October 09, 2006

"There's trees in the desert since you moved out"

Tagged again, this time by belledame, who caught it from feministe; and who am I to refuse? So, then: five things (hail Eris!) Feminism Has Done For Me:

1. I work as a Filthy Assistant at a small woman-owned company, and am the only male out of ten employees at corporate HQ. Aside from having feminism to thank for making it possible for me to have the Best Boss Ever, I also don't have to feel like this situation is some sort of failing on my part.

2. Thanks to my feminist mom's unwillingness to believe that having a dick makes certain kinds of work impossible, I am self-sufficent: I know how to cook, clean, do my own laundry, buy my own clothes and groceries, and generally see to it on my own that any place I live remains livable. Of course, the fact that I'm not especially good about doing all of those things regularly is another of feminism's lessons, in that I also realize that if they don't all happen every day the world will, by some miracle, consistently fail to end.

3. The work of Ellen Kushner, Susanna Clarke, Patricia McKillip, Carla Speed McNeil, Elizabeth Bear, Jill Thompson, Joolie Wood, Carla Kihlstedt, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, and many others has had a profound influence on my life and my work. Not only am I proud to list those women among my heroes, I'm glad to live in a world where I have access to their work and can pick it up without the fear of getting Girl Cooties all over me.

4. I've kept my hair long for the last four vaguely respectable jobs I've held, and worn an earring to interview for the last three. The breakdown of strict patriarchal standards has given me a great deal more freedom to be who I am without sacrificing material success. (And I don't worry about losing my job if I get spotted by a coworker on the weekend while I'm in nail polish and eyeliner, either.)

5. Some of My Best Friends are Chicks, Really! Er, that is: I feel confident in saying that having an alternative framework for interacting with women (i.e., as actual, yanno, people), without needing to dominate, condescend to, or try and fuck them, has given me a long list of satisfying friendships I wouldn't otherwise have had, and my life would be poorer without them. And I have the pleasure of a marriage that's a geniune partnership; in addition to not needing to be the sole breadwinner/caretaker/responsible adult in my house, I get to spend my life with someone who's actually my friend along with everything else. The whole thing makes me wonder why we didn't start to figure all this nonsense out a long time ago.

...all of which, btw, feels just slightly uncomfortably like I'm pointing out my Feminist Cred, something I generally hate to do (I've said elsewhere that I suspect it's one of those things like cool or Zen, in that if you think you have enough of it to draw attention to, you don't), but the benefits of having one or two bona fide hairy males joining in on this is probably to the greater good. (If it makes you feel any better, The Missus just observed that the bespectacled Naughty Librarian look is suddenly in all over the place, and that's a benefit of feminism I can get behind for almost no altruistic reasons whatsoever.)

Um, not going to tag anyone on this one, I think. I'll leave it to those Fawning Admirers who feels sufficiently inspired to do their own if they like. But I'll point out here that there's also a fine list over at Butterfly Cauldron, and that both Jean and A White Bear are using this meme to launch promising-looking series. Go and read.

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