Monday, March 3, 2008

Ways in which I am a bad feminist.

•I don't actually believe that women of all shapes, sizes, ages, disabilities, and fashion senses are beautiful. Lots are! And I try not to make a thing about it if someone isn't. But I can't sweepingly say that every body is beautiful without feeling like a hippy-dippy liar.

•I have, more than once, voted Republican. (Not for Bush.)

•I watch extremely unenlightened and misogynist mainstream porn. I don't like it and I criticize it, certainly, but... only after I'm done masturbating.

•I'm constantly on an insincere and unhealthy diet and it's not for my blood pressure.

•I was a mostly-fake bisexual and a completely fake lesbian for an embarrassingly large and recent portion of my youth, and I co-opted wayyyy too much specialness and supportive community and oppression before happily jumping on the next cock that was handy.

•I can't help disliking women who are hot in a certain conventional way (blonde, skinny, fakey breasts, heavy eye makeup) even when I know nothing about them as people.

•I can't inwardly accept every consenting-adults form of sexual expression. Certain fetishes and acts (furrydom, extreme D/s, ageplay, scat, purely fictional rape or pedophilia) make me go "ew," "ha ha," or even "that's wrong."

•I think The Vagina Monologues is terribly overrated, and promoting it by displaying vagina pictures in public or writing "VAGINA" in huge letters all over the campus is obnoxious.

•When I was much younger, I lied about being raped. It was only online and I didn't accuse a specific person or anything, but I soaked up undeserved sympathy.

•I have absolutely no use for anything Tantric or New Age or in any way "not religious, but spiritual."

•I've worked in extremely sexist and sexually charged workplaces and not only did I never say anything, I usually kind of enjoyed it.

...Did I just lose all my friends?



  1. Well, I still like you, and I'm probably the most bitchy, self-righteous feminist-ish person who reads this blog.

    I don't necessarily agree with everything you said, but I like you.

    My thoughts:

    -Not everyone is beautiful, but beauty isn't some objective standard, either. Tastes vary widely. And even the rare people who are just hopelessly ugly are still people and deserve to be treated as such.

    -Same goes for pretty women. Some are dumb. Some aren't.

    -Sexually-charged workplaces are fun fun fun. Sexist workplaces, not really, and they aren't anything like the same thing.

  2. Aebhel - Beauty isn't an objective standard but I'm not an objective person. I try not to let my opinion of someone's appearance affect the way I treat them though--if we're not dating it's not my business.

    I don't think pretty women are dumb so much as I think they're self-centered, demanding, petty, and mean. Please bear in mind when you judge me that I lived in LA and worked with actresses.

    (And that by pretty I don't mean anyone pretty, I mean that specific pretty where you can tell the woman is really just plain-but-a-decent-body and then she's dyed and primped and made up to within half an inch of her life.)

    The workplaces I'm talking about are in the film industry and the sexism was mostly directed at actresses. I heard (and was part of) some appalling discussions on what an actress contributes to a film, and the general conclusion was not "effective character portrayal." The film industry, even in relatively "serious" films like the Fox one, uses women for sex and men for acting.

  3. I not only still like you, I think there's a lot in there that makes you (IMO) a good feminist. Y'see, I'm strongly of the opinion that a big part of the point of feminism is about each of us doing her own thinking. (Or his, because I have no problem with men being feminists, and because thinking for oneself isn't just about feminists getting to do it.)

    'Course, I've been accused of being a "bad" feminist (or not a Real Feminist(tm)) myself.


  4. Hi Holly,

    All of this only means that you are human, and actually, it kinda makes me like you more. It really irritates me when some people get into the whole "I am more feminist than you" kind of crap. If we agree that women deserve equal opportunities in education and the workplace and that women deserve the same rights as men, then we are both feminists even if we disagree about some details. My question is how can anyone object to any of that, why would anyone not be a feminist?

    I know what you mean about judging other women by their appearance. There was this woman who started coming to my book group and the first couple of times I saw her, she talked about her exercise class and she ate yogurt and granola for breakfast, and she just looked really healthy and physically fit and I found that kind of irritating, but then one day she stood up and I saw that she has a fat ass and I immediately liked her more. Isn't that completely moronic? Now she's one of my best friends and I feel completely stupid for judging her like that when I met her.

  5. Actually, whether or not fictional rape or pedophilia is considered 'okay' or compatible with feminism is something a lot of self-identified feminists hotly debate. I've known a few feminists who believe even fictional rape or pedophilia is exploitative.

    I guess there is a difference between finding somethign exploitative and just thinking it's gross, though.

    I have absolutely no use for anything Tantric or New Age or in any way "not religious, but spiritual."

    I didn't even know this was a feminist stereotype. I'm out of the loop, I guess? But I always thought it was more a stereotype of liberals (particularly upper-middle class white liberals) in particular than hardcore feminists in particular.

    And actually, to be honest, I've known quite a few feminists who were really, really hardcore atheists hostile to any form of religion. I've also known a few Wiccan feminists, granted, but just because the stereotype fits some people doesn't mean that it's a tenet of feminism or that people who don't abide by it are somehow "bad feminists."

    Actually, to be honest, I dislike the Feminist Police in general. I do think there are some positions that it would be really, really difficult to argue for from a feminist perspective, but there's a difference, IMHO, between saying "I think it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to write a coherent, feasible pro-life argument from a feminist perspective" and saying "If you don't agree with me on everything, you're wrong, wrong, wrong and a bad feminist!" If that makes sense.

    Anyway, er. Sorry, I think this got a bit long. :/ And I'm with the other person who said that they may not agree with everything you said (although I don't disagree with all of it, either, to be sure), but I still like you lots and lots and lots!

  6. You haven't lost all of them. :)

    Beauty is subjective. So "women of all shapes, sizes, ages, disabilities, and fashion senses" are indeed beautiful to someone, but not necessarily to every person.

    I think furries and plushies are weird, but not wrong.

  7. I think it's funny/cute that you lied about being raped.

    And fuck fake tits, hair, nails, and skin. They scream insecure. Give me a nice human animal over an android any day.

  8. When I was in my early teens and spent a lot of time on messageboards, someone pretended that he had died. He ("his brother") told me first, and I reported it to the rest of the board, and there was a huge emotional thing that went down before he finally popped up and admitted he'd been lying. I was pretty furious at him for a long time.

    Having been in that sort of situation, I can't say I think it's funny that you pretended to have been raped, but I also don't think it makes you a bad person or anything. Lies like that are things that people do sometimes. I was a giant attention sponge for a long time, and was probably super annoying to talk to. So, y'know, whoops.

    It's so easy to see someone who looks a certain way and immediately stereotype them. I was never a fan of the "popular" girls in school, so my instinct is to glare if I see someone who fits that description in my head.

    Your sexy writing is too awesome for me to dislike you. :D