Archive for the ‘general “feminine empathy”’ Category

Enough… too much

December 23, 2008

Chip: Shoulder. Shoulder: Chip. Say goodbye.

Thanks Mir. (and Fern, too)

When I made my nomination for Best Feminist it was about her. When I clued in that it wasn’t going to be a postive experience I tried to make it about me. Maybe not too smart since it turns out I took it personally more than anyone.

In the end, it is about her and that’s how it should be.

The post where I gave my reasons for nominating Sara was written partially from the chip on my shoulder and not really intended for what I used it for. It was selfish of me to just link to it as it was written, because as much as I was sensitive to people rejecting me for what I was saying I understood that they would feel rejected by what I was saying. (wrong or right) I tried to let them know I wasn’t rejecting them, and partly so they wouldn’t reject me – without truly moderating what I was saying at all. I invited people to a post that tried to be freinds while strongly questioning important views.

That was maybe more genuine than inconsiderate. Either way, I’m sorry.

I guess all I mean to say is I care about this in India about no dogs or women allowed, and I’m glad and proud to live in a culture with songs like this too. …and happy holiday, I’ll probably be away tomorrow to the new year…

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Feminine empathy

December 22, 2008

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.

“Along the way, many a times, we had heart-burns but we did not burn those sexy bras!”

December 21, 2008

I was going to write a killer takedown of the coalition – and of Stephen Harper this weekend… but right now I want to post about feminism all day. I want to post my favorite feminist/pro-woman country songs and about the feminism101 site I’ve gotten links to. But what I just found was a “possibly related” link that’s definately related. These are the first posted comments by people who call themselves feminists from a post on Ultra Violet called The Many Faces of an Indian Feminist:

(*ed- and here the lad started protesting)

Standing up & saying it:

In an ideal world, Feminism wouldn’t exist. And all feminists should work towards that ideal state when a woman won’t have to depend on legal intervention or resort to bra-burning to get her proportionate share of this world.
~Abhishek Vanamali, 31, Marketing & IT Professional, Mumbai

I’ve been a feminist for a long time — since before I knew what the word meant. My parents had a huge role to play in my understanding of gender roles because they refused to subscribe to or support more conventional notions. Having grown up in a family where people were free to define themselves as people, not as male and female, I always find it odd when people do the latter. Being married to a feminist also brings a different perspective to the systemic ideas of gender structures!

~Aditya Sengupta, 29, IT Professional, Bangalore

I’m a feminist because equality is a universal aspiration and I believe in doing my share to bring it about.

~Amrita Rajan, 27, Writer, New York

Along the way, many a times, we had heart-burns but we did not burn those sexy bras! We simply stood our ground, tolerated when we could, ranted when we could not, loved foolishly and hated when spurned. For those of us who found the going too tough, we walked out, hearts bleeding but the spirit intact, all ready to start afresh.
~Batull Tavawala, 44, Corporate Social Responsibility Professional, Mumbai

Some people around think I should call myself a “humanist” or at least, not a feminist “because you love men and talk about the repercussions of a patriarchal society on men’s lives too.” Yes, I love men. And I care deeply about the different ways in which conditioning has been robbing men and women of various freedoms.
~Chandni Parekh, 25, Psychologist and Sexuality Educator, Mumbai

(more…)

What to call this?

December 21, 2008

I really didn’t expect this controversy about feminism. I know it’s hard for some to take things I’ve said as sincere and no suprise since some of what I wrote at the Best Feminist thread this year was sharply partisan – like “may I never be called reactionary by liberals again”.

I’m certainly not going to apologize for obliquely reflecting an insult (“reactionary”) that I’m used to getting head-on as a conservative but as I say, no suprise that it makes people think I’m not sincere. As I commented here, what many see as conservatives trying to disrupt the Best Feminist category I see as people responding to insults – conservative men and women making the point that one definition of feminism often argues that they are anti-woman or male or “mentally colonized” as Antonia put it. They’re saying this feminism doesn’t speak for all women and it doesn’t have the legitimacy to call them these things.

Coming from that, I have a similar message but the difference is that I’m not trying to deligitimize feminism but making the claim that it does or at least should speak for women in general. It’s controversial because, as I’ve learned, there are people who’s definition of feminism has a specific political content such as supporting daycare as opposed to a child tax credit, or abortion – things they believe are crucial to equality. And if feminism were to include women who oppose abortion or daycare then it would lose its political potency.

So why wouldn’t I, as a conservative, just want to deligitimize feminism if it’s often used to oppose my politics?

We need it. I think we need feminism to mean pro-woman before particular politics. If feminism cuts itself off from speaking for women in general our culture will lose part of the ideals associated with it, and that will deligitimize feminism in itself. Kate McMillian rejects feminism because feminism rejects Margaret Thatcher. Why wouldn’t Thatcher be respected by feminists? I put my post about her in a category called “I’m a confounding bastard aren’t I?” Am I making fun of people? No, I’m protecting myself from hostility by putting people on guard. 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. (see “feminine empathy“) 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. I also say it as someone who knows a similarily strong woman who also recently told me she had an eating disorder for years. It’s so hard to believe it of someone so strong. And that’s why we need feminism. Margaret Thatcher was one of the most successful leaders in British history and that should be celebrated but even strong women, today, must fight these things imposed by our culture. If feminism loses legitimacy in speaking for women like these who will?

This is not the person I refer to above. I know her and I know her as someone that wouldn’t fit into the feminist category as defined by everyone but me in the Best Feminist comments. And I doubt she’d call herself feminist. At this point for Canada I think she and women like her can speak for themselves without a feminist label, but I wish feminists would also speak with her.

“You’ve got…”

December 20, 2008

it’s deleted… I woke up thinking of what Holly thought of this… actually dreaming of a message board and someone saying you just don’t touch something that’s so much a part of how people think of themselves. How weird is that? (dec 23)

(decided not to delete this part…) *note… I think that the “i’m a confounding…” category I put this sounds like I’m making fun of people. I didn’t want to just scrub it – I think the reason I gave in this post explains it better… (scrubbed it anyway)*