Looking for a New Feminism

22 November 2009

According to the "Things You Should Know By Now" column in today's Sunday Life magazine, "you'll never catch a husband" if, as a young lady, you cannot hem a skirt.

I asked my husband-to-be-in-two-months if he loved me any less because I can't hem a skirt. (I don't even iron). The answer was no, he couldn't possibly love me any less. Seriously though, the question was demeaning to both of us. Where the hell did this new conservatism and desire to return to traditional gender roles come from?

There's been a creepy anti-feminism backlash going on for a few years now. Lady Gaga shared this gem withv the world: "There's a stigma around feminism that's a little bit man-hating. And I don't promote hatred, ever". She doesn't want to be known as a feminist, you see. She's all about the empowerment, in this case by writhing around half naked, singing about taking a ride on a disco stick.

Seems today you can iron your man's shirt or you can pose for FHM but the one thing you can't do is claim your rights as an equal member of society, independent of male approval. It seems not to occur to Lady Gaga that she could in any way reclaim feminism. Feminism = bad. Where did it all go wrong? My guess is with the idea that women already have everything they need and the women still bleating about feminism just want to get rid of men all together. It's not true...everything in this post is as current today as when I wrote/copy and pasted it nearly six years ago. We still need feminism and we still need to say what that feminism really means.

Instead we have girls decking themselves out in Playboy merchandise, and brides still being given away by their fathers, completing the transfer of ownership from one man to another while decked out in faux-virginal finery. Feminism isn't about the middle ground here - it's about forging a new path entirely. But how do we get it back?


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