Sunday, September 24, 2006

Am I a Feminist? Part IV--Tenets of Feminist Dogma

Background: Part I, Part II, Part III

There are many places where feminism and I agree.

I want fairness. If I’m doing the same job as someone with a penis, I want to be paid the same amount of money. I want procedures and business practices in place that don’t favor men or women over the other. I don’t want to be penalized in the workforce for using my breasts and uterus. One could argue that the fact that I have this biological plumbing, life is inherently unfair, but I do and God doesn’t have time to discuss the whys and wherefores with me. Since it’s a fact, I would like to be able to keep my job, if I want to stay home for a year. Maybe a graduated re-entry into work would work. Hell, a friend with a busted neck is receiving that treatment why not pregnant women? Why must a woman deny her unique biology and change to fit a man’s world? Why would so-called feminists support legislation that essentially discriminates against women?

I want respect. If the workplace is filled with many cultures and both genders, I don’t want to be hearing nasty language. I don’t want my breast fondled (happened). I don’t want a “business meeting” happen at the strip club, on the basketball court (happened) or golf course or anywhere else inhospitable to a woman. It is disrespectful.

At home, I don’t want it assumed that because I have ovaries, I also have an innate adoration of laundry, ironing, cooking, etc. I don’t want it assumed that cooking, cleaning, baking, playing, coloring, dressing, and all the other stuff is a natural, in-born gift. Much of it is drudgery.

At home, I want my husband to be as interested in the kid’s progress, as interested in their development as I am. I want him to clean up after himself and after the kids, too. That is just simple respect.

I don’t want a family life where my husband feels entitled to boss me around from his recliner ala Archie Bunker and wouldn’t know where to find a dish towel if his life depended on it.

Thankfully, my life isn’t what I describe above. And my life and my husband’s life are better for it. He has a relationship with his kids our fathers never had. We have a relationship that is better balanced. We divide labor in ways that aren’t necessarily gender-driven but talent and interest-driven.

I thank Feminism for these changes. Who wants to go back to the old days?

I thank feminism for the fact that it is not a crazy notion to know that I’ll start back in practice full time once the kids are all in school. I thank feminism for the push to get women educated. I thank feminism for pushing the notion of equal rights.

But there are ways where I do not hold to feminist dogma.

I am anti-abortion. Unless a woman is going to die, I am against abortion. I’ll get into they whys and wherefores some time and have in the past, but suffice it to say that I believe abortion is a crime against women and ultimately serves men and a society who don’t wish to support her.

I am pro-men. I like men. I don’t view them as devils and I don’t believe that women are so inherently, chromosomally superior that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes men have made given the same chances. In fact, what I see in the feminist world, is women making the same mistakes men made and calling them better because women are making them.

I view the neuterization of America with trepidation. I believe there is a useful purpose for testosterone and the inherent gender differences between the sexes. I do not hold to the dogma as some feminists do, that we are all the same and that gender differences are “magnified.” Rubbish. There is a spectrum of course, and men and women overlap in talents, etc. But there is a uniquely male perspective and I no more want the world rid of it than I want the world rid of the uniquely female perspective.

Why isn’t it possible these days to be both pro-women and pro-men? Why can’t a woman joyfully embrace her biological imperative and also joyfully embrace her contribution to the world however that manifests?

So, if you have read these posts, am I a feminist?


ElisaC said...

It seems clear to me that you are a feminist. The first half of this post are what I believe feminism is about...definitely not being anti-male.

Antoinette said...

Abortion was the nail in the coffin of the modern woman's movement. The prime example is that allegedly feminist journalist, I always forget her name, who said she would gladly get down on her knees to, let's call it service Bill Clinton, in order to thank him for keeping abortion legal. Feminism was suppossed to end woman's place as being a mere sexual handmaiden. Instead faminism ended up glorifying woman's place as sexual handmaiden, all in the name of legal abortion. Which of course was just a bunch of old men making it easier for young men to treat women as sexual handmaidens.

Dr. Melissa said...

Thanks to abortion and easy divorce, I do believe that women have been reduced to "sexual handmaidens". Women are a repository for a man's needs getting met. She has glorified the animal in men and women in the name of "sexual freedom" as if the animal part of man is what defines freedom and what women should emulate.

A feminist, by the sexual revolution's definition, is no better than a horny teenage boy.