Interesting day, there seems to be an all out war of feminist ideologies. Interesting, because I do actually have a DtJ number and I’ve had a small debate with Helen Razer, author of Destroying the point, over physiology in the past. That resulted in my writing So what if male and female brains are different?
I’ve been pondering whether to disagree with Helen or not all morning. Jane Gilmore beat me to it in The point of destroying.
I’ve read Helen’s article twice. While I agree with some of her points I don’t agree with others and I do believe again Helen tries to convince us all men and women are all the same. I am convinced part of the problem we have is we refuse to accept we are in fact different. We refuse to utilise the strengths of each gender to the betterment of the human race while ensuring equality of rights. There seems to be this general push for everyone to believe equality means sameness. It doesn’t. I’ve addressed that question before too.
Yes, Helen is partially right when she says “Women are not nicer. Women are not a civilising influence. Women are just as capable of avarice and stupidity as anyone.” However, there are very few female serial killers, which is contradictory. Helen did prove her own point though – she didn’t write a “nice” article! I did find it interesting the number of men retweeting links to Helen’s article. Disproportionately high, I thought. I didn’t do a full mathematical analysis, I’ll leave that to someone like Chrys who is a whiz at such analysis!
A small point about female poverty, before I forget. I learnt this morning (emphasis added):
Prior to British rule, African women could own property and had legal rights. In 1927, British law declared them legal minors, dependent on their spouses.
I think the above is worth noting in light of Jane’s words:
Changing the inequities of male dominance over public life does not change history, but it is a means of changing the world we live in now.
I’ve also been rapped over the knuckles by a DtJ member for daring to suggest women are partly responsible for the salary gap. In other words, damn it, I’m in trouble from both sides. Which I find interesting.
Why do I find this interesting, you may ask? I’m female, I’ve given birth, had sex, been celibate, I’m professionally qualified (and white, so I fit the definition of “privileged white women complaining about privileged white woman things”), I’ve been married, divorced and orphaned. In other words, I’ve had most female experiences. I’m not dead yet, but in time that too will come. As death comes to us all. I sure as hell consider myself a believer in gender equality.
There is nothing to be gained by being divisive. Either we get our act together and work together or we might as well give up the ghost NOW! I suggest many of these women arguing now were not even around when I was fighting in the workplace for my staff to have the right to wear trousers to work! If you were, well, accept the compliment that I think you are younger than you really are.
Why did I buy into this at all? Several reasons. I believe there is a place for the DtJ type action. There is a place for someone to take action TODAY against the Jones characters and the stupid gang rape t-shirts on Amazon. Such day-to-day stuff reinforces sterotypes and needs to be squashed on a daily basis. Helen does the feminist cause no favours by trashing other groups and trivialising their actions. While Helen may not want to participate at that level, that is not reason to denigrate those who do.
There is, as I said above, a need for us to recognise the gender differences and work with them, not against them. Stop trying to pretend we are all the bloody same, we are not!
In summary, I watch this academic discussion about feminism, agreeing with points on each side and disagreeing with other points, yet am left feeling is feminism really only about standing up for those we perceive are not “privileged white women complaining about privileged white women things”. Because, of course, we are all OK, aren’t we, in our white world?
No, we aren’t.
Don’t miss Hoyden about Town‘s article, by Mindy, on this topic!