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Worldwide Ace » Extending the Revolution: Liberating the Western Woman

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Extending the Revolution: Liberating the Western Woman

11 March, 2005 (13:17) | Women

It’s neither my place nor my right to say the revolution is over. I’m a man. Today, I’m sure women still need to fight for equal pay, equal treatment and equal recognition and respect for their roles in history and society. It’s become all the more difficult with Western culture’s feminist backlash. As a society, we’ve made headway, however small it may be, and that’s creating a problem for the future of the movement. It’s obvious that women have tried harder and had less success than almost any other equal rights movement in recent history. Certainly, sexuality has gained a hold, and an understanding of what a woman wants, needs, and should have is easy enough to discover, even if it’s still stigmatized. Women, have gained a foothold in the workplace, though in most of the major corporations, they still hold a mitigated role.

Today especially, I fear for the women’s movement. With Bush and the right wing trying to trump Roe v Wade, especially with the religious rebirth happening in the darkened corners of the nation, we must be ever vigilant of the attack being mounted. Despite the strides women have made, we’re a moment’s respite away from sweeping the few inches grasped back into the kitchen.

And yet, even with the respect I hold for the movement and my desire to see its success, I have to admit I’m afraid. The more vehement women I personally know and support often seem to be aiming not just for equality, but for vengeance. And I’m scared of that. That they will succeed and few men who willingly gave women the respect they deserved will be demeaned and subjugated along with the chauvinists, misogynists, and patriarchal powers deserving of such treatment. I can only hope that understand that man’s mistake is just as easy for women to make: get what you deserve, what you need, not what you want. Greed; anger; hate; these are man’s mistakes. Don’t let them become woman’s.

-Written for Media and Public Culture

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  • Very nicely put…

    I agree. I can’t stand most hardcore feminists because they go way over the top. I’m all for women with equal skills/jobs getting equal wages, things like that… fair within reason. But the next logical step isn’t for women to BECOME men.

    I’ve seen girls get angry at a guy opening the door for them. When women actually think that a man being courteous to them is demeaning or degrading, a little voice in my head starts screaming “AHHH THAT IS SO SCREWED UP”

  • Very nicely put…

    I agree. I can’t stand most hardcore feminists because they go way over the top. I’m all for women with equal skills/jobs getting equal wages, things like that… fair within reason. But the next logical step isn’t for women to BECOME men.

    I’ve seen girls get angry at a guy opening the door for them. When women actually think that a man being courteous to them is demeaning or degrading, a little voice in my head starts screaming “AHHH THAT IS SO SCREWED UP”

  • The more vehement women I personally know and support often seem to be aiming not just for equality, but for vengeance.Which would be something other than equality, sir. What people don’t get – because the term has been so vilified, or some other array of more complicated reasons, I don’t know – is that the ‘militant feminists’ who want to demean and subjugate men are not feminists. They simply can’t be. I hestitate to take the old grade school track and throw out dictionary definitions, but here I have to. Feminism is an ideology that promotes gender equality. Anyone who wants to subjugate, limit, etc. the opposite sex (or their own) is, yes, a chauvenist. And a chauvenist cannot rightly be called a feminist. I don’t care what mitigating terms are tacked on before it. It’s just impossible. It’s oxymoronic.I’d ask why you would support people you suspect of being vengeful chauvenists, but I may just have misinterpreted that.

  • The more vehement women I personally know and support often seem to be aiming not just for equality, but for vengeance.

    Which would be something other than equality, sir. What people don’t get – because the term has been so vilified, or some other array of more complicated reasons, I don’t know – is that the ‘militant feminists’ who want to demean and subjugate men are not feminists. They simply can’t be. I hestitate to take the old grade school track and throw out dictionary definitions, but here I have to. Feminism is an ideology that promotes gender equality. Anyone who wants to subjugate, limit, etc. the opposite sex (or their own) is, yes, a chauvenist.

    And a chauvenist cannot rightly be called a feminist. I don’t care what mitigating terms are tacked on before it. It’s just impossible. It’s oxymoronic.

    I’d ask why you would support people you suspect of being vengeful chauvenists, but I may just have misinterpreted that.

  • I’m in a women’s studies class this semester, Women in Islam, and its slowly making me want to call myself a feminist again. I’ve been so hesitant of it because of the extremes feminism has seemed to be leaning towards, but the people in my class make me think that there might actually be a new wave of feminists who are reavaluating and recreating the movement to fit what women of this generation need an want.

    I’ve really had to rethink my negative view of the Western feminist movement because of this, and I have a lot of hope that feminism is moving in a more tolerant, less hateful direction.

  • I’m in a women’s studies class this semester, Women in Islam, and its slowly making me want to call myself a feminist again. I’ve been so hesitant of it because of the extremes feminism has seemed to be leaning towards, but the people in my class make me think that there might actually be a new wave of feminists who are reavaluating and recreating the movement to fit what women of this generation need an want.

    I’ve really had to rethink my negative view of the Western feminist movement because of this, and I have a lot of hope that feminism is moving in a more tolerant, less hateful direction.

  • I agree completely with that definition and with your argument. However, feminism as a term has been claimed by people who don’t qualify as feminists. They self-identify themselves as feminists depsite being chuavenists. Therefore, though the term was intended as one thing, it has taken on a cultural meaning beyond its intentions.

    As to why I support so-called-feminists who may take it to far, it’s because there’s a long road ahead before my role in society is truly threatened. I would rather their efforts assist in gaining headway than fight them, point out their flaws, and cause their efforts to be taken away from the cause. When I feel we are close to equality, and when I feel that my status as an equal is threatened, I will speak up, I will fight for what I believe in, and I most certainly will make my views and understanding known.

  • I agree completely with that definition and with your argument. However, feminism as a term has been claimed by people who don’t qualify as feminists. They self-identify themselves as feminists depsite being chuavenists. Therefore, though the term was intended as one thing, it has taken on a cultural meaning beyond its intentions.

    As to why I support so-called-feminists who may take it to far, it’s because there’s a long road ahead before my role in society is truly threatened. I would rather their efforts assist in gaining headway than fight them, point out their flaws, and cause their efforts to be taken away from the cause. When I feel we are close to equality, and when I feel that my status as an equal is threatened, I will speak up, I will fight for what I believe in, and I most certainly will make my views and understanding known.

  • There will always be pockets of “feminisits” who aren’t true feminists, but I think the title should be properly reclaimed and worn with pride. Sexism is the root of many of societies problems and it’s important that we know who truly stands for equality.

  • There will always be pockets of “feminisits” who aren’t true feminists, but I think the title should be properly reclaimed and worn with pride. Sexism is the root of many of societies problems and it’s important that we know who truly stands for equality.

  • Showing respect is not proving yourself stronger, better or in any way superior. In same way, men need to learn that showing emotion is not a sign of weakness. That’s something I know I need to work on.

  • Showing respect is not proving yourself stronger, better or in any way superior. In same way, men need to learn that showing emotion is not a sign of weakness. That’s something I know I need to work on.

  • Oh, and it’s nice to hear from you again. I thought you had disappeared off the face of the planet.

  • Oh, and it’s nice to hear from you again. I thought you had disappeared off the face of the planet.

  • Close enough. I’ve been in retreat on Planet Influenza this week.I can understand the whole ‘the term’s been usurped’ thing, but… well, it still irritates me. It seems like an interminable battle lies ahead when I imagine having to tell everyone “No, I’m not like *those* feminists.” I guess I want to promote a reframing of the discourse, because while that owuld be a complicated battle as well, it can’t be any more complicated. As a bonus, at teh end of it, we’d have a workable vocabulary.

  • Close enough. I’ve been in retreat on Planet Influenza this week.

    I can understand the whole ‘the term’s been usurped’ thing, but… well, it still irritates me. It seems like an interminable battle lies ahead when I imagine having to tell everyone “No, I’m not like *those* feminists.” I guess I want to promote a reframing of the discourse, because while that owuld be a complicated battle as well, it can’t be any more complicated. As a bonus, at teh end of it, we’d have a workable vocabulary.

  • English? Workable? HA! Hell, one you get into the issue of colloquialisms, our language has an ever-changing, mutable nature that’s subject to the whim and whimsy of the people.

    My roommate, a sociology grad student with an English degree, hates the fact that I refuse to acknowledge a dictionary as a linguistic bible. The Oxford English Dictionary is fantastic for etymology, but it’s hardly the best source for current meaning and usage. I doubt I’ll ever defer to a dictionary has having absolute knowledge, especially when misuse becomes common use.

    As for having to explain, even if you are able to make sure everyone knows the true definition of feminism, there will be opponents of the cause that will constantly attempt to give it a derogatory nature. With any slur, epithet or misnomer, the best way to fight it is to accept it and make it your own. Either that or waste billions of government dollars futilely trying to change the understanding through campaigns.

  • English? Workable? HA! Hell, one you get into the issue of colloquialisms, our language has an ever-changing, mutable nature that’s subject to the whim and whimsy of the people.

    My roommate, a sociology grad student with an English degree, hates the fact that I refuse to acknowledge a dictionary as a linguistic bible. The Oxford English Dictionary is fantastic for etymology, but it’s hardly the best source for current meaning and usage. I doubt I’ll ever defer to a dictionary has having absolute knowledge, especially when misuse becomes common use.

    As for having to explain, even if you are able to make sure everyone knows the true definition of feminism, there will be opponents of the cause that will constantly attempt to give it a derogatory nature. With any slur, epithet or misnomer, the best way to fight it is to accept it and make it your own. Either that or waste billions of government dollars futilely trying to change the understanding through campaigns.

  • With any slur, epithet or misnomer, the best way to fight it is to accept it and make it your own.If it’s one the, pardon, “other” invented, yes, that is the best way. But if you keep letting them slime every word you (or your movement) invent to self-define, where does it stop? And yes, yes, English is constantly shifting and whatnot, but if I can slow that shift by snorting every time someone says “I’ll be back momentarily,” then doggone it, I’ll try. Same with “feminism.” Billions in government funds are not a part of this agenda; just simple word of mouth. It may ultimately not work, but… it has a better shot than the other, at least.

  • With any slur, epithet or misnomer, the best way to fight it is to accept it and make it your own.

    If it’s one the, pardon, “other” invented, yes, that is the best way. But if you keep letting them slime every word you (or your movement) invent to self-define, where does it stop?

    And yes, yes, English is constantly shifting and whatnot, but if I can slow that shift by snorting every time someone says “I’ll be back momentarily,” then doggone it, I’ll try.

    Same with “feminism.” Billions in government funds are not a part of this agenda; just simple word of mouth. It may ultimately not work, but… it has a better shot than the other, at least.

  • But if you keep letting them slime every word you (or your movement) invent to self-define, where does it stop?

    You wind up with lots of words that mean what you want them to and a very tired, annoyed “other.” If I don’t believe I can outlast my detractors in a fight for what’s right, then there’s something wrong with me.

  • But if you keep letting them slime every word you (or your movement) invent to self-define, where does it stop?

    You wind up with lots of words that mean what you want them to and a very tired, annoyed “other.” If I don’t believe I can outlast my detractors in a fight for what’s right, then there’s something wrong with me.