Once in a while it amuses me to read my Google Alerts for keyword “feminist” as I slurp down my soylent green kombucha. The blog results are always enlightening. A bit of a barometer. If the random blogger is any indication, feminism’s in bad shape, women. Here are two depressing examples from today’s alert email.
This post by blogger scarlettscion is typical of Google’s selections in the ”feminist” department*; it’s blandly pro-patriarchy and without much in the way of philosophic value. It is entitled “Am I a feminist?”
“Yes I fucking AM.” proclaims the author. But, she hastens to reassure her readers, she likes men. In fact, men don’t oppress women, “culture” does. And we’re all guilty of culture.
Her argument proceeds from the hypothesis that most feminists are judgmental buttbags. We hate men and we hate women who wear skirts. Our author is not that kind of hatey feminist. She is — and this is apparently her sole mode of feminist rebellion — the kind who “objects to ads” that “portray us as material objects.” But on the other hand,
A little objectification never hurt anyone. Ideally I’d like to see a bit more even spread of that objectification (where are all the sexy clothes for men? Why don’t they have hot uncomfortable shoes?) but that doesn’t mean that I think women looking sexy is BAD BAD BAD.
Possibly there’s hope for scarlettscion; she is under the impression that feminists hate “sex workers”, but at least she sort of gets that advertising is exploitative.
I’m not so sure about this guy.
Meet Ric James, outraged dude and self-described “common man.” He quotes an article describing a vicious expression of Saudi misogyny (woman sentenced to “100 lashes” and imprisonment after becoming pregnant pursuant to her having been gang-raped), then actually starts yelling at feminists for failing to force the world to end these travesties by making a big stink about this down at Saudi HQ. That’s right. In an unusual twist on the feminist-bashing trope, he’s supposedly pissed that women are ridding the world of their own oppression in insufficient numbers.
His argument is that, because he’s been forced to endure humiliating “diversity training” at the hands of “some woman with a glaring eye,” women suck. Which explains our failure.
Where are those women, those marchers, those picketers now? Shouldn’t they be in front of the Saudi Embassy or shouting at their elected reps or flooding the media (print, radio, and TV) with demands that we loudly condemn such actions? I know I do and say so when I get the opportunity. Where, I wonder, are they?”
Well, if we were anything like Ric James, we’d be sitting around on our privileged kiesters, self-righteously awaiting the right “opportunity” to “flood the media,” expecting a few disenfranchised women to fix the problem of male violence. But fortunately, we’re not like Ric James. Feminists are loudly condemning this shit all day, every day, all over the world. The trouble is, there are too few feminists, and too many people like Ric and scarlettscion. They’re more interested in deriding feminists than in listening to us as we howl into an indifferent wind.
* Fun fact: I Blame the Patriarchy has never been listed under “feminism” in a GoogleAlert.