I gotta clear a couple things up. I’m afraid that what follows is something in the nature of a pontification. Just so you know what you’re getting into, here’s a synopsis:
I. I reveal the true nature of the ‘bad feminist.’
II. Somewhat taken aback by the shoe-centric responses to yesterday’s post on femininity-as-humanitarian-crisis, I pronounce on high heels even as I beg for a moratorium on shoeblogging.
III. I conclude with a conclusion.
You have been warned.
I. “Does XYZ (where XYZ is “wearing lipstick” or “my job as lap-dancer-in-chief at the Bada Bing” or “eating bacon” or “pleasing my man with some humiliating sex move”) make me a bad feminist?”
Women, it seems, are anxious that feminism should be synonymous with “status quo”; lately this question has been observed springing from computer monitors across the galaxy like hookers from stag party cakes.
The answer to the question is “no”. Doing XYZ (i.e. femininity) does not make you a bad feminist. A bad feminist is someone who pulls wings off flies, promises to take the kid to Disneyland but gets drunk instead, gives LSD to the dog, bombs abortion clinics, steals from grandma to buy dope, forces men at gunpoint to put women’s underwear on their heads, etc.
Doing XYZ merely makes you a hypocrite.
Unless you were some kinda misogynist wingnut to begin with, in which case it just makes you an asshole race-traitor.
II. High heels
I am reluctant to devote much more of my rapidly waning intellect to so fluffy a topic as women’s sexbot footwear, but, dang it, I can’t take it any more.
Look, claiming to love your high heels because they appeal to you in some comprehensively objective, lofty aesthetic sense, separated by a million brilliant intellectual miles from the culture of femininity that spawned’em, is a cop out. Even if it’s the fine workmanship you admire, you must admit that the expertise — however refined or inspired — required to cobble leather into an object designed specifically to beautify oppression is merely a skill, and is altogether a separate proposition from the object itself. You may “love” your shoes — you may even defend them as art — but you do this because to your expert eye they so precisely articulate the intricate and famously elusive ideals of femininity, not because they in any way ennoble the human spirit. Your exquisite pumps may represent some pinnacle of design, but the standards by which their exquisiteness are judged can only exist within the context of patriarchy. No, no! Don’t try to deny it. You know I’m right.
Jesus, what is it about shoes? Nah, don’t answer that.
A. Women whose continued existence depends on capitulation to the feminine directive will get no argument from me. I often use “survival skill” as a synonym for femininity. The structure of patriarchy, which places anyone with a vagina in a continuum of femininity whether they like it or not, is such that the daily opportunities for self-deception and self-betrayal are mucho, relentless, and — with a frequency that depends on class, skin color, and proximity to domineering male godbags, drunks, and pervs — often unavoidable.
B. Connoisseurship of divine little black silk d’Orsay pumps is not inborn. Culture creates taste.