Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Bra Burning" and other feminist (and feminine) stereotypes that do nothing for me

Bra Burning - Now this is an age-old feminist stereotype. Well... at least it seems that way from my perspective. The way I see bra-burning is that at the time it must have felt like the right thing to do. I don't, however, see bras as an incredibly constricting thing - for many women who have -erm- full chests they're actually quite a good thing since they do hold boobs up there and save the muscles involved. If one's bra is uncomfy, it's probably because one's bra doesn't fit properly. And, of course, one should never sleep in a bra. What I do find annoying, however, is the fact that there is a serious lack of interesting-looking bras that come with the pad-free option. Seriously, I am happy with what I've got.
More to the point, wearing (or not wearing) a bra is a choice each woman must make for herself. It's got nothing to do with "is she or isn't she a feminist", but I suppose that back in the day, bra burning must have been such a flourish that it burnt itself deeply into the minds of everyone, but thankyou, no one's really been doing it seriously for quite some time.

Feminist = Not Getting Any - Sorry, dude. You may be screwing a feminist and not even realise it. Or maybe not... if you're making such an assumption. But, trust me on this one, feminists get sex too.

Girls don't like sex - I know so many girls who feel that their guys don't give enough sex it's funny. Just because boys' sexual desires peak around 18 don't mean girls' do. Women actually peak somewhere in their 30s. One way or the other, everyone's got their own level of horny, no matter their gender. Some people just want sex more than others.

Feminists are bitter old women - I am in my early 20s. I've been a feminist since I learned what the word meant, when I was around 10. Would you call me old? So don't give me that "feminists are all old" crap.
I won't say that I'm not bitter, though. I tend to be a rather bitter person. I do, however, know a number of feminists who are actually quite nice and not bitter at all.
Also, men can be feminists too! (Yeah, yeah, I know there are semiotic issues regarding the word "feminism", I promise I want to write about that, but feel the need to do some research first) One example would be that male rock idol Kurt Cobain. Seriously. Maybe he wasn't self proclaimed, but look at his journal as it was published a few years back. He's got a lot of feminist sentiment happening there. And don't tell me that Courtney Love planted it all there as a part of her insidious murder and sales plot.

Women are empowered by their child-bearing abilities - This is a big one. I am quite happy with my own genitalia. I do not regret being a woman at all. And I do think that the entire set up inside our bodies is pretty impressive. But "feminists" who go so far as to claim that our Motherhood Abilities are what makes us (and I've heard it said in terms of "better" than men) special and wonderful are ridiculous. What about women who don't want kids? It's just as bad as defining masculinity solely by virility. Same problematics. Motherhood doesn't make women anymore special than Fatherhood makes men. The "Miracle of Life" thing is pretty damn miraculous, but doesn't work in the least if one of the sexes is left out. And I think both parents raising kids is to be desired, where possible (yes, even if the parents have seperated and moved on to new partners, no matter the gender or sexuality). Defining women by our wombs is exactly what we've been doing for centuries. It doesn't matter if we are defining it as "SuperWomb" - where the birthing process is an all-woman all-powerful process and men have no place in it beyond the supply of semen - or if we are defining it as "SlaveWomb" - where thirteen year old girls are sold by their fathers to a man who expects them to bear him as many children (especially sons) as humanly possible before they croak. It's just as dumb one way or the other. As animals (yes, I called human beings animals) the survival of our species has always been dependent on procreation. And parenting is very important. But women are not broodmares. We usually do more things with our lives than pumping out kids.
Women are more than their wombs. Men are more than their testicles. We are all so much more than our genitalia. Doesn't that thought make you feel good about yourself? Doesn't it feel liberating? Besides, producing children shouldn't be a pissing contest over whose genitals are more special. Anyone who even considers having kids should definately be mature enough to know that.

Girls who plan their weddings - Ok, so this isn't a totally unjust stereotype. I know many girls who have been planning their wedding in some form or another since they were like 4, but I am not one of them. You want to know the truth? I DON'T WANT TO GET MARRIED. I'll be happy if someday I find someone I want to be with for the rest of my life, and would consider marriage if this person felt it to be very important. Yes, all that. BUT I'd rather not, if only for a political point. Marriage is not high on my priorities. Conversely, it's right down at the bottom. And if I DO get married, yeah, I'm keeping my name. Damn right I am. I find marriage somewhat laughable as an outdated and obsolete institution. If you need to go through some huge ridiculous process to commit to someone, chances are you actually don't want to commit to them. That's right. I called it ridiculous. Then again, maybe you can't stand the thought of living in sin. To which I say "There are worse sins", but that's an entirely different conversation.

Feminists can't be hot - Wanna see hawt feminists?
Pantychrist is a Hamilton (ON) punk band. They're all pretty conventially hot. And their lyrics are about as feminist as you get. ("I'd call you a cunt but a cunt is useful" is one example).
More precisely to the point: Want erotica that I would argue is feminist? Try Uberslut.com, an erotica site.
And you didn't think that feminism could be hot.


Electric Furr said...

mmm, you know I've had a few profs tell the class that this idea that feminists in the 60s and 70s were burning their bras never really happened, that is was more of a trope to describe the sentiment of what was going on. So it could just be a stereotype based on nothing...though when I think about it, I don't know any woman who was around that time who did that or remembers anyone else doing it.

Medea said...

Ah ha ha ha... That actually doesn't offer much comfort. It kinda makes the whole situation worse... *isgh...