Monday, March 21, 2005

Girls just wanna have fun...

Recently Michele and The Good Doctors had some things to say about feminism.
In Michele's comment section, I found I agree completely with most of her readers...in particular
Ella who said: "I think I would say that I embrace the doctrine of feminism, rather than the movement"
and Mamacita who said:
"People make the simplest things complex on purpose, I swear."

So I thought I'd add my 2 cents.
I realize I'm taking it to extremes here...but many of the feminists took it to extremes, once upon a time. And some still do. Michele and Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred made eloquent posts on the subject of feminism...I'm afraid that my words are only a cheap imitation. But I didn't have anything else to say today. :)

I choose to focus on the little details that sometimes grow into mountainous proportions, for it seems some are threatened by anything they see as undermining their independence, rights, or personal freedoms.

I want to say what feminism is not, to me.
It is not snubbing a man for a courtly gesture, such as stepping back and allowing me to precede him into a room.
It is not rejecting the politeness of one who would hold my chair for me.
It is not making an issue over who 'gets' to pay the check.
It is not deciding to harangue a man who has kindly offered assistance.
It is not treading the boundaries of impoliteness, just so someone will KNOW that I am a capable person.
It is not screaming to make myself heard, to show that I am empowered.

I do not think that having the right to vote, to be heard, to run for office, the ability to seek higher education, equal consideration for a job for which I am equally qualified, for all the other rights we women have (and have fought long and hard to get), should be mutually exclusive from the old-fashioned niceties.
A man who walks around the car to open my door is not taking anything away from me, as a woman.
If a man gives up his seat on the bus/train/whatever for me, he is not taking anything away from my womanhood.
If I should choose to sometimes submit my will to a man's will, this does not make me submissive.

Just so the zealots radical feminists will begin to froth at the mouth...
I confess that I like for a man to open my door.
I like for that same man to hold my chair.
I like for him to help me on or off with my clothes coat.
I feel charmed when a man asks me what I'd like when at a restaurant, and then when the waiter comes to our table, he says, "The lady will have..."
I like the knowledge that the aforementioned man will be picking up the check for my meal. And the movie or theater tickets. Or paying for my bowling shoe rental. Or whatever I have indicated that I'd like to do.
And, of course, the flowers he thoughtfully arrived with.
I like for a man to take out the garbage.
I like for a man to go and start the car & warm it up on freezing winter mornings.

Does liking all these things make me anti-feminist? Or anti-women's lib? Does it make me totally dependent upon a man for happiness and provision?

No, of course not.

Before you fall upon me with sticks and clubs, shrieking, "YOU MUST BE INDEPENDENT! You're allowing the men to steal that from you, to undermine your independence! If you act incapable of DOING for yourself, then men will continue to treat us as though we're incapable of taking care of ourselves! We'll be back to being submissive to men's demands! Stop effing it up for us!"...listen up:

I am so confident in my abilities to take care of myself, so confident of my very independence, that I do not need to shout it from the rooftops.
It is self-evident.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, after five minutes of conversation with me, you would realize that not only am I perfectly capable of lighting my own cigarette, holding my own door open, paying for my own check (and his as well), ordering my own meal, and putting on my own coat, I am also able to get from Point A to Point B without mishap, all by my little ownself. I can fix a clogged sink or toilet. I can change the oil in my car, as well as most of the filters. I know how to light the pilot light on my heater. I can change a tire. I can build a porch. I can kill the spiders in my house (although I would give up that right to anyone else who wanted to take that job).
I can do myriad other things, both big and small.
I earn my own living, I buy my own stuff, I do not depend on anyone other than myself to provide the things I want and need.

But that doesn't mean that I can't LIKE having help with those things, when I want it. Let us not forget that in WOMEN being equal to men...conversely that means MEN are equal to US.

You would further realize that I do have opinions (sometimes even very good ones), that I am not the least bit hesitant to share them, and if someone tries to steamroll me or treat me with condescension~~I am quite able (and willing!) to quickly disabuse them of that notion.
I would put them in their place with no more effort than it takes to swat a fly.

'Cause Monty don't play dat.
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