March 05, 2003

Rant and Mini-Manifesto

Recent events - the details of which I won't get into - have brought on the following dose of high-test vitriol:

You will find, I think, no greater marker for the idiocy of what might be called "mainstream" society than the fact that it has been so successful in making feminism a dirty word. The real truth is that the only people who have a right to be offended by feminism are people who have something to lose by women being treated fairly and equally. If you are a person of this sort, and find feminism offensive or distasteful, you're obviously reaping the benefits in some way of the double-standards of an unfair system, and you are therefore a moron and a fuckwit and I have neither sympathy nor patience for you.

(And I really, really don't want to hear about how old-fashioned "gentlemanly" codes of conduct were so respectful of women. It's respect for women that makes me an enemy of "chivalry." Remember, folks, a pedestal seems nice until you're up on it, at which time you discover two things: first, you've got nowhere else to go; and second, you're now an easy target. Demolish pedestals, and let people be people, for fuck's sake.)

I also have neither time nor sympathy for anyone who still thinks that work ought to be divided up on the basis of anatomy that has no bearing on the process involved. A phallus does not impede one's ability to wash dishes or type a memo, nor is it of any actual use when, say, swinging a hammer (or, as has recently been demonstrated, a golf club). To paraphrase Lloyd Alexander: Men have complained about doing women's work, and women have complained about doing men's work, but the work has never been heard to complain about who was doing it.

And yet nonsense and fuckwittage have had such a hold on people's minds for so long that their legacy continues to horrify. That it should be acceptable, in the year two-thousand-and-fucking-three, for otherwise decent and intelligent grown men to let pass a reference to a thirtysomething competent, professional woman as a "girl" (in a sense and context that clearly implies "secretary") is nothing short of sickening. We should all be further along than this. Such things are neither cute, nor quaint, nor "just a figure of speech." They're insulting and demeaning and, at the very least, moronic. I won't deny that political correctness has had some silly excesses in its day, but I'd hope that anyone with even a little sense and sensitivity could see that one.

And another thing, while I'm on a roll: I'm about fucking sick of the way feminist men are cast by the popular consciousness as either weak and whiny dweebs or double-talking (and often actually predatory) frauds. This is the kind of thing that sets my rage a-boil, so I now put out the call to all males of heart: If you're waffling about tagging yourself with the f-word, now is the time to cut it the hell out. If you're not a fuckwit, and you believe that women are your equals, then you're a feminist, so quit being embarassed and speak up - for the sake of your wives, your girlfriends, your women friends, your mothers, sisters, aunts, and daughters (and maybe especially the last). Say "I am a feminist" and fucking dare your good-old-boy acquaintances to take you down for it.

End of rant. But I make no apologies either for tone or content. My patience has run out. Deal, world.

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