Saturday, 5 February 2011

Feminist overload

    My colleague, someone I have a lot of time for both professionally and personally, nearly ruined it all this week. I stumbled upon an online bio of hers and found she described herself foremost as a feminist. Inwardly, I groaned. You see, I've met a lot of professed feminists over the years. And a significant proportion of them have annoyed the crap out of me.
    It shouldn't be this way. I grew up in a family of successful women so I hold feminism to be self-evident. What has annoyed me is not the feminism, but so many of the people who profess it. I've met too many young women who have found in  feminism a Cause, and since in the circles I move in they've never experienced any of the disadvantage through being female that their grandmothers might have, they've got a Cause with precious little within their sight to rebel against. So finding nothing left to fight in their daily lives they cast around and have a pop at any bloke unfortunate enough to hove into view. 'Cos y'never know, he just might be a misogynist, they all look the same y'know.
     My annoyingly male hormonal wash predisposes me to find women attractive so I don't mind them making assumptions about that, but I kinda resent any other assumptions about my attitudes towards gender based only on my day-to-day appearance.
    But then I find myself guilty of exactly the same sin with respect to my colleague. She's never annoyed me in that way, yet from one word in an online bio I found myself making all sorts of  completely unfounded assumptions and associations about her.
    Let he or she who is without sin cast the first stone...


  1. " Let he or she who is without sin cast the first stone... "

    Or, better yet...."Let ye not ASS-U_ME,

    Lest ye make an ASS of U and ME".

  2. " Let he or she who is without sin cast the first stone... "

    Amen to that!

    Is there a male equivalent to Feminism? None as far as I know. I think there are two ways to looking at feminism. The first is to see it as a sort of female camerardery(hope that is spelled correctly), a form of feminine bonding as it were. The second is to see it as an equal opportunities thing and an outright stand aginst male supremacy. You quite rightly point out that many women these days have no experience of male chauvanism or the experiences of their grandmothers who endured a different kind of lifestyle. Things can only get better for women and they do but there is still some way to go yet. 'Feminism', has become synonymous with 'male bashing' at every opportunity.
    On a personal note I hate the second description I have listed. I like and enjoy being a female in the company of females and I have no axe to grind with men. They are who they are by nature.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  3. Be it male hormonal wash, or other factors that give us a predisposition, it is interesting to be the observer in our head trying to moderate those tendencies. The fact that you are aware of them, and do what you can to avoid acting on them in a 'knee-jerk' way is a credit to you.

    A thought-provoking self-examination Jenny.


  4. I would be the one to want to see if her actions and attitudes around her workmates give credence to what she ascribes to think she or knows what 'feminism' to be within in her world.

  5. I'd say that the male equivalent to feminism is feminism.... :-)

    Spectemur agendo, and all that. Maybe she nailed her colours to the mast to save time. Though it does seem odd. Like the people who announce, practically before they've told you their name, that they're post-op.

  6. It's funny, I found myself in a parallel discussion somewhere else since writing this piece, a transwoman complaining that men look at her breasts. I was forced to wonder aloud whether back in her bloke days she'd ever found her own eyes straying south.

    I think there is no direct male opposite of the loony end of organised feminism because blokes have the ... er ... balls to stand up and call out the absurd.

    I suspect my colleague didn't even think about what she was saying when she put "Feminist" in her bio. To her it's probably just a statement, but would any woman put "Non-feminist" on her bio?

    Seriously, knowing her as I do I'd rate her not like the professed feminists I described and as I said I have a lot of time for her.

    Dru, I can bring an "I'm post-op"-er instantly to mind. It's almost a cliché :)