The F Word

Gary and I had a conversation this morning that kicked off a tailspin of ideas leading to today’s post. He was talking about an acquaintance of his, and he joked, “I don’t know if you would get along with her. She doesn’t like women much.” I shrugged and joked back, “I don’t like people in general much, so that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t get along!”

I was about to say, “My being feminist doesn’t mean I like all women” when this more honest, to-the-point thought popped into my head: “I am feminist but am sick of paying for other women’s mistakes.”

I don’t believe it makes sense to separate out groups of rights, like women’s rights, men’s rights, etc., as if you go to a different department in Wal-Mart to pick some up. I believe in equal rights, period, and the right for human beings to not be caged and hindered by stereotypes. However, I also believe rights come with responsibilities, and that is where I begin to travel down a different road than the masses, apparently.

There’s a band of ladies I call the Power Puff Girls, who delight in the concept of feminism so long as it means they can wear their “Princess” t-shirts and revel in their shrill calls of “Girl power!” When it comes to backing it up, however, they step away, declare certain acts “men’s work”, play stupid/weak/helpless to get someone to do it for them, and miserably fail at holding their own.

Yes, I am feminist, but I am tired of so many other women tainting the concept, poisoning the idea of equality, by their selfish, idiotic acts. I am tired of the refusal to accept responsibilities, or the twisted idea that affirming rights means stomping on someone else’s.

Very relevant to a lot of readers is this unnecessary conflict with father’s rights. Parents acting as true partners is monumentally beneficial to kids, even if the parents divorce. I believe a mother cannot expect a man to share equally in housework and child care during marriage, then declare his rights obsolete at divorce and thrust out her hand for a check each month while she bashes him to the kids and perches on her self-appointed throne, playing injured martyr and declaring her rights as more important than his…and the kids’.

I know far too many women who make me cringe, who have actually made me think, “I’m ashamed to be associated with her, even if our only similarity is that we are both female.” Thankfully I have “met” many strong, intelligent women through their blogs (see them in my blogroll to the right), and they, along with some of my friends, remind me that the apparent saturation of manipulative, lying, self-serving women doesn’t mean all women act this way, or support acting this way, and many women actually fight others who are acting this way.

One of the most frightful aspects of sexism is again the impact on children. I am so saddened by harmful, dangerous, and unproductive attitudes and behaviors being transmitted like a disease to little girls and boys. I worked at a children’s program where a male teacher jeered a little boy playing with the toy kitchen and even implied he was gay…to a five year old. I have heard mothers tell their young daughters all the things girls don’t do…play sports, wrestle, run, basically anything fun or freeing. Perhaps what these women should say is, “I am not a strong enough person to challenge society’s limitations imposed by gender, so I am impotent at serving as a positive role model for you.”

No child should be taught to limit themselves based on gender, male or female, and no adult should be ignorant or spiteful enough to perpetuate these hateful stereotypes in their own lives. Yet so many are, and do. Please do not define feminism by the actions of women who ride the coattails of better women who fight for equality, accept the responsibility that goes with it, and refuse to step on other’s throats to get there.

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About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
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16 Responses to The F Word

  1. Sungold says:

    Here’s the problem: Women are humans. (For that matter, so are men.) Humans are often selfish. Humans are often short-sighted. Humans are often stupid (even the smart ones). I plead guilty to all of the above, at least some of the time.It’s all the more galling, however, when women (or men) try to cloak their selfishness, stupidity, etc. in some purported higher value, be it feminism, religion, other political ideologies, or whatever. Certain strains of feminism that simply celebrate “empowerment” without any notion of collective responsibility – or that posit women as somehow more moral than men – are definitely part of this problem. As always, with rights come responsibilities.In this area, at least, cats have an edge on us. They are quite selfish and have a walnut-sized brain, but at least their superiority is real and they don’t pretend to be anything they’re not. 🙂

  2. FeministGal says:

    Here here!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I second feministgal!!!C.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I agree with sungold’s comments whole-heartedly. Your entire post also really resonated with me. I encourage all of our children equally with these words: “You can do whatever you set your mind to do.”I wish the whole world were on board with that.

  5. furiousBall says:

    i have a new policy, all people suck regardless of anything

  6. Smirking Cat says:

    Thanks for all your comments. It is exasperating to see women using the label and flag of feminism to twist situations to a self-serving end. No one who truly believes in equal rights for all would attempt to so violently eliminate rights of others. And feeding the ugliness to kids? Unacceptable.

  7. cleverescape says:

    I have been thinking very similar thoughts lately. I used to identify with feminism – the “original” brand anyway. I am from a small town, so all I knew about it was from books. Originally, it is my understanding that feminism’s goal was equal rights for ALL. Not more rights than everybody else, not better rights than men, not to provide excuses for women’s bad behavior. I no longer identify with the feminist movement, as we now know it.It is sad that something so wonderful and well-meaning turned into something entirely different.

  8. Yep, yep and yep.One of my frequent sayings to the girls, “You can do whatever you want to in this life, as long as you protect your noggin”. I hoping to advance this saying as they get older, to emphasize that they really can do anything, be anything, as long as they take care of themselves. Stereotypes be damned!

  9. between3boys says:

    I try not to perpetuate gender bias in my children. We have two boys at the moment and not only does their play room contain a kitchen, but *gasp* they have TWO baby dolls. They often play with both the kitchen and then dolls, asking what the dolls would like for dinner, and even trying to change their clothes. I think it’s important for boys to grow up knowing how to nurture and care for children and not think it’s something their spouse should mainly do. They have trucks and blocks and other “boy” toys, but if/when we have a little girl, she’ll have them, too. In fact, I bet her baby dolls rides around in a Tonka Bulldozer. 😉

  10. SomeOne says:

    I once met a lady who was horrified-I mean she actually gasped- when her mother-in-law gave her son a kids Dirt Devil set. My remark was that boys need to clean house too. She, sort of, agreed, but said she put the set up, then gave it to their daughter when she came along. I told her that my son had wanted a baby doll when he was little, so we got him one. I went on and on about how he took the doll everywhere, loved that baby, sang to that baby, etc. I told her I saw nothing wrong with him having a doll because , one day, he would be a father. She was really squirming! She doesn’t come near me now!! I didn’t dare tell her about his “pink” stage! People need to realize that children are individuals. They are “on loan” to us from God to protect and give values to-NOT infiltrate with gender stereotypes. Let boys try ballet and girls try kickboxing! Let them develop thier own interests. You will be amazed how much they will respect you later on if you don’t stifle them, lie to them, and force them to do what you want them to do.

  11. lucky13 says:

    brilliant, you echo my feelings perfectly. kudos!

  12. Vesper says:

    i agree completely!

  13. Mister-M says:

    Perhaps we need to organize a “peopleism” movement so that we can actually stand for something positive without all of the inherent biases of the vocal minority in any given group?It’s not happening now, but I hope with near instant access to all relevant information (in addition to all of the irrelevant and erroneous) – that people will get down to the least common denominator and base their support on real, supportable facts.Not every situation is equal.I’m not going to clean toilets equally with my partner.She’s never going to change the oil in the cars.Etc. etc. The close second to “it’s not my fault” and “it’s someone else’s fault” is “it’s both our faults equally.” It’s not.Take each day as it comes. Work together for the best outcome. Go to bed happy and loving then wake up and do it all again.

  14. As the mother of a hockey playing daughter — who plays on a BOYS team no less — and a teenage son who seems to have an inherit problem with female authority (he’s also bipolar and this problem with women is KILLING me!), life is a constant struggle of lessons in attempted gender equality and the whole “dont let anyone tell you that you can/cannot do ANYTHING just because you are female/male” speech. I honestly do not know what goes thru someone’s mind when they pollute the minds of CHILDREN with their stupid hang-ups on gender bias and I’m talking about women and men here. Both sides are guilty of doing this. Trying to make any human feel inferior for any superficial reason like gender, skin color, sexual orientation, etc is unacceptable!!! Sorry…I get a little riled up about this stuff. I’m just reinventing the wheel here though. Another fine post, Cat.

  15. Midgetqueen says:

    I don’t actually have any more to add besides absitively, posilutely AMEN SISTER!

  16. Bleu says:

    Well said! I don’t know how I missed this post but I absolutely loved it. I agree so completely. My Skids mother is exactly like you stated. Helpless. Dependant. Pathetic! I remember my SD would say, at age 3, in response to being asked to do ANYTHING “I can’t do it. I’m a girl.” She’s 6 now and still sees herself like this. It scares me that I only have a small amount of time. Really just 4 nights a month. To try to undo the harm that she is exposed to because her BM is a twit!

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