Feminine empathy

Reflecting on recent comments I’ve made, I’ve come to realize that I am an antisemetic Jewish woman.

Kidding. Let’s get scientific: the gender analyzer rated this blog at 99% male – with two poems. That embarasses Chuck Norris. I’m a Canadian dude, and while I know what it’s like to feel kinship with “Jews”, I feel commonality with Jewish Canadians as Canadians, and Jewish people as humans. I might post about my “anti-semitic” moment at some point because it’s an interesting sidenote.

But the fun stuff… in the What to call this? post I said this:

…Because while I share the conservative critiques of “radical” feminism I still see value in much of it and I’ve always had what I’ve thought of as a feminist perspective.

I say this as someone who grew up with a strong sister who imposed her viewpoint as a woman on me and my brothers. I’ll always have that whether or not I think of it as feminist but I believe I’ll lose some of it if I don’t and I don’t want that. By writing these posts as a feminist I’m claiming what I don’t want to lose.

That’s a bold way of putting things no? I’ll do that – but then there’s accuracy. “Impose” is about accurate, although it’s a strong toned word for what I mean. Growing up, she was the dominant (again, too strong toned) character and she had strong views about society’s expectations and stereotypes of women and the disadvantages she saw as a woman. She expressed her frustration with these things to me, and my brothers, and so I, if not sharing those frustrations quite personally, empathize with them in a personal way. I value that, and feel like the way I took the heat in that Best Feminist thread somehow made me feel cut off from that.

Ironically, it seems the most typically sensitive individual involved was da big bad wolfe.

So fun balancing act – affirm my feminine empathy without the lad in me protesting too much.


2 Responses to “Feminine empathy”

  1. mir Says:

    Hi da Wolfe,

    I was talking to a friend last night this, “how to save feminism from itself” problem. The problem as we see it is there is no widely applicable mainstream movement for feminists. Let’s call it pragmatic feminism? There are various flavors of radical, and then there are a bunch of persuasive women who have clearly drunk the kool-aid and now want us all to believe that feminism = special interests (yes that’s right 50% of the population is a special interest …)

    I think many organized thoughts ie; faith, government, modern economics are in a moment of truth right now, no less feminism. The world seems unstable so ideologies retrench become more extreme and thus open themselves up for more attack. I would say we are ripe for some kind of big shake-up, it would be awesome if that shake-up were the widespread acceptance of gender equity.

    It’s scary for people to admit that an ideology they cling to has a weakness, though all do, so a feminist who derives a lot of strength saying from defining feminism, or as Fern does, saying that it is up to women to define themselves as feminists, get uncomfortable when women who do not fit their definition start using the language and the ideas of feminism to push a different agenda. That creates the weird extremism of views we’ve seen lately. I think the general response becomes “sure we can all have our own feminism, just you may be all by yourself when it comes to defending yours”.

    Anyways, I digress, feminism is changing I think mostly because people who are more mainstream, less radical are taking certain feminists principles on board for a wide variety of reasons. Not necessarily the reasons that the let’s call them ‘career’ feminists think are valid.

    Like, if you come to your sense of power as a feminist, by being pro-life, does that make you not a feminist. If the definition of feminism is ” the recognition of one’s own power and ability, the desire that all members of society be treated equally regardless of gender and that maybe we could live in a more just society,” it seems that one could be a feminist while being against abortion. I mean the right to an abortion has long been considered central to a feminist world view, but as more and more people consider their worldviews feminist, the more likelihood there is that feminist worldviews will become richer and more diverse, just like they ought to be.

    The only central tenet of feminism is that women should not be treated poorly, that women have the right to take the power they are offered, or want, and that in using that power they must be just.

    People who are not pro-life would argue that access to abortion is a justice issue. ( I am one of them) but really if I am being a 100% honest if access to abortion is about justice, so too is the security of a fetus.

    So that was a really long answer, because I don’t really have one that makes sense, all I know is that if you are compassionate, if you question your motivations, and if you believe in the possibility of justice, but are never 100% sure that you are right, then you are a lot closer to a feminist (according to my worldview), then a lot of the people who say shit like strippers can’t be feminists.

    Have a happy holiday, I’m off to buy warm boots 😉

  2. New Years Introduction « The General Wolfe Says:

    […] that’s The General Wolfe – Canadian rebellion, and a freefall with warm boots, rubber bullets, and texture. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)“You’ve […]

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