3.30.2009

Quick Note on Feminism

The last time I discussed office politics with a friend, last week, was also my last. I promise. I always talk too freely when I am asked.

After we joked about the notorious ladies man in the office, and how everyone's attitude and behavior polarizes around him (including her behavior, by her admission), I proposed that a women's power shift would seem fair after what some were put through or went along with unnecessarily. I am always struggling with not wanting to depend on my husband, and enjoy succeeding with my own, small, personal financial satisfactions. She immediately said I must be a feminist and possibly have penis envy.

Seriously? She could have just said you're nuts and left it at that. Not one to back down at being told I suffered from penis envy (WTF) my reply was: yes I am a feminist, not gay, and I like "them" just fine on men. I was weary and ready to take my leave remembering I left the fudge on the stove--however, since silence equals assent in most cases...

My definition of feminism is standing up for oneself and one's sex, which hardly seems to willfully exclude the other team--if done judiciously. I'm weary of the "joke" that feminists are gay--said in an ostracizing tone of voice. You can be both, but always? More importantly, would that be a bad thing? And why is it that International Women's Day isn't celebrated in the US? Would it be gay to celebrate women in the US? Would that also be a bad thing?

Could it be that the misconception of feminist-gay (where a negative connotation is applied) is incorrectly founded on or referring to a traditionalist view of gender roles and the philosophies of mysogyny and misandrony? These three perspectives, somewhere along the line, took an unhealthy exit ramp near the city of discrimination, and have since been out lost wondering the uncharted philosophy wilderness.

I really can't wait for my summer term's "women's role in literature" course. I'm looking forward to a refreshing, positive take on the contributions that powerful and intelligent women have made in society.