The Anti-Feminist Feminists
The drive to/from work is one of the few opportunities I have to let my mind wander wherever it wants to go. Anything goes during that time; it’s my time. I get to think about everything or nothing, and that uninterrupted 15 minutes is something I cherish, because it’s fleeting. Once I get to work it’s time to check e-mails, return phone calls, make sure I’m still employed and I haven’t turned into the pixie version of Milton from Office Space, hunt down my pens that have come to life overnight and sauntered off into the void.
And then I go home and it’s the same distractions but with different faces. I need to get dinner ready, I need to catch up on personal projects, I need to finish up work, get my son prepped for school the next day, double check that he’s still alive, take a shower…the list goes on and on.
That car ride though, that 15 minutes of peace before and after the chaos, I treasure it. And on this particular morning, I let my mind wander to a looming conflict that I know I’ll have to settle at some point. I looked at both sides of the argument and realized that neither of us were right, but that seemed like the lazy way out, so I crafted my “let’s make peace” speech. My opinion on this particular conflict is unwavering, as is theirs, and despite my complete disagreement with it, I feel like it’s important for me to both acknowledge and respect their opinion. Respect is HUGE to me. In fact, it’s nearly as important as cheese in my life, and that speaks volumes because I would gladly eat cheese for every meal of every day in my cheese castle while lounging on my cheese couch wearing my cheese dress.
It’s very easy to respect other people’s opinions when you commit yourself to understanding that everyone is different, therefore their perspective leads them down a different path than yours. It doesn’t mean they’re right or wrong, just observing a situation/conflict/whatever through a different lens. Additionally, I don’t feel like it’s my place to tell anyone that they’re wrong.
Until today. Today I read an article by, uh, The Chicks on the Right, and thank God I didn’t wear one of my favorite dresses, because my brain exploded. It was a messy affair and frightened my coworkers. I reassembled my brain and tried to sort it out.
These women are starting a series of columns about how they are right wing feminists and their first column, no shit, opens like this:
“The word “feminist” has been hijacked by liberals, and we’re taking it back.
You see, we ARE feminists.”
I immediately double checked to make sure I hadn’t been redirected to The Onion, because, well, that’s the most unnecessarily aggressive series of statements I’ve seen come from the “feminist movement,” and I hope you see now why my head actually exploded.
I could summarize the article, but I think it’s important that you read it for yourself because a full summarization coming from me would be rife with sarcastic undertones, and I don’t think I could properly convey how utterly wrong they are. Instead, I’ll pull a couple of statements that stood out to me and just….do my thing.
“We’re sick of liberal feminists who screech “WAR ON WOMEN!” the second they’re faced with challenges — or with having to pay for their own birth control. It’s laughable when they depend on a cradle-to-grave government to take care of their every want (like guilt-free abortions and taxpayer-funded contraception), and then dress up in vagina costumes on Capitol Hill hollering for the government to keep its hands off their “lady parts.”
But…trying to take away a woman’s right to, as you put it, a “guilt-free abortion” IS a war on women. Me asking the government to take care of my every want would be me demanding a permanent discount at Mod Cloth because, fuck me, I love dresses. I would like to buy a new dress every damn day, and I think the government should pander to my desires. Buying a new dress is right up there with safe access to a medical procedure that I currently have the right to get.
As for “dressing up in vagina costumes,” there are much worse things, like Crocs. Crocs are egregious and serve no purpose whatsoever. A vagina costume makes a statement. You see, not everybody gets to have a trite little column in the newspaper, so we have to find a way to make an impact without the aid of western media.
“They either need to own up to needing a Sugar Daddy (whether he is in the form of a mate or a taxpayer) or woman-up and take care of themselves. Liberal “feminists” are proving what conservative feminists like us have known forever: They’re not feminists at all. They’re parasites.”
Here’s the crazy thing: there are many women who are actively trying to “take care of themselves.” The problem with “womaning-up” is that we still live in a country where we’re paid less than our male coworkers. It’s not a matter of not wanting to be independent, it’s a matter of logistics. I’m a single mother who has managed to make it work. I don’t need a man or a sugar-daddy to provide for my son and me, and I work for a pair of bosses (both male) who treat me with respect and compensate me for the work I do, not for the gender I am. I am a rarity. If anything, my life is an example of what could and should be, but let me reiterate this is a rarity. Let’s not ignore the fact that I’m a white, college-educated woman who grew up in an upper-middle class household. If you think that doesn’t play some part in me making it to where I am, then you’re stupid. My heart bleeds for the brilliant, hard-working women who didn’t have that leg up. No amount of “try” can break down the barriers of race, classism, and gender inequality, but I can see how thinking that would be easier. Easier, in this case, is synonymous with lazier, and most of your arguments in the article were born of sheer laziness. If I followed your logic, then I would be sitting here at my desk thinking, “you know, if I just imagine that a giant block of cheese will appear before me then it will actually happen.”
Magical thinking belongs in books and movies. Magical thinking is fiction.
“In other words, you’re not a feminist — you’re just pathetic. Rather than fall for the manufactured war-on-women nonsense that helped hand President Obama a second term, women need to know the truth — that they’ll fare far better in life by taking responsibility for themselves.”
I don’t know how much I can reiterate that assuming women aren’t trying to take responsibility for themselves is the exact opposite of feminism. Many women take responsibility for themselves and calling a woman “pathetic?” I just cannot. One of the basic principles of feminism is loving and supporting your fellow woman with the hope that we can all rise up and grasp that equality we deserve. But yeah, if you want to beat down other women because things didn’t seem that tough for you, therefore they should just suck it up and dream harder, sure. Go ahead with that. That’s not fucking ridiculous at all.
“Ironically, conservative “feminists” like us are accused of being the ones trying to set women back. But we know any government (or man) powerful enough to give us something is powerful enough to take it away.”
Jesus Christ in a Cracker Jack box, I wonder how on earth someone came up with that theory? Maybe it was other vapid, vitriolic women like you who think the answer lies solely in women changing. I agree that women should be internally strong, but that only goes so far when our government waivers and shies away from breaking down the remaining barriers to gender equality. You can dress up like a chicken and start clucking, but unless the biology changes, you’re not going to start laying eggs. That’s just not how things work. Speaking of work….
“Now if someone would please pass us our stilettos. We’ve got to get back to work.”
That’s pretty cool that you have a job. There are a lot of women who wish they could have a job. I guess they just didn’t try hard enough, right? They just didn’t want to be independent.
I’m going to need some sort of verification that these women are actual people because I’m convinced that Rick Perry and Richard Mourdock are currently trolling the fuck out of us.
Now I’ll leave you with a brilliant response from my dear friend Jenny who also considers herself to be a feminist.
“You know what real feminists don’t do? Generalize a large group of women with varied opinions and causes as ‘pathetic harpies’”