Why Anyone Who Says We Live In A Post-Feminist World Should Be Cuffed In The Head

July 8, 2008

Because, seriously. The Jezebel Apocalypse (discussed HERE) makes my worrying about my daughter’s possible exposure, someday, somewhere, to a Bratz doll seem the equivalent of worrying about one day getting a hangnail, oh my god.

(What apocalypse? The one where influential young women – ‘feminist role models’ to at least some impressionable girls – get up – or slouch down, drunk – in a public forum and say shit like ‘only stupid girls get raped’ and ‘pulling out is the funnest birth control omg!’ and ‘I was raped once but I like didn’t do anything about it because I had better things to do, like get drunk.’ FOR SERIOUS.)

(Weeping a little bit.)


All I want for my daughter is a world in which she gets to decide, always, when, where and how she takes her leaps, and for her to recognize that that world was – and continues to be – hard-won, and to never, ever take that world for granted. I want her to be a feminist girl in a feminist world, always fighting with and for and because that feminism. I want her to fly, and to know and appreciate that she flies because being a strong, smart woman gives her wings.


And I want her to never forget that those wings can be torn. I want her to never tear them, to never be tempted to tear them.


Because the tearing of those wings? A hideous, terrible, tragic thing. I so want to spare her that. I so want her to grow into the sort of woman who will spare herself that.

That is all.

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    { 66 comments }

    Her Bad Mother July 10, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Jim – Fine. If all you want to take away from this post is the gist of the title – which, again, FIGURATIVE, which doesn’t mean either of ‘means it literally’ OR ‘doesn’t mean it at all’ but ‘expressing something by other means,’ in this case, a strong feeling of frustration such that I might also say ‘would like to give them a shake’ – then whatever. Clearly, I am a hateful, despicable femi-nazi who will raise a zealous beast of a child because of all my angry hate. Because, yes, that’s entirely what this post, and my wishes for my daughter, are rooted in.

    (Also? The ‘what if I-a-man said this’ arguments? So not effective, because guess what? You are a man. So, apples-to-oranges: you can’t make a straight comparison between the implications of what I might say and what you might say. Sorry.)

    Karen Sugarpants July 10, 2008 at 12:22 am

    I hope this for my sons too, Catherine. I also hope they treat women with the respect they deserve while keeping their own self-respect intact. (Do you know what I mean here? For example, it seems commercials really make men look like bumbling idiots who need to ask women to tell them what to think, do, and how to raise the kids, etc.)
    I hope my kids grow up to be like their Dad – he works, cooks, cleans, cuddles and is still very much a teammate and respects me as I do him.
    It seems like such a fine balance, to teach such things. I hope we do well with it and raise a better generation than our own.

    Jaelithe July 10, 2008 at 12:28 am

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post.

    As the mother of a son, I feel it will be harder to teach him to respect girls if more adult women don’t learn to respect themselves.

    And incidentally, I AM a third-wave feminist. I’m 27. My mother was a Women’s Studies minor who didn’t want me to shave my legs or wear skirts or have long hair. So I pushed back a little. Like a lot of us daughters of feminists did. I revel in some more traditional aspects of my femininity. I’m all right with chivalry sometimes. I like to wear lipstick push-up bras and lace and strappy heels. I chose to stay home with my kid despite people telling me I was betraying the movement. &c.

    But I firmly believe that rape is never justified. That’s not even a “just” a feminist belief. It’s a humanist one. And for these women to go around implying it’s not really a big deal . . . well . . . it’s sickening.

    We will never be equal until we consider ourselves worthy of equality.

    Jim July 10, 2008 at 12:44 am

    > Clearly, I am a hateful, despicable femi-nazi who will raise a zealous beast of a child because of all my angry hate. Because, yes, that’s entirely what this post, and my wishes for my daughter, are rooted in.

    Give my comment another read. I said nothing of the sort, you are attacking a straw man. And I think people who use the word “femi-nazi” sound ridiculous, it’s certainly nothing you’d catch me saying.

    > (Also? The ‘what if I-a-man said this’ arguments? So not effective, because guess what? You are a man. So, apples-to-oranges: you can’t make a straight comparison between the implications of what I might say and what you might say. Sorry.)

    This is an epitome of double standards. Different rules for men and women? Sounds pretty sexist to me. If a man should be criticised for saying something like that, so should you.

    Deb July 10, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Although my seventeen year old daughter is a huge pain in my ass, she is also a fierce young woman who doesn’t take shit. I’ve got to admire that.

    Angie July 10, 2008 at 1:07 am

    I’ve been a HUGE fan of your blog…so much so that I’ve gone back from day one and read all that I can from that time, but still get your updates and cannot stop myself from reading them, as well.

    As a mommy of three (yes, three!) daughters, HBM-you are my hero! I loved you when you struggled with the swaddle (that EVIL swaddle!-I’ve been THERE, honey!) and I love you now. Thank you for your voice! You are, to me, every mom.

    Lara July 10, 2008 at 1:40 am

    asshats aren’t worth your time, C. i recently learned that the hard way on my own blog when i spent way too much time fighting with one. you gotta accept that some people here (*cough* jim *cough*) are just not understanding what you’re actually saying. whether he’s just incapable of grasping your style of debate or he’s purposely misunderstanding you to cause drama – it doesn’t matter much. you gotta let that fish flounder on his own.

    as to the whole debacle, i commented on the other post, but i’ll say here too that all day yesterday (after reading/viewing all the hoopla) i was mildly ashamed to be a twentysomething female. but, as my awesome mom pointed out when i talked to her about it, they do not represent all of us, and i don’t have to let them get me down. i gotta keep on keeping on, proving to those around me that one can be a fun, flirty twentysomething without being a moron.

    mommypie July 10, 2008 at 2:48 am

    I’m a solo parent raising a four-year-old daughter. I want her to know, through example, she CAN in fact, do anything. She can do it all. And above all to respect herself. Bratz and Jezebels be damned.

    mek July 10, 2008 at 8:57 am

    I have to say “amen” too – as a woman and as mother to a daughter. But also as a college professor who often sees young women who are unaware of their wings or who have folded their wings too tightly around themselves. I want my girl to be someone who not only strtches her wings, but helps others find the strength of their own.

    Her Bad Mother July 10, 2008 at 9:12 am

    OK, last round:

    I SAID, v.v. your comments – ‘Clearly, I am a hateful, despicable femi-nazi who will raise a zealous beast of a child because of all my angry hate. Because, yes, that’s entirely what this post, and my wishes for my daughter, are rooted in.’

    YOU SAID – ‘Give my comment another read. I said nothing of the sort, you are attacking a straw man.’

    Let me remind you that your original words were: “You are exactly the type of person that gives feminism a reputation for being overzealous, full of hate and intolerant of dissent. I just hope you don’t teach your daughter to “fly” by stepping on other people to get up there.”

    My paraphrase is only a very slightly more hyperbolic variation on what you said (cf. ‘hyperbole’ v.v. title of post, by the way)

    And re: double standards. Just a fact. As a white woman, for example, it would be problematic for me to discuss the black community in the same manner that a black comedian does. Double standard? Yep. Rooted in good reason? Double yep.

    Black Hockey Jesus July 10, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I hope my daughter loves rocks and streams. Women will flow from those.

    Anonymous July 10, 2008 at 10:04 am

    HBM, I think it is safe to say that Jim is probably one of those man ho’s that has had one or both of the jezebels. Wow, what an Idiot with a capital I. He is what I hope my daughter’s never come home with.

    Kaza July 10, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    AMEN, sister friend. And just imagine, our mothers probably wanted that for us too. And felt just as powerless as we to ensure this gift for us. Right now, as my little one is just 3, it seems I can spare her. But in ten years? And beyond? I really worry.

    Carrie July 11, 2008 at 10:56 am

    I think this is really great that you and so many of your readers are hoping to teach their daughters and sons to respect themselves and each other.

    Am curious about the lack of questioning over the Jezebel ladies’ parents….. It almost seems like a bit of judgement here in the comments section “I’m going to teach my girls to not be like THOSE girls.” Maybe the moms of the Jezebel women tried to do that too. There just seems to be a little bit of self-righteousness here and there: “I’m going to be a good mom and give my daughter all these self-esteem tools.” Unfortunately/fortunately, those little girls might grow up to be trash talkin’ promiscuous ladies. Or it might be a just a phase. Or they might get drunk and go on a show and make fools out of themselves and regret it later. Everybody makes mistakes. Some are just really big mistakes.

    So many possibilities….

    Anonymous July 11, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    You know what Carrie? Those Jezebel ladies are much too old to be even considering “their mother’s” stance on things. Fact of the matter is that they have an audience of very young impressionable women. It is not a mistake that they are a constant voice of things degrading to women. THEY DEGRADE US WITH THEIR VIEWS! It is disgusting and there is no excuse. MISTAKE? HA! How about a dispicable excuse of feminist views? PUUHLEEEAAASE! What is it you are trying to say? Oh my word! I hope you would want YOUR daughters to follow them.

    I'll never tell July 11, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Wow, the shitstorm ensues.

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