Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My feminism

I do identify as a feminist. I believe that, world wide, women should have choices. I deserve the rights to pursue education, a career path, money based on my merits alone, protection from violence and fear of harm, and to pursue and form my own friendships and family. I deserve the right to practice my faith, to speak out on issues, and to be treated as a human being, without fear of any sort of retribution. However, aspects of my feminism are variable and don't conform to any sort of model.

I do believe that people should not face persecution for their sexual identity or choices (unless those choices involve a non-consenting partner, that is). I believe homophobia and corresponding bullying/acts of violence are reprehensible. I don't care what people do with their partners. That's their decision. However, I'll admit, I'm not completely condoning. For example, I think promiscuity (irrespective of identity) is irresponsible. In a society that worries about STI's, HIV, and cervical cancer, even protection can't make up for the increased risk. I'll admit, regardless of gender or sexual identity, I think it's selfish and represents and attitude of consumerism with regard to people. We're human beings, not cars to test drive or clothes to try on before you by them. Save that shit for a commitment!

With regard to abortion: I'll admit, I'm pro-choice with regard to desperate circumstances. Rape, incest, life threatening medical complications, impending poverty, excessive youth (see rape and incest for that one) are all circumstances in which I would deem it a necessary evil. Believe me, I don't want the back alley to come back. Nor do I want women to die or face serious complications (mentally, financially, physically) because of a pregnancy. At the same time, I don't think it's right willy-nilly. Yes, the men need to step it up in terms of support. Yes, we need fair policies. I agree with that. Yes, we need more education. No, I don't think late-term abortions are OK (unless really life threatening and the baby isn't viable at all). I know, most people don't like it/want it, and I'm not saying that. However, hearing about the twin selection abortions (where mom decides, "Oh, I'll just have one") or a recent article in which a mom confessed to, "not wanting to move to a cheaper zip code," I have to wonder. I'm not sure this is a direction I want our society going into.

I just can't jump as easily on board with what other feminists authors would claim as feminist sexuality. Part of that is my Catholicism, which I adhere to pretty strictly. At the same time, it's not even about what people do different from me. Like I said, I don't care if a friend has a same-sex partner or that sort of thing (I won't do likewise but it's between them and God). I just can't embrace a vision of sexuality that reduces us to fifteen minutes. Nor can I embrace a vision of bodily autonomy that puts me at war with my offspring.

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