There was a time once when you couldn’t criticize anything George W. Bush, or is criminal comrades did, for fear of being accused of being “unpatriotic.” See, the Republicans have been terrifyingly successful at branding themselves as “patriotic” even as they lied to the American public, started pointless wars, and stomped all over the Constitution. What they were doing was not at all patriotic, but they declared it so.
As a feminist, it bothers me quite a deal when people mischaracterize feminism. Anti-feminist do this quite a deal, blaming everything they can on feminism no matter how absurd. But what is worse, I think, is when people who call themselves feminist attempt to misappropriate feminism for their own agenda. Feminism means gender equality. It does NOT mean that women (or mothers, specifically) deserve special privilege. Some people who advocate for such a thing do so under the guise of feminism, apparently not knowing or caring about what that term actually means.
I could list off countless examples of this, but what is really getting to me lately is the way self-proclaimed feminists have reacted to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s support of work policies that do NOT treat mothers as special beings. Mayer herself does not call herself a feminist, even though she very likely actually is by definition. It’s just as well, since people who do call themselves feminists but actually are natalism-worshippers out for special treatment now accuse her of being un-feminist.
Here’s the thing, moms don’t deserve paid leave, flexible hours, or work-from-home privileges any more than anyone else. They just don’t. They may WANT those things and find it advantageous to have those things, but that doesn’t mean that they are owed such special treatment. I might find it advantageous to be given 1 million dollars for nothing, but that doesn’t mean that I actually deserve it or that anyone is un-feminist to anyone who does give it to me. Bring your kids to work? Unless it’s a daycare, NO! Be responsible and get a sitter!
Maternity leave? Save your vacation time and save your money, just like anyone else who takes time off. Nine months is plenty of time to prepare and plan. If you can’t do that, you probably shouldn’t be reproducing anyway.
Flexible hours? Work from home? Yeah, everyone (except the employers who would likely suffer from the decline in productivity,) would like that, but it’s not always practical and no one deserves it more than anyone else, not by virtue of being a woman or a mother.
“But it’s haaard to be a mom and work!” No kidding. It would also be hard to hold a regular job while also running a farm or doing anything else that consumes a lot of time. PLAN ACCORDINGLY AND BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CHOICES, LIKE REAL ADULTS!
Contrary to popular belief, employers are not babysitters for grown-ups. You have to be responsible for your own “work-life balance.” The business is paying you to WORK, not to have a personal life. Set your own goals and priorities and be aware that they are not always fully compatible and CHOOSE RESPONSIBLY!
Special treatment for moms just for being moms is NOT feminist. In fact, fear of lost money and productivity by catering to every absurd fake-feminist, natalism-worshipping demand HURTS WOMEN. Employers sometimes find themselves reluctant to hire women of reproductive age for fear they’ll turn entitle-mommy and completely screw them over. I seem to recall this very risk being one of the arguments against the feminist push to normalize women being allowed in the workplace. I really wish interviewers were allowed to ask about a female applicant’s reproductive plans, but they don’t seem to have that legal ability.
So thanks, fake-feminist natalism-worshippers. Your attempts to garner special treatment for certain women for their lifestyle choices is creating a huge step backwards for gender-equality, real feminism.
The “Walk For Life” is anything but. This demonstration/fundraiser is an anti-choice attack on women’s rights, health, and our very lives. The money raised benefits Life Network, which is an organization that attacks reproductive justice and funds FAKE CLINICS to deceive and endanger women. They’re a sick organization with a lot of blood on their hands, with the nerve to call themselves “pro-life.”
Colorado Springs will be the site of this misogynistic spectacle on June the second. It’s 2012 and people can still get away with blatant bigotry and people act like there’s nothing wrong. Not only is this event allowed and with no notable opposition, at least to my knowledge, but local businesses are openly supporting this attack on women without care.
Well, I care, and so should you. Please share this list and don’t do business with those who would oppose reproductive healthcare, STD prevention and treatment, accurate sexual education, contraception, and abortion care – all of which are necessary for healthy men, women, and children.
Also listed were:
No, contrary to popular belief (of mothers,) feminism does NOT mean worshiping the mother-goddess or giving women who breed special privilege above everyone else. It just doesn’t! You do not get to just call yourself feminist, then declare everyone who doesn’t let you have your way at all times anti-feminist. Feminism means equality, not special treatment just for you/whatever group you happen to belong to. Deal with it.
I can’t remember if I’ve written about this before, but something I’ve read recently brought this back to mind. Something like a year ago, I was on a pro-choice, feminist (there’s no such thing as an anti-choice feminist) blog. I forget why it came up, but I remember mentioning that I was planning on getting sterilized. It was then that I was reminded that not all pro-choice people actually are, but many are only pro-choice to the extent that it is still assumed that every woman will and must eventually have children at some point. For it was in a response to my comment where I received one of the weirdest bingos I’ve ever heard in my life. I have yet to be able to locate the post in question, my comment, or the comment of the bingoer. So, here I can only paraphrase what was said.
“You shouldn’t get sterilized. Maybe you don’t want kids, but what if one of your gay friends needs a surrogate?”
Even after all this time, I’m still just astounded by this particular bingo, and not because it’s sensible or convincing at all, far from it. Whereas other, more common bingos are stupid in predictable ways, this one takes a completely different, yet none-the-less ridiculous , approach to reducing me to a mere person-factory, rather than an actual person.
Well, this person first assumes that I have gay, male friends, which it just so happens that I do, not that this person would have had any way of knowing that. The following assumption is that my gay male friends would, first, want children, and, second, view their female friends as vending machine wombs for such a purpose. Not only am I expect to actually consider such a person as a friend at all, but I, as a woman, a friend to gay males, should agree that I am, indeed, a vending machine, and keep myself open for business just in case. The sexism on display is astounding, and especially so when coming from the keyboard of someone who claimed the title of “feminist” who, evidently, didn’t see the glaring problem with his/her words. That is just sad.
I am no stranger to vending-machine-type bingos. I remember that the first time I spoke with an OB/GYN about getting a tubal ligation, he made a point of asking about my partners. I write “partners” plural because he wanted to speak both about my actual boyfriend, as well as a hypothetical “Mr. Right” who could not have been my boyfriend. I was insulted that any man, real or imaginary, should even be considered at all when it came to my body. Yet, I was asked if I was married, then, when the answer was “no,” if I had a boyfriend, “yes.” “And how does he feel about this?” As it just so happened, by boyfriend doesn’t want children either, not that it matters, as it isn’t his decision what I do. Then the OB/GYN asked “What if you meet the right guy, and he wants kids?” As if someone who wanted kids could ever qualify as “the right guy” for me in the first place.
In these bingos, it’s always what he (whoever such a “he” might be) wants that matters most, and I’m a silly girl for not considering him first. The presumption was that what a man, any man, real or not, wants to do with my body is always more important to consider than what I want with my own body. Worse still, this argument is handed to me smugly, as if I really should agree with such a sexist denial and dismissal of my own autonomy. It’s bad enough when this bingo is offered with the man being a hypothetical partner of mine, but now I’m even expected by the bingo first mentioned to find even a hypothetical man who is only even a friend to have more right to my body than I have myself. As a woman, I am to view what I want for myself as less important than what any man wants to do with me, even in the case of men who aren’t even real.
What an awful, misogynistic world.
Edit: My boyfriend read and shared this post. When he and I discussed it, we talked about how to accompanied me to an appointment with another OB/GYN (not the one spoken about in this post.) He was expecting this doctor to ask him what he thought about me getting a tubal ligation. He supports my decision, but would have firmly told the doctor, had he been asked, that what I do is entirely my own business not his (my boyfriend’s.) Happily, this doctor never did asked and was the one who ultimately provided the tubal ligation procedure for me.