My WordPress software, as if in a loyal attempt to protect me from cogent, well-delivered criticism of my work, quarantined Emily‘s comment in my spam folder until this morning. Here’s what she had to say on The Feminist Mystique: How Election 2008 Killed a Notorious Word:
Feminism is not supposed to be controversial. It is commonsensical, so by virtue we would be fighting against the odds to make it naughty. The goals the movement seeks to achieve “voting rights, contraception access, pay equity” are not evermore scandalous, they are rudimentary. It’s pitiful that they must be achieved slowly, one step at time involving arduous processes of convincing those in power that women deserve the same freedoms as men. I would absolutely NOT agree that tagging our president as a feminist hurts the movement. Instead I think it’s a slap in the face to those that mock feminism as something that only hot-tempered, irrational women spout off about because they hate men or love women too much or whatever.
These people (men and women) generally never bother to learn what feminism is actually about. Now, when an educated, thoughtful, truly concerned man dedicated to the cause of spreading justice becomes the most popular person in the country (world?) and he can get on board, it’s as Katherine Spillar explained: It’s a wake-up call (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iesUwiwB2iY). Many of the same issues we have been dealing with for decades remain on the table. Equal pay, for example, is so basic it’s outrageous we still have to rely on a “bad word” to muster up any hope of even getting the general public to recognize why it’s problematic that women don’t make the same amount of money for the same job a man does. The same job. Ay. Feminism isn’t an elite club. There is not a limited supply of “This is what a feminist looks like” t-shirts. Anyone can wear one. Shit, everyone should.
Also, the idea that a man, or a popular person, or both at once cannot be a feminist without dampening the cause is preposterous and totally archaic.
Nice comment from Frisky:
“The only people making a mockery of feminism are the feminists who get their knickers in a bunch over EVERYTHING. It’s shameful and it’s embarrassing. The world is not black and white and it’s certainly not men vs. women. Women can align with (and vote for!!) men without turning their backs on their gender, and a man can stand up for women’s rights without being some superhero who’s rescuing feminism. The man was raised by two strong women, is married to a strong woman, has a strong mother-in-law, and is raising two little girls. Why WOULDN’T he be a feminist?”
Photo by buddhakiwi