Saturday, October 13, 2007

3) Do you think that feminism has drifted away from a collective conversation and more toward pursuance of personal goals?


Pam Vassil said...

feminism back in the day and now

Growing up, I was not a feminist. Or at least I never would have
defined myself that way. When I was 16, I was burned with scalding
coffee in a restaurant. I sued. Not to make money, but to cover the
cost of the doctors' (male) bills, who jacked up all the prices once
they heard I was suing. In the end, I got a small amount of money that
barely covered my expenses. The ruling was that because I didn't use my body in my get the point. When I graduated from college and started working, I saw the light. I am now 63 and my "change"(pre-menopause, the really BIG change) happened on day one when I walked into my first job. All that came afterwards was on the back of those of us, who made it possible for younger women to have it all if they want it. For me and for my friends, marriage, kids, jobs, all at the same time were just not possible. I see the changes that have happened over 40 plus years. And they are considerable. But in some basic ways, conditions are the same. Women's organizations, magazines,
etc, don't make it any easier for women to take maternity leaves. Men
still make more money. Men still make the decisions. and there are
still tons of harassment suits. So what's that all about? What has
changed is the DEGREE of all that stuff. There are some firms that
treat women well and provide better benefits. And women have more
independent lives and can pick and chose what they want to do. But if
they get married and have a kid(s), guess who has to say thank you when
the guy takes care of the kid and they go out? The men refer to it as
babysitting--even if it's their own kid. And who works, cooks and takes
care of the kid? Still the woman. Having a child is wonderful, but it's one more job to do. Who does the laundry or the shopping? Goes to the dry cleaner? And even if the guy helps, who has to organize all of it? You got it!
So how much has changed? Propably much more in the workplace, but not
so much at home, even though it's much better than it was. And here is the question. When we women meet a guy who is willing to and does stay home with a child while the wife works, how do we think of him? Sadly, not with much respect. So it's still a big mess.


Trin RM said...

An interesting point about men referring to babysitting their own children: An argument I have had on many a day with my ex husband. it finally stoppeed when my daughter at twelve told him that even her step father doesn't degrade her in such a way as to refer to spending time with her as babysittng!

But I digress fromthe question.
yes, I do think feminism has drifted, because women are women's own worst enemies. We are the biggest deflators of our own causes, and the biggest instigators of dissension in the ranks. I am a midwife, and time and time again, I see women undermined in thier world not by their men, but by their women.

I work in a female dominated environment, and have much more difficulty dealing with my feamle counterparts than with my male colleagues: Women eat thier young. We do not support each other in the pursuit of our goals, often women stand by the side, ponting out the roadblocks.

This is not always true: whe women work together, aazing things can happen. But our ideology is not consistent. Any woman who bucks the mold stands alone. And the lack of a consistent definition of what it is to be feminist does not allow a movement that is effective to flourish.
IMO, of course.