, we are a sad excuse for humans. And I include myself in that "we" so don't be offended.

And Superbee? You sparkle? Of course, you do. Why else would people want you at their parties? :)

Renegade Evolution said...

but...RT....I LIKE THE NFL TOO!

gahhh....doomed!

(pst, Vera, sharpen claws on MRA hide on my blog whenever you're feeling surly...heh) and I have zero problem with you commenting there...come on over, I am mostly ignoring feminism and talking about Rome this week :)

Rootietoot said...

Well, Ren, I like college ball so I'm half corrupt. we all know your condition.

Vera Venom said...

I don't like football, but I *LOVE* Hockey. Does that make me deluded and oppressed too? >;)



"What I take great exception to are the accusations that a persons choice is wrong. Sure, wrong for one person, but one person's experience is not another's. I can't tell you that you are wrong for being an athiest, because I haven't lived your life. I only know that I am not an athiest, and that belief colors everything I do, as yours colors your behavior."

WRT: "wrong" choices. If someone drinks/gambles/etc too much we have little problem stating that their choice to engage in such behavior is wrong. It may be great fun for them, at least for a while, but it still isn't a "good" choice. I agree that this could potentionally create a slippery slope type of thing. No, my experiences are not the same as someone elses and I certainly do not want to be the one who has to decide what is right and what is wrong.

However, if we don't ever discuss choices, how do we ever come to an understanding? If I had never talked to Ren about her involvement in porn, I might never have heard the voice of a woman who enjoys what I find distasteful (to put it mildly) - I might never have had contact with someone who does it willingly. And that would be my loss. I still don't agree with it by and large, but I now understand. My understanding her viewpoint hasn't stopped me from campaigning against porn - it has altered the way I do it, the way I talk about it etc. (Until this morning that is, I had some serious rage and pain to vent off. Not that it helped any- I'm still on the verge of tears.)

Basically, we don't have to completely agree. We don't have to all think alike. This should not stop us from talking about our differences. Because not talking about them just serves to continue the misunderstanding, the confusion etc. And the stigmas.

And of course you can tell me I'm wrong for being an atheist. It doesn't mean I'll change, but I'm y willing to listen - assuming it's not presented in a "burn in hell!" type of way I've had that discussion 100 times) - because I'm always interested in learning more. If there's more to the story that I don't know, I want to hear it.

All this rambling comes down to this - if you can't handle someone questioning your choices (in a respectful manner, mind you, I'm not trying to defend nasty trolls), that suggests that you yourself are not all that confident in them. And perhaps questioning them is a good idea. People seem to be terrified to question themselves, or at being questioned - which I've never understood. Is it that people are far too sensitive and worried about being wrong, so they pretend they are never wrong? Are they worried that they might be convinced to change their minds? If that's for the common good, how is that a bad thing?

Oy. Got to stop rambling. Because Northern Girl summed it up perfectly:

"Until we can learn to have conversations, not fights, meetings, not wars, we are a sad excuse for humans. And I include myself in that "we" so don't be offended."

~~~~~~~~

"I hope you'll keep coming here, and commenting when you feel like it. You make me think without making me feel stupid, and I like that. And, you know me, I stick my neck out about once a month, and the rest of it's fluff."

Rootie - I totally dig you. And will totally still come by - probably quite often as I am now an internet entity without a home, but still with a strong need to talk to other humans. ;) And, the recipes! Dj thanks you for posting recipes because he's eating better (meaning: not as much take out food) since I started reading this blog.

I'm ALL ABOUT the fluff now. Everything else is too taxing and too draining.

~~~

Ren - don't think I'm not reading. I am. I'm LOVING the Roman thing. Also a big Gladiator movie fan. (muscular men in little skirts! hooray!) My "soul" (for lack of a better word) is just very tired. Need to get away from it. Like I said, I like you. This is not about saying goodbye. I'm just ditching the feminist blog.

Maybe we should create a Homeless Commenter blog/forum just so we can all get together and talk about nothing in a neutral space. ;)