Tag Archives: Feminism

Thoughts on the Eve of the Election and Why I’m With Her

8 Nov

I am genuinely frightened at the prospect of a Trump presidency.  The very thought that a racist, misogynistic, narcissistic demagogue could possibly be elected President of this country should frighten us all.  However, we still do not live in a world where every person can see the clear error in Donald Trump’s ways. Today, on November 8, 2016, I will cast my vote for Hillary Clinton.

When the election first got underway, I was pro Bernie.  I voted for Bernie in the primaries, and proudly.  I found his brash, honest way of speaking to be refreshing.  But then, the reality set in.  Bernie was not electable by many segments of the American population.  As his defeat in the primaries was clear, I at first was angry at the prospect of voting for Hillary Clinton.  I am still unsure why this is, but I do have to attribute part of it to internalized misogyny.

As a young woman, I have been very lucky.  I was always told I could do whatever I wanted if I put my mind to it.  Even my father, with whom I do not have the best relationship, told me that I could do anything.  He said that the quality he admired most about me is that no matter what, I get back up and try again.  He admired my persistence and drive.  I took this to heart.  I went to college and double-majored.  I interned at NBC.  I started this blog to express my unapologetic feminist thinking.  I am a stand up comedian and a pretty good one at that – in a world where stand up is seen as a man’s game.  I am living a life that women in many other countries are not privileged enough to lead.  I know that without the sacrifice and bravery of many women before me, this would not have been possible.  Hillary Clinton is one of those women I should thank.

young-hillary

However, I was still angry about voting for Hillary until very recently.  People who I consider my friends (women at that) urged me to watch anti-Clinton propaganda in tee form of a “documentary” called Clinton Cash.  This film, produced by employees of Breitbart, did nothing but attempt to smear the critical life’s work of Hillary Clinton.  Hillary has served the public many times over – as a public defense attorney, as First Lady of Arkansas and the U.S., as a Senator of New York, as Secretary of State.  And yet, it all comes down to one thing for some people – she’s a woman and therefore she’s a shrew, a bitch, evil, cunty, a witch, a whore, etc.  These are the words that people use to describe women in positions of power.  Why?  Because women in power are threats.  Women in power must be silenced.  Women in power are not deemed fit for public consumption.  I’ve been fed this lie and shamefully believed it myself.  As I get older, I see how our society attempts to shape women into obedient little girls.  None of us should stand by idly.  Today, I see no other more responsible option as a citizen than voting for Hillary Clinton.

I vividly remember a moment in my third grade class at Skyway Elementary School in 1996.  My teacher at the time, Miss Burke, is leading a discussion on the election, which at the time is taking place between President Clinton and Bob Dole.  Miss Burke says that she wants to see a black man become President in her lifetime.  She then says it would be even more amazing to see a woman become President.  This memory is so vivid in my mind – only twelve years later, we had our first black President.  I proudly attended the 2008 Inauguration, braving the coldest, most bitter winter of my memory in order to see Barack Obama sworn in at the Capitol.

I was raised by a proud Democrat mother. I was taught from a young age to recognize the values that form the fabric of our country – equality, justice, aid for the sick and poor, and the championing of women and minorities.  I am unapologetically liberal.  I am unapologetically feminist.  I am strong, I am independent, and I am fierce. I’m with her.

#ImWithHer

hillary-logo

Advertisements

Donald Trump is Not Qualified to be President; Vote for Bernie Sanders

24 Jan

Donald Trump

Just when you thought things could not get any more strange in American politics, Donald Trump noted while speaking at a Christian college in Iowa.  Trump, while holding his hand in the shape of a gun, said the following: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”

In this moment, Trump ironically and unintentionally pointed out the problem with those supporting him.  These people do not understand the issues at stake in this election.  We are at an impasse that may only be divided between the rich and the poor, the old and the young.  The rich continue to take what we’ve earned through blood sweat and tears, forcing us into labor that does not lead to a comfortable life and retirement, but rather, people working until their dying days.

This election is most critical for women and minorities.  Women now outnumber men in the United States, and minorities now comprise over 36% of the population.  There are 83.1 million members of the Millennial generation, the vast majority of whom support minimum wage increases, pro-choice agendas, and reforming the student loan industry.  The feminist movement is in the midst of a fourth wave.  This is a time ripe for revolution.

With that being said, if anyone votes for Donald Trump for President of the United States, they have no idea of the damage they are doing.  He is a lunatic and many Americans are eating it up.  We are corporate drones.  We are the drinkers of sponsored Kool Aid.  We love cheap TVs.

Do not vote for Donald Trump.

The author of this blog proudly endorses Bernie Sanders for President of the United States.

Apparently People Do Not Understand What Feminism Really Is

14 Jul

There appears to be a vast divide between those who comprehend what feminism is and what it aims to do, and what some people appear to think what feminism is.  Last night I saw one of those Buzzfeed compilation lists titled “14 Women Say Why They Don’t Need Feminism”.  Never in my life has my brain twitched so badly.  Pulled from a Facebook group page called “Women Against Feminism,” each photo features a woman holding up a written reason for why she does not “need” feminism.  Talk about misunderstanding and lack of appropriate education.

Feminism is nothing more than the belief that women should have equal access to those things that all others may have access to.  This includes the right to vote, the ability to get an education, working a job with a living wage, and being able to drive.  All of these examples are a direct result of the hard work of our feminist sisters of years past.  However, there seems to be a misinterpretation of the word that associates feminism with man-hating and women somehow inhibiting the rights of men.

Here’s are some examples of posts found on the Facebook group “Women Against Feminism”:

Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 11.30.47 AM

Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 11.39.51 AM Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 11.40.24 AM

Yikes, these are all bad.  It’s amazing how some of these women think that feminism indicates some sort of non-equality.  This points to an obvious lack of education on what the concept of feminism is, and what the word means.  The truth is that if any woman takes advantage of her ability to work for a living wage, vote, or drive, she is a direct beneficiary of the work of feminism.  Feminism is nothing more than the belief that women should have access to equality and be able to experience all those rights enjoyed by men.  It is not an affront against men, and those extremists who are labeled “man-haters” are not the best representatives of feminism.  Hopefully the stigma against feminism will begin to evaporate as a new generation of women come into their own.

 

The Next Wave of the Feminist Movement and What #YesAllWomen Really Means

1 Jun

Photo Credit: Fotolia

The use of the hashtag “#YesAllWomen” is generating heated and necessary debate among social media users with regard to the recent UCSB massacre.  Elliott Rodger, the perpetrator of three stabbing deaths of his roommates, three shooting deaths of two women and one man, the serious injuries of several others, and his last act of suicide, is gaining public momentum due to his multiple YouTube videos and 140 page manifesto geared toward “retribution” against women who he felt rejected him his entire life.  Rodger felt entitled to many things, and the greatest of them was sex from beautiful women, which he was denied, in his own mind.

Rodger also specifically named one woman as the brunt of his reasoning for committing his final violent acts.  Rodger, who self-identified as an “incel,” or “involuntary celibate,” blamed his repeated rejections by women on the reasoning for his final maniac rampage.  The fact that the term “incel” exists should be infuriating enough on its own, because sex is not something that people are automatically entitled to.  This attitude of entitlement is what led Rodgers to kill, and it is quite similar to the entitlement felt by many men that all too often leads to acts of sexual harassment and assault.  Here is the truth about sex: sex is not something anyone, including men or women, has any entitlement toward.

A conversation about what rape culture really is, and how it affects the lives of all women, including your sisters, wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, and friends appears to be opening up in the mainstream.  However, there appear to be those who simply do not understand what the concept of “rape culture” really tries to accomplish, and one sickening article by Caroline Kitchens appearing in Time in late March called for ending “Rape Culture Hysteria”.  Ms. Kitchens’ use of the word “hysteria” to describe what she calls the outrage present on feminist blogs and other media outlets harkens to centuries past, when “hysteria” was often the go-to medical diagnosis of a woman experiencing any sort of emotional reaction.  Also formerly known as the “widow’s disease,” hysteria was once thought to be caused by retaining female sexual fluids, and in order to be cured, a woman must release them through intercourse.  “Hysteria” is not the proper term to use when discussing the cultural norms that perpetuate sexual abuse and harassment.

Kitchens misses the point and includes this quote by RAINN: “Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime”.  Surely, this may be true, but where did the values held by a rapist come from? Surely they were instilled by those among him.  This is a symptom of a cultural link to the values that promote sexual harassment and violence.  Although the term “rape culture” is rather jarring, it is clear that there is a sometimes invisible mode of violence set against women in this country and beyond.  Currently, there is no real conversation about misogyny and its effects on the women who are privy to it.  Misogyny runs deep through our society, and its most subtle touches may be seen in nearly every moment.

There are three distinct waves of feminism as defined by modern sociology, with the third wave referring to the period beginning in the early 1990s and lasting through the present.  Third Wave feminism incorporates queer theory and women-of-color corollaries.  Second Wave feminism focused on simply what was good or not good for women. The Third Wave maintains gender violence as one of its foci, and the reclamation of terms such as “slut” or “whore” is popular amongst third wave feminists. However, it appears that this reclamation is no longer appropriate in the face of what happened at UCSB.  In fact, there may be a backlash against sexual reclamation.  It is almost as though we are clamoring backward and saying, “Oh wait, there is actually no such thing as a slut!!”  This reconfiguring of Third Wave values may be leading to a Fourth Wave.

Let’s not forget every moment at which women are vulnerable to the stares and sexual whims of men.  Men have masturbated to me on the subway and in places that are supposed to be safe, like the library.  On one occasion I chased a man out of a college university library while simultaneously calling the police on my phone.  Someone I asked for assistance did not take what I was saying seriously enough.  This is the world we live in. A world where women remain in perpetuity as objects and men have every right to stare and please themselves as they do it.  A world where “she was asking for it”.  This needs to end now.

What the hashtag #YesAllWomen attempts to carry out is not a front against men.  True feminists do not hate men, and the term “feminist” is not a threat to masculinity.  What it means to be feminist is to believe that women have the same rights as men.  It is not a pitchfork term meant to intimidate and terrorize men.  As a new wave of feminism appears to be approaching, it is critical to realize that this wave is about setting the status quo and aiming to make the world a safer place for all women.  Acts such as those committed by Elliot Rodger, although cowardly and a shock to the country, do not need to happen again.  There is a way of changing how we treat women, and it begins with taking a hard look at how the abuse of women by men in is perpetuated in our society.

Are You a Woman with a College Degree? Prepare to Die Alone.

23 Feb

It’s been a little while since my last post. My apologies for that.

Last week I saw an article that requires a response from women everywhere, especially women who are independent, educated, and hold strong opinions.  In a piece decrying the nature of “hookup culture,” conservative writer Charlotte Allen makes an extreme claim that as women get older, their intrinsic stock goes down.

In The Mating Mind, Geoffrey Miller wrote:

Our ancestors probably had their first sexual experiences soon after reaching sexual maturity. They would pass through a sequence of relationships of varying durations over the course of a lifetime. Some relationships might have lasted no more than a few days. .  .  . Many Pleistocene mothers probably had boyfriends. But each woman’s boyfriend may not have been the father of any of her offspring. .  .  . Males may have given some food to females and their offspring, and may have defended them from other men, but .  .  . anthropologists now view much of this behavior more as courtship effort than paternal investment.

That’s a pretty fair description of mating life today in the urban underclass and the meth-lab culture of rural America. Take away the offspring, blocked by the Pill and ready abortion, and it’s also a pretty fair description of today’s prolonged singles scene. In other words, we have met the Stone Age, and it is us.

Living in the New Paleolithic can be hard on women, many of whom party on merrily until they reach age 30 and then panic. “They’re at the peak of their beauty in their early 20s—they’re luscious—but the guys their age don’t look as good, so they say to themselves: ‘Why do I want to get married?,’ ” notes Kay Hymowitz, a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, who is writing a book about the singles crisis. “Then they get to age 28, 29, and their fertility goes down and they’re not quite so luscious. But the guys their age are starting to make money, they look better, they’ve got self-assurance, and they’ve also got the pick of the 23-year-olds.”

She has a degree, but does she have a man?

The “new paleolithic” that Ms. Allen describes is the growing trend of women to delay settling down and getting married. I do not have any statistics on the subject but I would like to assume that the sort of woman who waits to find a potential partner until her late twenties is quite possibly busy improving other aspects of her life. Perhaps this woman attended graduate school, perhaps she spent her 20’s traveling or volunteering. By blaming the Pill and other methods of contraception as the cause of a “prolonged singles scene,” Allen is vastly underestimating the single woman. If a woman takes the Pill, she is not doing so to avoid settling down. It could be for any number of reasons. Here it seems that Allen is measuring a woman’s value by the number of eggs she has left – what about accomplishments that would otherwise go unfulfilled if she had simply settled for the first man who came along?

A silly claim Allen makes is that “beta” men are those  suffering in today’s dating scene:

it is actually beta men who are the greatest victims of the current mating chaos: the ones who work hard, act nice, and find themselves searching in vain for potential wives and girlfriends among the hordes of young women besotted by alphas.

In other words, these beta men, whom one can presume are beta either due to a lack of traditional good looks or a lack of a college degree, are suffering because of feminism! God forbid that a woman go off and get a college education! What about the beer-bellied, couch-ridden men of America? Someone help these men!

Worst of all is Allen’s insistence that a woman generally loses her desirability  by the age of 28. When a woman reaches this magical number while still single, she is forced to settle for a dreaded “beta”. So ladies, if you have a college degree and you’re headed toward 28, be prepared to spend the rest of your days a sad and lonely specimen, a dusty relic of “hookup culture”.