Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dear World Series Pt. 1 "You're pretty, but......."

Dear world,

If you want us to believe we're all naturally pretty, stop telling us we need to wear makeup, that we shouldn't ever aspire to leave the house without it. Stop telling us that, "You're pretty but....." Stop comparing us to our sisters and friends in terms of physical appearance.

We don't all have to be pretty but beauty shouldn't determine who gets treated with dignity and who doesn't.

"Oh, but that's how the world works." Bullshit. It has to start with someone. Fix it. Stop being lazy/cruel/apathetic and fix it.



Friday, January 31, 2014

I Am Young, Married, Feminist..........And Not Sorry

Not sorry :)
Apparently, this piece by Amy Glass, entitled "I Look Down on Young Women With Husbands and Kids and I'm Not Sorry", has been flying all over the Internet yesterday. The premise of Ms. Glass's article is made clear by her title. She does not believe feminism should value women's choices equally and wants to make it clear that doing your family's laundry is nowhere near as "important" as pursuing a STEM career. Also, literally "anyone" can get knocked up or get married, according to her. Well, as a feminist who chose to marry young and pursue her dreams, I feel sorry for her.  I feel sorry that, instead of using her philosophy to help change the world and make it better, she chooses to hold onto what little crumbs of power she has and that she feels she can't make choices that would make her happy instead.

I understand the frustrations that come with being a woman with career aspirations. The constant questions of "don't you want a family?" (while your male peers never have to worry), the contradictions from society expecting you to be educated and working, yet still desiring of male companionship (even if you don't desire men), the need to still worry about your looks because, despite our education, it's clearly about shoes and makeup for us. It's terrible. But, here's what else is terrible: the fact that our society expects us to view work as our primary God-to which we sacrifice our friendships, relationships, dreams, and even our health, both physical and mental. The fact that the people who work in professions that contribute the most to society will never see a decent paycheck, much less secure employment or bonuses. The fact that people who can't work are seen as useless even if they contribute much more to their relationships and communities. The fact that, because care taking is viewed as "women's work," it will never be valued, even though it's what enabled our species to stay alive.  The fact that Ms. Glass feels her worth doesn't derive from her being, but rather from her doing and that she's not alone. Those are all much greater problems in our society-not whether women choose to stay home and do laundry (and, even then, many women feel they don't have a choice if they have kids-how much does daycare cost, again?).

As for whether getting married or pregnant is "so easy"-just because something is the dominant path does not mean it's necessarily the easy path. There are many people in this country who are legally barred from marrying the person they love (and, even if not, face quite a few social consequences from choosing to be with them). There are folks who struggle with infertility and face the possibility of never having kids, even if they want them. Even without those barriers, there are those of us who struggled to make our choices. I've been privileged enough to where legal marriage and the choice to have kids have not really impacted me in such significant ways-but my own journey toward marriage was hardly easy, nor did I make it nearly as flippantly as she suggests. For what it's worth, there are plenty of immature folks in their thirties and forties who get married or pregnant at the drop of a hat and don't care about the real significance of their choices, while there are plenty of young people who think deliberately about their family choices.

Ms. Glass's "feminism" does little more than encourage a utilitarian society to further devalue human life and strengthen a system which has decided it has little use for anyone but the dominant group.  If she is serious about making changes, putting a little more thought into her views, particularly before she poses them to the public, is strongly recommended. Otherwise, she's more like the enemy she claims to fight against.