Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Feminism- Five Things

Ladies and Gentlemen,
You are about to witness the first time, in possumblog history, that I have been tagged for a meme. And, of all things, I was tagged to make a post about feminism. *breaks out in a sweat* I know this should be really easy for me, but it's not. For, you see, aside from atheism and humanism...I'm not a huge fan of "isms". Feminism,...feminism... *thinks*... I'll give it a shot.
1. The ability to access birth control. - Yes, yes...I know. I have four children and I'm talking about birth control? It's a bit like the Duggars doing a Trojan commercial. But, I'm thankful that feminism made reproductive rights (or, more accurately, the freedom to conrtol your fertility) an issue. I'm glad that my daughters will have the freedom to decide how many children they have and when they have them...
2. ...and, IF they have them. I'm glad that feminism has made it more acceptable for women (and men, in an ironic turn of fate) to choose not to have children. I'm a staunch supporter of the childfree movement. I think too many people were guilted into, or simply accepted, the belief that their soul purpose was to reproduce. Biologically, that might be true. But, I think the human species is pretty solid in it's establishment. If my children decide not to have children...I'll live. I'm glad that they have the choice.
3. Bikes without that heinous "nut cruncher" bar. :) Feminism definitely gets the credit for that one. I had a faux-BMX when I was a pre-teen and man...that bar sucked!! I suppose feminist women who wanted to ride, albeit with their skirts on, should get the credit for actually trending recreation towards female friendly equipment.
4. Equal education. - I do think that, to some extent, the pendulum has swung a bit too far towards the "let's make sure the girls are educated" side of the spectrum. But, damn. If I had been born two hundred years ago, I probaly would've killed myself. The very idea, and it's still alive-and-well in some parts of the world, that girls should be kept in a perpetual state of ignorance is completely and totally repugnant to me. To say to a child: "Nope. You have a vagina...no books for you!" is probably one of the greatest injustices in the world. Maybe that's why it pisses me off so much when I see vapid, fundy women who wax poetically about how secure they are in the fact that God will teach them whatever it is they need to know, as they stare absentmindedly (no, seriously...there's NOTHING IN THERE!) at their husbands. People (female or male) who have a chance to learn, but choose ignorance piss me off. Forget sending food to impoverished nations. We should start telling American kids that we'll send their science textbooks to Be-Africa if they don't start devouring them.
5. I suppose, at the most basic level, feminism gave women a voice. We were granted the right to vote (which, it has to be pointed out, was taken from us by RELIGION). Women are teachers. Women are politicians. Women are professionals. To steal a phrase from Robin Williams, and Mike's Weekly Skeptic Rant, feminism gave women their 'barbaric yawp'.
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWP!

16 comments:

Mark said...

Well, that's all pretty much uncontroversial. But what's your take on more controversial issues, such as quotas in public, or even private, sectors? What about military service (most European countries with compulsory military service only draft men)? What about prostitution, or porn?

lynn's daughter said...

Why not send texbooks to Africa? The other side is sending Bibles...

Summer Squirrel said...

Even as a small girl being raised as a Southern Baptist I saw that religion was being used to keep us down. It still boogles my mind that modern women still buy Christianity hook, line and sinker. Arrgghh! My mother once said about a lady minister who was residing over a close family member's funeral about how wrong it was for her to be doing that. WTF! was what came out of my mouth.

Emanuel Goldstein said...

Ah, women have had the vote for dam near a century!

They are the majority, they could have taken over long ago.

Quit whining.

Eamon Knight said...

A couple of nits; don't take this the wrong way ;-) :
I think too many people were guilted into, or simply accepted, the belief that their soul purpose was to reproduce

Should be "sole"; however in this case the malapropism constitutes a good pun, as it was religion that frequently taught that.

Re: bikes. Was it the early fems who did that? Anyways, the cross-bar is a matter of structural strength; a "girl's" bike-frame won't take as much abuse. My wife always had a "boy's" bike, until she "graduated" to a recumbent (which she loves).

If my recollections of high school English serve, "barbaric yawp" originated with Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" (although that page seems to contain a typo).

Robert said...

Hey you got hit by the goldstein troll, congratulations, its like a sign that your blog is making it. Now just ignore him, for he is a fool.

Bifrost said...

If Goldfarb believes that having the ability to vote equates to having a voice he is sadly mistaken. Many women are so controlled by their husbands via their religious teachings that they cannot express their honest feelings, even in the privacy of a voting booth. Welcome to Earth, Emanuel.

Robert said...

Not to mention that there are actually women today who believe that women aren't fit to be in any kind of leadership role.

My girlfriend was "witnessed" to on her college campus by two girls a couple years back. She asked them what they thought about women Pastors/preachers. They replied that it wasn't their place to tell men what to do. She asked them about women in politics, if it was appropriate and if they would vote for them. They replied that women shouldn't be making decisions for men, and that they would not vote for them.

Needless to say they didn't make a convert (not that they would have anyway, but that little episode definately set back the image of christianity in her/my eyes).

sigh...

Erp said...

I would include

6. Financial independence. Up until the mid or even late 1800s married women had no separate financial standing. Anything they owned before marriage, earned, or inherited legally belonged to their husband. Wealthy families would set up trusts for their daughters before marriage that allowed their daughter's husband to use the income but he (and she) could not touch the principal. Oddly enough Islamic law though it allows women only to inherit half of what their brothers inherit does make it and anything else she acquires hers to use as she sees fit and not under the control of her husband (actual practice may be a different matter).
married women property laws

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Mark: But what's your take on more controversial issues, such as quotas in public, or even private, sectors?
My post wasn't supposed to be controversial. :) And, in fact, I hesitated to do the meme because the focus of my blog is atheist parenting- not feminism. LOL AS such... I don't have enough knowledge about female service in the military to give you a decent enough answer. :) Let me think on it a while.

As for prostitution and porn, again... I usually like to research my position before I take one. So...if you'll allow me the time, I'll try and get back to this when I've thought on it a bit. OK?

Lynn's Daughter -Why not send texbooks to Africa? The other side is sending Bibles...
Seriously...

Eamon, nits noted. :) It was three a.m.. :)

Hey you got hit by the goldstein troll, congratulations, its like a sign that your blog is making it.
I KNOW! It's like a rite of passage. :)

They replied that women shouldn't be making decisions for men, and that they would not vote for them.
*jaw drop*

PerpetualBeginner said...

They replied that women shouldn't be making decisions for men, and that they would not vote for them.

I wish I could say this surprises me. The first time I heard a woman seriously expounding on what a mistake giving women the vote had been, my jaw certainly hit the floor. Unfortunately I've heard it, and the related idea that women should not lead in any capacity, too many times since then. I will note, however, that every woman I have heard say that women shouldn't have the vote - votes. After all, they have to make sure that all those heathen, misguided feminists don't manage to vote their ideas in.

Robert said...

yah, the funny thing abot voting women who think that women shouldn't vote is that the reasoning is usually along hte lines of:

"well we shouldn't vote and wouldn't have to if the men would be the strong men and make the strong decisions that need to be made, but they're not so now we have to."

The doublethink required to maintain such a position is mind boggling.

Joe said...

My second wife and I didn't want kids and she came from a Catholic background. She heard plenty of it from her mother about that, much less about marrying an agnostic like me.
I've also wondered why women buy into any religon that makes them second class citizens. Summer Squirrel hits it on the head.

Natasha Yar-Routh said...

what's your take on more controversial issues, such as quotas in public, or even private, sectors?

Do you mean actual qutas or are you refering to affermative action? They are most defiantly not the same thing. I am against quotas but very much for affirmative action. Affirmative action is reaching out to he societaly disadvantaged and giving them a chnace. Even as it has been shut down in the government sector it has continued and even expanded in the private sector. Business has realized the large talen pool that can be reached this way.

Kathryn said...

Ha ha ha, goldstein troll! Well, his comment made me spew. I literally laughed out loud. (I hate whiners!)

eamon, Oooh, I also noted the kewl soul/sole thing. Glad you voiced it, as my brain is way too tired at this point.

My favorite tale about feminism goes back about 20 years ago, talking to an old boyfriend's dad. He was proudly telling me of the woman who had been promoted in his office - she was (he said) "better than any of the men that got promoted!!!" I said, "Well, of course she was, she had to be; if she were only "just as good," she would not have been promoted."

Anonymous said...

How would you describe your possums?