March 30, 2006

For Your Consideration

Over at the new-to-me weblog Objectivist v. Constructivist is a debate regarding the status of women in the U.S. WARNING: Know, feminists, that by even reading such a debate, it proves you don't care a fig about Muslim women! Because the debate concerns women in the U.S., see, and you can only care about one or the other. That's either a law, or an all-too-predictable result of your unfortunate insistence on dabbling in the hypocritical feminist arts, I forget which.

All right, enough sarcasm. If you're like me you may be tempted to read the debate backwards, as the first sentence from the Objectivist party, Stephen Kershnar, is:

Sadly, radical feminism is alive and well.

I have two knee-jerk reactions to that:

(1) "Sadly?" What is this "sadly?" I'm throwin' a fuckin' party!


(2) "Alive? Well? They told me it was dead!"

But you know knee-jerk reactions are a bad way to go, so eventually I will read the rest of it in a more calm and rational state of mind. This will be accomplished through the power of vodka.

Full disclosure: I was alerted to this debate by a gracious email from the Constructivist participant, Bruce Simon. So it could fairly be said that I am biased against the Objectivist, but only if we ignore that I was bound to be biased against anything that begins with "Sadly, radical feminism is alive and well" in the first place. I don't think that should count against me too much, if you want to know the truth.

Mr. Simon requests participation! So don't be shy about commenting. Weigh in!

P.S. I don't know whether it's actually correct to capitalize Objectivist or Constructivist; I do so here to prevent any angry Objectivists from exhuming Ayn Rand and beating me with her corpse while screaming at me that A is A. (She is buried, right? She didn't get cremated? Crikey, don't make me look that up.)

P.P.S. Corrected the blog title above--Objectivist v. Constructivist, not Objectivist v. Constructionist. I have got to stop thinking I can knock out posts in 5 minutes. I cannot, and it shows.

P.P.P.S. Also I closed comments 'cause I'm mean like that because I didn't mean to include them on this post to begin with. If this keeps up my apologies and clarifications are gonna be longer than the post itself.

Posted by Ilyka at 02:07 PM | Comments (4)

March 28, 2006

Rebuttals, Etc., Solicited

Big ups to Darleen Click for sharing her thoughts on the whole strawfeminist extravaganza, and on feminism in general, which you can read right here. An excerpt:

My followup questions for her, or anyone, deal with both the "strawAntifeminist" and identification of the different "wings" of Feminism. For each time I get roundly flamed as a "manhater" from some MRA who goes through the whole Family Court is a Feminist Driven Conspiracy to Destroy Families and Hurt Fathers schtick, I also get flamed as a "womanhater" by feminists who don't like my asking pointed questions about 3rd trimester abortions.

I understand, too, that labeling different wings of feminist theory as either "gender" or "equity" feminism ALSO gets people hot and bothered.

But how do we... woman who actually do believe in our worth as human beings and our right to the same freedoms and opportunity as our brothers to choose what path we wish and to travel it as far as our talent will take us, differentiate among the pointedly different strains of Feminism? Equity/gender? First, Second, Third wave? Leftwing Feminism? Rightwing Feminism? Anarcho-Feminism?

A good question--one I wish I had a better answer for than "Beats me," but then, I'm not good at labeling things, which is why I'm writing on a blog named after a stupid BBS handle I picked out over a dozen years ago.

But Darleen's post brings up a point I've been wanting to make, particularly to my right-leaning readers, and that is: For crying out loud, don't muzzle yourselves. If conservative stereotyping itches you the way the strawfeminist itches me, do like Susan B. of Lilac Rose did and write about it. If you've got anything else on your mind, especially as it pertains to this week, WRITE ABOUT IT.

And then drop me a link. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's a real hassle that I turned off trackbacks, but it prevents the spam, for one, and for two, it prevents me resenting that I'm giving traffic to some douche who just disses on me for six paragraphs; I mean, why should I host links like that? "Here, everybody, go read what an asshole I am." Good gravy, if you want to read what an asshole I am just wait until the next time I screw something up here. It's a daily occurrence. Anyway, not having trackbacks means the next time some dude writes a post telling me to quit being hysterical, and bragging about what an airhead he's going to marry because he for one appreciates REAL ladies, I never have to know about it. Ignorance: It is, indeed, the bliss.

That does not mean I want to silence anyone, however. Or rather, I do, but only if you're a prick. If you're not a prick, feel free to drop any links in the comments or in an email to me, and I'll put 'em up here.

UPDATE: So of course, right off the bat, I forgot one: Francis of Geek Empire details a conversation with his girlfriend about women's studies:

She told me that, in college, she took a Women's History course. The first day covered that basic theory I have quoted above. The rest of the semester was pretty much about how men are evil, always have been evil and always will be evil. It was then she decided she didn't really want to be a feminist, or at least to go under that label. She's no wilting flower, she was raised by a very strong woman and is making a professional life for herself, but she didn't want to be a part of the nuttiness extolled by her professor. So there's that, whatever it's worth.

I have to say, this isn't the first time I've heard something of that sort on this subject. On the other hand, I've never actually taken a class in women's studies myself, so I'm loathe to pronounce judgment. One noticeable effect of my not having taken such a class is that I find myself having to play catch-up a lot and I feel very behind the curve on feminist history, and that, I don't mind telling you, sucks.

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear any other women's studies stories out there from people who have taken courses in it.

Francis also writes "Who's the Feminist," in which he links a defense of the idea that "all sex is rape" formulated by the Maoist International Movement, just to make me look bad. You're a real pain in the ass sometimes, Francis, you know that? Dragging in the no-good Maoists, oh, bueno. Well done! But okay: I guess some people, the Maoists at least, think there's something to be said for the idea that all sex is rape. The lesson I think we can all take from this is that one should never engage in sexual intercourse with a Maoist.

More updates as the links come in.

UPDATE: More from Susan. I don't agree with it all--if you "don't go where [you're] not wanted," that's not other people kicking you out, that's you removing yourself--but I am with her on the "godbag" business. I realize most people who use the term mean it to indicate a specific, theocratically-inclined type of religious person, but for myself, as someone who does not see her religion as something to club others over the head with . . . "godbag" still makes me wince. I wish people would find another way to express what they're trying to say, another way besides "godbag." I also wish for a pony!

Posted by Ilyka at 05:11 PM | Comments (8)

March 26, 2006

Past Imperfect

I really wanted to wrap this up tidily with some attempt at explanation on my part, some "What Feminism Means to Me" or "Why Feminism?" (but not "Whither Feminism?" because even I'm not that pompous) or "How I Became a Feminist"-type essay, but so far I'm doing a really lousy job of it. And maybe I'm even predestined to do a lousy job of it, because whatever I point to or include means something else gets overlooked and left out.

I could write about my experiences growing up and becoming aware of feminism, and someone else could point out, correctly, that that's just feminism from the white middle-class perspective, and haven't we had enough of that already, and bleah, who cares?

I could write about my experiences that grew out of maintaining this weblog, and someone else could point out, correctly, that that's just applicable to people who read weblogs, who are a very small, if growing, subset of the populace, and how does that relate to the big wide world anyway?

I could write a post highlighting the many excellent attempts to define feminism that were generously offered here. In fact, I am certain I could get weeks worth of posts out of just those comments--from Kevin's view that feminism is a part of the larger fight against oppression, to Liza's amazing series of posts on everything from Rosa Parks to the Nanny Diaries, to Bitch Ph.D.'s "Feminisms," to Amanda making me kick myself, hard, for passing up The Second Sex in the local bookstore last weekend--there is just so much stuff there, good stuff, great stuff.

I'm especially indebted to all the commenters who expressed their own hesitancy about whether they were "doing it right" in offering their own definitions of feminism, because I have that same hesitancy myself, and even as I experience it I wonder why we worry about it at all; how do you do feminism "wrong?"

I could be here for a very long time with all this material, is my point, and come to think of it, maybe I will be. School will resume for me next week and cut into my time again, and posts that celebrate the people who worked their thoughts out so elegantly that they spared me from having to reinvent the wheel will be most welcome.

Which gets me to the main thing I personally take from feminism: For me, it's a form of social calculus. It simplifies things in the way that learning integral calculus simplifies problems that would otherwise be murder to solve if attacked only with algebra and geometry. I don't mean it makes everything simple--it certainly doesn't do that, if this thread is any indication--and I don't mean it makes my approach to life simplistic. I mean that, to quote from Barbara Findlen's introduction to Listen Up:

Feminism is what helps us make sense of the unfairness by affirming that it's about political injustice, not personal failure. The feminist movement offers us the combined strength and wisdom of people from all walks of life who are fighting for meaningful equality.

Feminism gets monkeys off my back that should never have been there in the first place. Feminism helps me own my problems without adding the burden of society's expectations to them. I don't find it a celebration of victimhood or a glorification of oppressed status at all, and I'm always amazed when someone else does, because I find it ultimately affirming.

Feminism says, "You don't have to wonder why some women embrace their own subjugation--someone already worked that out for you." Feminism says, "You don't have to wonder if it's just you or if the culture really is sliding back into a celebration of misogyny--someone already documented the dozens of times and the thousands of ways in which the culture has done just that." Feminism says, "You aren't the only woman who remembers the years before puberty as a time when you were just yourself, just another person, a human being, instead of the Other, a deviation from the norm, which is men."

Feminism says, if I'm playing some stupid computer game that rewards me for killing prostitutes, pimping a female friend as gang-bang fodder for "a bunch of drunken Scottish bisexuals," and running a porn studio, that means the game was coded by misogynist dweebs, not that I "lack a sense of humor."

Feminism says, if Babycenter's "Twenty Things That Change When You Have a Baby" includes these gems:

18. If you have a son, you no longer curse men. (Hooray for all men!)
19. If you have a daughter, you hope she won't endure your same heartaches.

--then that's evidence--sad, sorry, sickening evidence--that our society continues to have the lowest possible expectations for women even as it just can't cheer often or loudly enough (hooray!) for men.

Feminism helps me make sense of the insensible. You can think of it as not being paranoid if they really are out to get you.

It's my sense that they really are out to get me. It's my sense that life is better lived knowing the score, knowing what I'm up against, not so I can batten down the hatches, stock the ammunition, and never leave the house again, but so that I don't reel in confusion and shock when the system smacks me upside the head, kicks me in the gut, and then tells me to quit complaining, because I have it so good, really, and besides, what about [men/Muslim women/the unborn/families/God/country]?

Feminism says, "Yeah, hands up who didn't see that one coming? The question now is, what are you going to do about it?"

And feminism is the process through which I work out, daily, what I'm going to do about it. And then I try to do it.

Thank you for helping me this past week to do it. Thank you for being patient when I didn't do it perfectly or even well. Thank you for suggesting so many ways in which I could do it better.

Thank you to all the bloggers who supported this:

Meryl Yourish



Plum Crazy

Alas, A Blog

Pinko Feminist Hellcat

Bitch Ph.D.

Rox Populi

Body Impolitic

Persephone's Box


Impetus Java House

Holler if I've left anybody out--because that, I think, would be coming very close to actually "doing feminism wrong." The accomplishments of feminists get overlooked often enough as it is without me exacerbating the problem.

Thanks, everybody.

Posted by Ilyka at 03:20 PM | Comments (12)

Where the Intro Went

I got sick--oh, so sick--of clicking the shortcut I have to my own blog (because of course I am that vain, oh, you betcha), only to get stuck at the introductory strawfeminist screens. You can see how a week of that could become irritating quickly, right? But some folks are still telling people to go to for the introduction pages, and now I've gone and pointed that link right here instead. So if what you were wanting was the bad-drawing-laden intro, that's now at

I suppose I could get all freaky with the redirects or something, but that would be work I am disinclined to do at present. And the hot toddy I'm sipping right now has nothing to do with that disinclination. Nothing at all!

Apologies to anyone who's been inconvenienced. They're not gone, just moved.

Posted by Ilyka at 02:19 AM

March 24, 2006

Make of This What You Will

Okay: I would have to carefully double-check all the comments I've received this week to be absolutely sure, but so far I'm 99% sure that every commenter who has brought up the National Organization for Women has been politically right-of-center.

I have to say, it's kind of making me want to join up! You know, just to fuck with people?

Don't tempt my imp of the perverse like that, righties. That isn't nice.

Posted by Ilyka at 05:10 PM | Comments (6)

Fatherhood, Ain't it a Bitch?

Guest Post by Ilyka's boyfriend

[Ilyka says: I had to let him do this because he wouldn't shut up about it. I do believe the man is starting to identify as a pro-feminist male. Note: Please save any "pussy-whipped" jokes for someone who gives a fuck.

My boyfriend's post may have nothing to do with strawfeminist arguments--he never could stay on topic--but it certainly does say a whole bunch about the priorities of our ostensibly family-values-havin' culture that a major sports pundit would . . . oh, just read the post.]


I was driving earlier today listening to the Dan Patrick show on the radio when Dan told this heartwarming story about how he had to watch his daughter perform in Beauty and the Beast. Dan was pretty upset about having to miss some of the Sweet Sixteen, but his assistant was text messaging him the scores during the show. Dan was pretty upset about Duke losing, and the show, well, that was pretty nice, too. Ah, Fatherhood.

I don't know how much this has to do with patriarchy, but I never thought I would hear a grown man complaining about missing a basketball game to see his own daughter perform in a play. I mean, when Homer misses one of Lisa's recitals, he usually at least feels bad about it.

Dan Patrick taking in his daughter's performance

I think in general men have improved on parenting; I doubt my father ever changed a diaper in his life, and he sired seven children. On the other hand, I have noticed a growing number of men who aren't much more mature than their offspring. Guys, can we get some balance between the two?

Posted by Ilyka at 02:00 PM | Comments (2)

March 23, 2006

Help Me Out: What About Actual Feminists?

Sigivald, a commenter who's been active here since I don't even know when, has a question for any non-straw-based feminist lifeforms in the house:

This is only tangentially related to this post, and I've been thinking about it all week without posting. Here goes.

The one thing I've noticed missing from this entire series of (interesting and thoughtful) posts is... a definition of what feminism is.

Pointing out straw feminists (and straw definitions of feminism) is good and proper, but I'm left wondering exactly what we (you) mean when you speak of feminism that is not straw-feminism.

(This is probably a function of my philosophical training and logic background; my position is that it's generally useless to debate something, especially an -ism, unless we're very clear up-front as to what it is we mean by the term.)

Since, as you've noted, feminism is the subject of so many varying and contradictory usages, maybe the best thing we could to to prevent straw-feminism is to define what the heck feminism Really Is?

This is where you come in, especially if you've been getting to this site from one of the feminist blogs that have linked me, because to be honest, I was going to get into What Feminism Actually Means to Me (even though I know it's a little fourth-grade composition-sounding) on Friday, kind of as the cap-off, but I don't have the time, unfortunately, to do it now.

Sigivald! Stay with the group! Damnit, I draw badly-proportioned cartoons in MS Paint to give you a chuckle, and this is how you thank me?


I guess it also bears repeating that I'm no expert. I'm just a woman who read Backlash a dozen years ago and got all kinds of messed-up ideas from it. I feel quite safe in assuming that most of the people reading this have better ideas and more knowledge than I do, and it's also likely you're able to articulate them better than I am.

So give it your best shot: Click the comments link here and tell Sigivald what you think feminism is, so I can get outta this chair and hit the store before starting work for the night. They had the red bell peppers I so crave at 10 for $10.00 last time I was in, and I'm really hoping they're still there.

Posted by Ilyka at 03:21 PM | Comments (35)

The Castrating Strawfeminist

bad choice of pants today, jimmy
Even the sun is shocked. And no, I do not know how she can hold the knife.

If this epidemic of angry, misandric women roaming the streets with surgical scissors, severing the genitalia of any men they encounter along the way, doesn't stop soon, I don't know what we're going to do. I don't know what their problems are. Can't they just accept that men and women are different? Why do they have to be so hell-bent on making us all the same? Don't they realize how bad that would be, if we were all the same? I guess they're so blinded by man-hatred and penis-envy that they just--

--you know, I can't continue this. "Why do you hate men?" comes up so regularly that even broaching "Why do you hate men?" satirically wears me right out.

Of course, the question is not always put that directly. It has other guises. Whether it's asking why feminists hate men, or asking whether feminists are aware that men and women are different (answer: your average toddler has already figured this out, so whaddya think?), or reminding feminists that assholes are equally prevalent among both sexes (both! Not just men! Quit picking on men!), or simply charging feminists with emasculation when they do that mean thing that they do, you know, that mean thing with the disagreement and the opinion-having and worst of all, the opinion-expressing?--whether it's (a), (b), (c), or (d) all of the above, the question being asked is always, "Can I beat you with this castrating strawfeminist for a few minutes, rather than addressing what you actually said?"

And, no. No, you may not. She itches.

The problem with the castrating strawfeminist, at least for me personally, is that I am always so tempted to engage her. "NO!" I find myself wanting to say, "No, I do not hate men! Ask my male relatives who are so dear to me! Ask my boyfriend! Hey, I was engaged once, did you know that? I am not a bitter, lonely old maid seeking revenge on the penis-bearing people of the world. It's not true that I hate men! I have had lots of heterosexual intercourse! But not too much! Just the right amount. I--"

But, see, I can't do that, because if I respond defensively to the castrating strawfeminist, I have permitted whoever's been beating me with her to turn the debate from whatever it WAS about, into a debate on whether or not I hate men, which is just a hop-skip-and-jump away from being a debate on whether or not I have stopped beating my boyfriend.

I can't prove to anybody that I don't hate men, and frankly, I resent that anyone would think I should have to. As tempting as it is for me to respond, "Listen, I don't want your testicles! You can keep them! They're yours!", I can't do it, because it's a dead end, a fool's game. We are only going to wind up with me citing "evidence" that I don't want to chop anyone's balls off while my opponent digs in his heels (or her heels, because I get the castrating strawfeminist from women just as often) with objections like, "Well, that's what you say, but it sure feels like you want to emasculate me (emasculate my sons/brothers/husband)." Finally, having worn me out with a few rounds of this, my opponent will kindly suggest that perhaps my working to improve my relationships with the men in my life (by being "nicer") might fix this obsessive/compulsive problem I clearly have with needing to perform orchiectomies.

Most, if not all, of the rationale for the castrating strawfeminist's continued popularity is due to the misconception that there's some great equality pie out there, and if women have too many slices of it, there will be nothing left for men. It's a point I've made before in various comment threads, but Lauren reminded me of it again in her response to TallDave in this post (see comments). There are specific situations which are going to be zero-sum; for example, if there's a promotion available in a company and a woman is awarded it (or rather a woman earns it, one hopes), then yes, the men in competition with her will have lost a potential gain to a woman. On the other hand, if a woman starts her own business she not only doesn't take anything away from men--and it's interesting that even in the situation with the promotion, we so often view a woman receiving one as "taking away" something from men; was it theirs to begin with, theirs by default?--but she may well give things to men. Jobs, for instance. Contracts. Benefits. Women do not advance solely at the expense of men.

There is no equality pie. It's funny how often a fiscal conservative will readily agree that there's no wealth pie, but turn the subject to civil rights and suddenly he's grousing about all the "special interest groups" who want "special treatment"--i.e., more slices o'rights than they deserve.

You see a lot of this with the recent "men's right to choose" nonsense, in which the argument seems to be that it is discriminatory against men to treat them as creatures incapable of pregnancy (which, last I checked, they are), and that cruel nature has deprived them of the right to choose--or, more accurately, that nature has deprived them of having exactly as many ways to choose as women do. That mean old bitch nature has also deprived them of the risks of pregnancy, but no matter; the point is, it isn't fair! Quit hogging the damn pie!

If we could quit treating autonomy like something to be grudgingly parceled out by the powers that be (which do tend to be men, have you noticed?) to women, we could put the sharp instruments away entirely. No more pie-partitioning, no more castration.

Well, maybe a lit-


Posted by Ilyka at 12:19 PM | Comments (12)

March 22, 2006

Dead Feminists

I remain a little confused about something. Maybe someone would be kind enough to clarify it for me:

Am I missing something, or is feminism one of the few ideologies that suffers a mortal blow every time it experiences internal disagreements?

See, I keep hearing all this stuff about it being dead. And I keep hearing that what killed it was some feminists not agreeing with other feminists. Does it have a depressed immune system or something? Has it not been buying organic? Is it not getting enough exercise? It must be awfully frail if internal disagreements are all it takes to kill it.

If intra-group dissention were enough to kill an idea or a movement, you'd think they'd all be dead. The first guy to have an argument with Epictetus would have killed Stoicism just like that, instead of it dying off naturally because no one really wanted to be a Stoic.

So I'm not getting why, when one feminist criticizes another, she so often concludes that this means feminism is dead.

Do you suppose maybe there is money in that sort of thing . . . ? I would be happy to pronounce feminism dead for, oh, a modest advance. I think it's deserved, you know, because my book is going to sell, I can guarantee you that. People LOVE reading about the overall stankiness and amazing deathability of feminism, over and over, especially if along the way you can implicate it in the murder of something else.

But back to Phyllis Chesler for a minute: I like much of what she has to say, and I have to grant some authority to any woman who's actually lived subjugation in the Middle East. I have no argument against this:

Feminists, as well as women, have some terrifying external enemies. For example, Islamists oppose the ideals of dignity and equality for women by their practice of gender apartheid. This is a system which includes some, if not all, of the following human-rights violations: female genital mutilation, veiling and hijab, purdah, normalized daughter- and wife-beating, arranged (child) marriage, often to first cousins, polygamy, honor murder, the imprisonment, torture, beheading, stoning to death, and hanging of rape victims, suspected prostitutes, and feminist dissidents — especially in Iran today.

And I actually would pick up The Death of Feminism, if only to read more about this:

On December 21, 1961, when I returned from Afghanistan, I kissed the ground at New York City's Idlewild Airport. I weighed 90 pounds and had hepatitis. Although I would soon become active in the American civil rights, anti-Vietnam war, and feminist movements, what I had learned in Kabul rendered me immune to the Third World romanticism that infected so many American radicals. As a young bride in Afghanistan, I was an eyewitness to just how badly women are treated in the Muslim world. I was mistreated, too, but I survived. My "Western" feminism was forged in that most beautiful and treacherous of countries.

What I do not understand, however, is why the author of a book about women's cruelty to other women is seemingly bent on solving the problems she perceives within feminism by declaring it dead. That is, if you object that women--oh, let's quote:

compete mainly with other women, not with men — and to do so through slander and ostracism

Then why practice exactly that? Or is it not "slander and ostracism" to decree feminism "dead" on the basis of your failure to convince other feminists that you are right and they are wrong? What did one of the Cotillion members say once?

If we mean to be treated equally, we cannot run and hide under the skirts of authority every time we are challenged or treated unfairly.

If peddling your feminism-is-dead, dumb-lefty-bitches-up-and-killed-it bestseller to an audience that has seldom found a good word to say of any modern feminist, rather than offering your justifiable complaints against other schools of thought within feminism as proof that in fact the movement is doing quite well (because whatever else it is doing, it is not stagnating)--if storming off instead to National Review to announce the long-awaited death of feminism whenever you have a problem with other feminists is not "running and hiding under the skirts of authority," then frankly I don't know what is.

I don't know why feminism's so death-prone. I just know that when I read about "the mainstream feminist refusal to acknowledge that, like men, women are human beings, as close to the apes as to the angels," what comes to mind for me are the feminists who have been declaring women human beings for years. I just know that when Chesler says she is not a cultural relavist, I think of another feminist I have read who has issues with it as well:

I think that at some point, feminism and cultural relativism are incompatible. I think that at some point, universal human rights and cultural relativism are incompatible.

Finally, I just know that I am currently receiving traffic from Feministe, Pandagon, and Alas, A Blog, (and thank you, all of you, for that), and so far not one feminist from any of those blogs has come to haul me off to a reeducation camp or a gulag--and that is so unfair, because according to Chesler, THAT WAS TOTALLY SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN TO ME.

Posted by Ilyka at 02:31 PM | Comments (7)

March 21, 2006

Feminism, the Mainstream Media, and Pop Culture

A depressing number of conservatives treat the above three things as, if not equivalent, then at least collusive. I don't see it, myself.

The problem is, you have a mainstream media outfit--let's take the New York Times--who hires, say, Maureen Dowd, and she writes in a stereotypically feminine, that is, girlish, way, and sometimes she talks about the dreaded Women's Issues.

"Oh," goes the reaction in some quarters, "Here we have a woman, writing for the New York Times, talking about things that don't always include men. I know what that is! That's a feminist!"

It's kind of like how the New York Times also has a guy writing for them who doesn't always agree with liberals, so William Safire, come on down! You're on "The Token Conservative!" But that doesn't change the fact that most conservatives I know are three times as likely to rave about the latest Mark Steyn column than they are about one of Safire's. He may be conservative compared to the other columnists aboard the NYT, and he may be conservative, period--but it would be news to me if most conservatives considered William Safire wholly representative of conservatism.

Nor is Maureen Dowd wholly representative of feminism. I think most of my commenters get that, but how many right-wing bloggers do? How many posts did I see around the release of Are Men Necessary? that went something like this:

"Maureen couldn't get a husband! Well, that's not because she's smarter than most men, like she says; it's because she got suckered by feminism! That's what you get, MoDo! Feminism's totally bullshit! Everyone knows that!"

It pains me to see Maureen Dowd held up as a feminist when I've read as much criticism of her from feminists as I have from conservatives. It's especially painful when I've read as much criticism of editorials and features in the New York Times from feminists as I have from conservatives. I am rapidly concluding that no one really likes that paper; liberals seem to think it doesn't go far enough and conservatives seem to think it's gone totally overboard. So can we please just all agree to hate the NYT and quit hanging Maureen out in the corn fields to scare the crows?

Pop culture's another facet of this modern life that some would blame feminism for. The short version goes, back in the 60s and 70s feminists pressed for sexual liberation and that's why today ten- and nine- and even eight-year-old girls dress like hookers.

That's a mighty big leap, to me.

The thing is, if you suggest some changes for society as a whole, it shouldn't be surprising when the changes society seems most amenable to implementing are those which it deems most capable of fitting into the existing paradigm. Call it the law of unintended consequences, call it shortsightedness on the part of sexual liberation feminists, call it total misinterpretation of sexual liberation feminists, call it whatever you like--but when you start blaming the proliferation of hookerwear on feminism, I'm sorry, I gotta tune out, because I would much rather blame the proliferation of hookerwear on Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, and whoever else is or recently has been the Preteen Idol of the Week.

Look, I can remember wanting some hookerwear (or at least its 70s equivalent) at eight and nine and ten, but it was because I wanted to look like the women on "Charlie's Angels," not because Gloria Steinem tackled me on the way home from school and forced it on me. Feminists of that era largely hated shows like "Charlie's Angels." And they were jeered, much as they are now, for taking the show's influence too seriously, for just being jealous of beautiful women, and for doing that "raging" thing feminists always seem to do:

While viewers couldn't get enough of the three beautiful women, critics and feminists chewed it to pieces. Goldberg's idea to "inject some really stunning beauty into the genre" of crime shows was not appreciated by raging feminists. They accused CHARLIE'S ANGELS of setting women back one hundred years and were appalled by all the titillation and suggestiveness of Charlie's double entendres. One angry feminist saw the show as "a version of the pimp and his girls. Charlie dispatches his streetwise Angels to use their sexual wiles on the world while he reaps the profits!"

So I don't get how angry, raging feminists caused the hookerwear problem, just like I can't remember the last time I saw angry, raging feminists with tasers herding children into Abercrombie & Fitch stores. But that doesn't stop the charge from being made that it's all feminism's fault, because this is precisely the sort of thing the strawfeminist was made for. Responding to--oh look! Here she is again!--Maureen Dowd's statement that

A lot of women now want to be Maxim babes as much as men want Maxim babes. So women have moved from fighting objectification to seeking it.

The American Princess says:

No matter how its justified, its true. Although Ms. Dowd insists that this is some form of retaliation against the no-bra Seventies sisters, and unshaved armpits (which don't even look good on the French), I prefer to believe that this is not a reaction to feminism, but a symptom of feminism. What started as a quest for equality has morphed into a self-centric individualistic theory that has stolen women's feminine nature along with their souls.

And she's hardly alone in "prefer[ring] to believe" this, but for the life of me, I don't know why. I don't know why, when considering the sexual revolution, some of us routinely omit the number-one enabler of it, that little thing called The Pill. I don't know why, when considering the sexual revolution, we jump so quickly from the idea that women have sexual needs, too, to "who needs brains when you have these?" Most of all, I do not for the life of me understand why the teenage girls who organized the boycott (I will NOT use the term "girlcott," you can't make me) of those shirts were sneered at by conservative and libertarian men. It's as though we want young women to take responsibility for how they're perceived--so that when we treat them like bimbos and sluts, we can blame them for it--but also, we'd sure appreciate it if they enjoyed being perceived as jerkoff material for the congenitally microdicked.

I don't deny that feminism has had some influence on pop culture. I don't deny that feminism has had some influence on the mainstream media. What's debateable is how much influence.

What isn't debateable is that these three things are not equivalent. What isn't debateable is that these three things are not tied up together in a grand conspiracy to Destroy America. Begin an argument from either of those two faulty premises, and you'll have me into the martinis in no time at all.

Posted by Ilyka at 11:11 AM | Comments (12)

March 20, 2006


Now, at least, we have some back-and-forth going. It's about time! I know it's Monday, but really, I was starting to wonder if everyone had succumbed to narcolepsy.

I'm about to fall asleep myself--the unfortunate result of a marvelous dinner--but let me pick out some highlights from the discussion for those of you who normally shun the comments. First up, the ever-blistering Andrea:

I'm not sure what your beef is and what you want conservative women to do. As for the rape victim's letter you linked to, I don't can't see (probably because I am blinded by my worship of Ronald Reagan or something) why this case should be some sort of condemnation of conservative women's viewpoints and tactics. For one thing, I not only don't understand why those men were not given harsher sentences, I don't understand why they aren't all dead at the hands of the girl's father. My father would have killed them with his bare hands. Moreover, why were they allowed to harass this woman for years afterwards? And while I'm just being a conservative witch who refuses to fall into a bath of outraged tears because she's got icewater in her veins and sold her soul to Nixon in '72 (when she was eleven! they start 'em young in Rightville), what the hell were her parents thinking letting their underage daughter go to a party where young men would be present?

I would like to use the above as an excuse to seize--FINALLY!--an opportunity to say something that has been on my mind for some time:

The next time one of you is perfectly horrified by the way Andrea goes off on someone in my comments, remember that I do not ask any commenter at this blog to tolerate anything up with which I would not my own self put. Okay? If I don't have to stop, drop, and roll after this, then, frankly, I don't know what you consider your excuse. The thing I like about Andrea is that she is not covert-caustic, she is in-your-face caustic, and I can deal with the latter. It's the former that gives me hives.

Beth also takes issue:

Why "most feminists identify themselves as liberals?" Look at what organizations like NOW support that really don't seem to have anything to do with feminism. They show up at antiwar rallies, anti-globalization rallies, and other shit I wouldn't be caught dead associating myself with. They fought Alito and Roberts because of abortion, of course. Well, those two are my kind of judges, and I'm not going to change my mind just so I can be "accepted" by a bunch of people who disagree with everything I believe in.

Which brings up a good point: When does something cease to be "about feminism" and become "about every injustice suffered by anyone anywhere ever, but also, maybe, if we have time, feminism?"

This is a research topic I want to get into this week because it's my admittedly hazy understanding that at times, when the feminist movement has tried to be more inclusive of others, it has been surprised to find itself and its goals fucked over in favor of the cause it has allied itself with. In other words, feminism has traditionally loved cooperation, but cooperation has not always loved feminism back.

I think there likely are good arguments to be made against everything-and-the-kitchen-sink feminism, but I confess that at this point I don't know enough to say further--which is why I begged shamelessly for input, assistance, and GUEST BLOGGERS, you slackers.

Anyway, thanks for bringing that up, Beth; it's a good point that I don't want to get lost.

Then we have Meryl Yourish with the rebuttal:

I think, Andrea, that Ilyka was pointing out that the majority of conservative anti-feminists are so busy pointing out the canard that liberal feminists aren't working for women's rights in the Middle East that they're ignoring the fact that women still have an uphill battle right here at home.

Ding-a ding ding: "Why aren't we seeing more of this kind of thing from feminists?" as Glenn Reynolds once put it. I do see an effort made to downplay and minimize problems for women right here in the good ol' U.S. of A.; I don't, however, consider pointing that out an indictment against conservative women en masse. I am merely asking them to consider it another way: "Perhaps you should not have surrendered so quickly" versus "Them bad ol' bitches stole my feminism." If that's an indictment, fine, bring me my robe and wig, Judge Bitchy presiding.

Finally, I've got to hand it to Andrea again for reminding me, in comments to another post:

Actually, I remember the Clinton era as "The Year Feminism Broke," when about 90% of feminist "spokespersons" bent themselves into pretzels trying to find reasons not to condemn their man for having a female intern smoke his love cigar.

And that is an entirely valid point, though again, I am sorry for the cop-out here, one which I will have to revisit later (I did write 7 or so posts in the last 24 hours, and how often does that happen? Hmm?). In the interim, those of you who wish to discuss it further may have it TOTALLY UNSUPERVISED for the evening, woot. Please don't spill anything, unless it's on the slipcover, in which case, BLESS YOU.

UPDATE: I've been in a quandary about the ensuing discussions noted above. I think what I'll do is participate in 'em where they're occurring rather than write some rambling post about how no-I-didn't-mean-this, I-meant-that, because that would be not only tiresome for me, but unfair to the participants. Maybe this is just a personal preference of mine, but I kind of view extracting stuff from the comments and using it to launch a whole other post at your critics as clubbing your critics over the head, hitting back at the secondary (comments) with the primary (posts) means of communication in blogging, and I tend to dislike when other blogs do that, although I recognize that sometimes they have to, that sometimes there is simply no other way to get things back on track.

In the interests of keeping things on track, I will note that this is Blog Against the Strawfeminist, not Blog Against Nina Burleigh. Yes, the knee pads remark was stupid and revolting and even, I think, antifeminist, because anytime someone suggests women accept bad behavior from a guy simply because he can get them things, well, I don't see that as any different from suggesting women stay with abusive husbands because, when the husbands aren't drinking and knocking hell out of their wives, they buy the women really swell stuff. Not my idea of empowerment; but then, I never did go looking to Mirabella, back when it still existed, for feminist writing.

Posted by Ilyka at 09:07 PM | Comments (1)

"Shut Up, Sit Down, and Scale Back" Is Not Feminism

I said I wasn't going to attempt to define an "official feminist position" on any issue, and I am not.

But I am going to tell you what I think of Cathy Young, IWF, iFeminism, and former Bangles lead singer Christina Hoff Sommers: I think they're more convincing as misogynist apologists than as feminists.

So sue me. I can't help it if everything I read by 'em reminds me of Boxer:

After his hoof had healed up, Boxer worked harder than ever. Indeed, all the animals worked like slaves that year. Apart from the regular work of the farm, and the rebuilding of the windmill, there was the schoolhouse for the young pigs, which was started in March. Sometimes the long hours on insufficient food were hard to bear, but Boxer never faltered. In nothing that he said or did was there any sign that his strength was not what it had been. It was only his appearance that was a little altered; his hide was less shiny than it had used to be, and his great haunches seemed to have shrunken. The others said, "Boxer will pick up when the spring grass comes on"; but the spring came and Boxer grew no fatter. Sometimes on the slope leading to the top of the quarry, when he braced his muscles against the weight of some vast boulder, it seemed that nothing kept him on his feet except the will to continue. At such times his lips were seen to form the words, "I will work harder"; he had no voice left.

. . . except there is this one key difference: Boxer's motto was "I will work harder," not "all of you must work harder."

I trust no woman who tells me I must expect less but do more. I trust no woman who tells me I have too much, it's unfair, give it back. I trust no woman who bases her ostensible feminism on the premise of, "What about men?" I trust no woman who says "I'm a feminist" but does nothing but attack it. (For that matter, I trust no one whose actions seldom match his or her words. It's a useful general principle in my life.) I cede no authority over my decisions, my health, my sanity, my lifestyle, or my inherent rights to any woman who presumes to tell me how much is enough for me.

To go back to the patient rights and responsibilities post for a moment:

I owe Ms. Lauren, formerly of feministe (which, don't get me started on how pissed off I am that the site is down; I had intended to raid the daylights out of it this week), for that idea. Something I enjoy doing when I sense something I read is "off" or wrong or flawed somehow is looking for the hole, finding the faulty premise, whatever you want to call it.

Last week I read something that set off the alarms: There's an error here, there's a mistake, something about this is not right--but I couldn't put my finger on what it was.

Blogging is a humbling business; you learn really quickly to tell when you're in over your head. I passed the link onto Lauren and asked for her thoughts. Lauren did not disappoint. She went right to the flaw. She pointed out that the problem was that the author argued not for women to have greater autonomy, but rather for them to assume--and here I have to quote--"the entire onus for societal responsibility." She went on to note that this was "very Victorian." Indeed:

As a conservative feminist, I think the only way the plight of women will ever improve is exactly the way it has improved in my lifetime. We must represent ourselves out in the world, in the workplace firmly, with grace, competently, in such a manner that eventually it becomes the accepted wisdom that we can do the job. We must argue, not compel, for a more principled look at pornography. One that takes into account the effect on our daughters. And on our sons.

Whatever else the Victorian era was, it was neither kind nor just to women, and I think the argument could be made, convincingly, that it was also little more "moral" than our current era, and thus arguments with a Victorian flavor do not persuade me much.

But oh, no matter how many titles are filmed each year that feature increased degradation, objectification, and humiliation of women, we must never raise our sweet little voices to compel anyone. Heaven forfend we compel. We will get more flies with honey than with vinegar (although why exactly we want the flies to begin with I've never been sure), despite the fact that women have been "arguing" for men to see them as fully-realized human beings instead of sex toys for centuries, we--oh now look, let us not get discouraged and downtrodden. Let us not be victims! Let us just work harder doing the exact same gentle, ladylike things that have been so stunningly effective for NEVER. Look, you know it's bad when even the Pope uses stronger language than this.

Do the same thing repeatedly, keep expecting a different result--I think that's the definition of something. Oh, here it is.

Lauren had one other point that helps sum up why I'm not interested in at least the current crop of Republican/Independent/Libertarian feminists. Noting this description of conservative feminism:

There are plenty of conservative feminists, but we don't organize, we don't march, we don't wear our feminism on our sleeves.

Lauren responded,

It's too bad. We need them. Primarily to talk about what they DO believe in and what they're doing to DO about it and then DO it instead of drawing arbitrary lines in the sand between the good, moral girls and the screaming harpies.

You know, I've been wondering a little myself. Because I have a question:

Did "the Left" HIJACK feminism from right-of-center women? Or were right-of-center women not minding the store in the first place?

If most feminist women identify as liberals, do you think it's just possible that this is because liberals are more accepting of, and less threatened by, feminist ideas and behavior?

If so-called radical feminists are not doing enough to draw attention to violence against women in the Middle East--and from now on I want to be given a cookie each time I read that one--then by the same token, what are you doing to draw attention to violence against woman at home? Why is any American citizen recounting this horror:

After everyone in my neighborhood found out my identity, my family and I thought it was best for me to transfer to a new high school and start off fresh where no one knew who I was. I was in such fear of the new kids in my new school finding out who I was. I registered at my new high school under a different name. These men had not only taken my life, but now they had taken my identity and who I was. The first few weeks of my junior year went as planned. No one knew about my past, but that quickly changed when people hired by these men came to my school and stood in the parking lot screaming out my real name as I was walking with my friends. I was stopped by a man who served me papers right in front of my new friends. Then he proceeded to tell them who I was. I wanted to curl up and die. So much for no one knowing.

. . . in 2006?

Why am I reading so many comments by conservative women exclaiming how shocked they are to learn about labiaplasty . . . about hymen replacement . . . about G-spot surgery? Pardon me, but where have you broads been? If you routinely slither under a rock or out to a coffee klatsch or into a protected forum when you discuss events related to your sex, in order to protect men from having to hear about such boring and offensive material as, bleah, "women's issues," you can hardly be surprised when the only people left to talk about them are those who DON'T consider it their responsibility to shelter and protect grown human beings from matters relevant to half the population.

You know something?

Maybe it's not feminism that needs to get its ass off my couch. Maybe it's iFeminism.

Posted by Ilyka at 04:35 PM | Comments (30)

Strawfeminism Means Never Having to Know What Time It Is

Quiz time! From what era is the following narrative?

As I spoke, I saw faces twist into jeers and heard derisive laughter. People rolled their eyes or looked at each other in shock; girls giggled so as not to appear to be feminist sympathizers; guys snorted. I even saw one of my so-called friends burst out laughing. I knew that not everybody would be interested in the club, but I had no idea that the reaction to the word "feminist" would be so explosive.

. . .

A male administrator . . . was overheard sneering, "Maybe I should start a club for boys." As if feminism was an all-girls club, as if all feminism was ever about was dividing men and women. Why must the desire to empower one group automatically harm another?

The repercussions of my announcement showed me that the teachers and students at my school drastically misunderstood feminism (though they correctly perceived it as a threat to privilege). One of my (male) teachers suggested to me that the name "Feminist Alliance" sounded militant and conjured up images of shrieking women demanding that men do as they are told. A boy whom I had never spoken to before approached me in the hallway, asking, "How can you be a lesbian? You went out with Matt earlier this year!" A male faculty member asked me why the club was just for women (it wasn't), remarking, "It would have been nice to have a club to discuss gender issues; it's too bad you sold out to feminism instead." Students joked about it during classes, calling me a man-hater and warning that radical, hairy-legged feminists were going to take over the school and make all the boys their slaves. Some teachers chimed in and participated in the jokes.

For obvious reasons, I cannot source this right now. It'd ruin the guessing! No Googling!

Okay, I think you all knew I wasn't about to throw something ancient at you. The passage is from "Class Feminist," an essay by Erica Gilbert-Levin that appears in this book, published originally in 1995.

It's from the midst of the Clinton era, when feminism very nearly ran us all over like a truck? Oh, come on. You remember. We were all issued brown skirts that year! I still have mine, but I no longer fit into it because feminism made me fat and lonely.

Posted by Ilyka at 01:27 PM | Comments (6)

Breaking: Your Strawfeminist Argument is Neither New nor Controversial

One of the most frustrating things for me is seeing a novice feminist-basher open his or her critique with something like the following:

"I KNOW what I have to say here runs counter to the conventional wisdom and will probably make me some enemies, but . . . ."

"What I am about to say may be shocking to some people, but . . . ."

"I feel a rant coming on, and some of you may be surprised to see where it leads me . . . ."

So far such post beginnings have proven to be a highly reliable indicator of impending strawfeminism within them.

Were you going to suggest that feminists are simply too stubborn to accept that men and women are different? It's been done.

Were you going to take feminists to task for being, at heart, miserable people only seeking more miserable company? It's been done.

Were you going to chastise feminism for attacking your choice, even your right, to be a stay-at-home mother? While Linda Hirshman may be a recent and classic example of a feminist doing just that, please don't kid yourself that her assertions went unchallenged by other feminists; they did not.

Were you going to shore up your novel feminists-are-man-haters assertion by citing Andrea Dworkin's hysterical claim that all sex is rape? Ooh--better double-check that one.

Were you going to decry modern-day feminism as a cult of victimhood? Shut up, really?

I know of no better illustration of how stale most antifeminist criticism of feminism actually is--even as it continues to be packaged as "new" or "revolutionary" or "groundbreaking"--than this post:

. . . there just happens to be preserved online (courtesy of Duke University) a little booklet called Notes from the First Year: The New York Radical Women, 1968. This ancient artifact preserves the voices of the Women’s Lib movement as it was gaining ground. The funniest – or saddest – part is the objections heard to “women’s liberation.” I’ve pulled out a choice sample of these comments from 1968 and placed them side by side with the statements made 3 days ago by our nationally esteemed New York Times columnist and television pundit, Bobo Himself [David Brooks--ed.].

"Old" is not the new black. Ignorance of history, even the dreaded feminist history, will get you dancing with the strawfeminist every time. It is suggested, if you want to critique feminists, that you first learn what the actual ones are saying. It's pretty wild, I'll warn you--the way they say the most explosive and divisive things like:

I want the same rights, opportunities, and privileges that a man has. And I want them sans the misogynist baggage and bullshit that gets thrown my way for demanding them or having them.
I don’t want to ask anybody’s permission to do whatever I need to do or decide whatever I need to decide in order to meet my needs as a complex intellectual human being, to be professional who wants to be fairly treated, and to own up to my responsibilities as a parental human.

Both these remarks were apparently sufficiently controversial that the thread in which they appeared was subjected to multiple attempts at derailment by a guy who repeatedly insisted . . .

. . . that feminists think all sex is rape.

Truly, there is no new strawfeminism under the sun.

Posted by Ilyka at 12:31 PM | Comments (1)

Strawfeminists I Have Known: Me, for One

The easiest, quickest way to learn to recognize a strawfeminist is to become one, and it's surprisingly easy to become one. Here are some strategies with which I have personally had success:

  • You can ask a man to consider the Golden Rule before opening his big, dumb, virtual mouth again.
  • At a minimum, that should get you told to quit being emotional--when you're not being outed as a disgruntled fat chick who hates men.

  • You can defend a woman's right to her name.
  • That little act of radicalism will get you called a brownskirt, as in, brownskirted feminazi, Favoritest Strawfeminist of the Right 4Ever.

  • You can reach even deeper into your Militant Man-Hatin' Radfem Bag O'Tricks and make the controversial assertion that sexism is wrong, period.
  • But I would suggest not beginning with that last method unless, of course, you can't wait another minute to have it implied that you are but one further slip down the glistening, waxy slope to Newspeak, Islamofascism, and just all kinds of MAD CRAZY JIHAD.

    Want to see the strawfeminist up close-like? Tell a man you think he fucked up and ought to do something about it, and (I find this especially helpful) fail to do this deferentially, with civility--and you'll see her every time you look in the mirror.

    The silver lining to that is, you'll laugh extra hard the next time a man proposes that women are uncomfortable with the "food fight" nature of political blogging.

    Posted by Ilyka at 04:30 AM | Comments (2)

    March 19, 2006

    Bipolar Strawfeminism: Strong Enough to Ruin Everything, Too Weak to Accomplish Anything

    Feminism sure does cause a heap of trouble: It turns he-men into girly-men. It rewards jerks and spurns nice guys. It destroys families. It gives women who work outside the home chronic fatigue. Meanwhile it delights in hurling great big gift bags of guilt at stay-at-home moms.

    It gives women too many choices and makes of them too many demands. It forces them into doing things they don't want to do, growing in ways they don't want to grow, achieving things they never wanted to achieve in the first place. Feminism stands, brazen and mighty, in opposition to Nature--always cackling at its destruction, forever plotting to wreck something else.

    Furthermore, while I cannot prove it, I strongly suspect feminism of drinking straight from the milk carton when I'm out. It won't even use a glass!

    Just DAMN this feminism. It's out of control. It's gone too far. It must be curtailed. We must redress the imbalance. We have oversteered; it's time to turn back the wheel a tad, lest humanity run right off a cliff.

    Let us not forget that men suffer too. What about our sons? Our husbands? Our brothers? How long have they suffered under this yoke of feminist oppression? How could we have allowed feminism to do this to them? Where were our heads? What were we thinking? How could we have been so--dare I say it?--sexist?

    As good, moral people, as the bartenders of Club Earth, so to speak, maybe it's time we cut feminism off. It's already got us the vote and Title IX and pay that's almost as good as equal and . . . uh . . . well, a woman ran for Vice President once, remember? That was interesting. And wasn't there a Year of the Woman once? I can't remember which election year that was. Maybe it was that year from which I can recall only one thing: Donna Rice. You know your sex has come a long way when its members are most often in the news for fucking famous guys.

    Anyhow, that's plenty of achievement from you, feminism, really, quite enough. We can't keep serving you all night, not with you fixing to wreck the joint.

    Oh, feminism. Why do you have to be 30 feet tall with muscles of steel, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Why must you demolish lives with every step you take? We could like you, feminism, if you only knew your own strength, only made an effort to reign it in once in awhile. Instead, you

    [dominate] most of our public institutions and social fabric

    --and that's just plain bitchy of you, feminism.

    Less is more, feminism. Think about that while we call you a cab.

    But that's not the worst thing about feminism. Oh, no. You only thought it being an Almighty Colossus of Destruction was bad--but, actually, it gets much, much worse.

    Feminism, it turns out, is utterly impotent. It cannot affect positive change in any meaningful way whatsoever. And there's no Viagra for it in sight.

    Feminism couldn't get Maureen Dowd married.

    Feminism couldn't teach women math.

    Feminism couldn't stop pornography.

    Feminism couldn't stop rape.

    Feminism couldn't make women happy.

    No wonder young women are all so turned off by feminism. Feminism's a total pussy! And a lazy one, too!

    I really wish feminism would get up off my couch and fix all my problems forever. But I can't even get feminism to look for a job. Instead it just lolls around on the sofa, hissing at Oprah, stuffing itself with bonbons, and occasionally making rude remarks about my slipcover.

    Lazy, worthless, good-for-nothing feminism--always finding new ways to rest on its laurels. What's it done for anyone lately, huh? It sure doesn't care about injustice in the Middle East--now there are some women who could really use feminism. Too bad feminism never speaks up for them! And it doesn't lift one little finger to empower our daughters, to teach them to value themselves as something more than the sum of their body parts. Why, just look at all the slacking that shiftless feminism's been doing on that score:

    Feminism was supposed to free women from outdated and demeaning gender stereotypes; to empower us as people and put us on a more equal footing with men. Yet now, when women have more education, money, and power than ever before, we seem to have surrendered to the very culture we once viewed as oppressive and sexist. Have women finally transcended sexism and if so, why aren't men jumping on the same bandwagon?

    Will women ever view ourselves as more than the sum of our body parts?

    Not if feminism doesn't ever get its ass off my couch, they won't!

    But who are we kidding, really? Feminism doesn't have any special power (except the power to ruin everything). Feminism doesn't have any new ideas (except a few novel notions about crushing our souls). Feminism has no defined goals (beyond "smash everything"), no clever strategies (other than strategies for destruction), and no measurable achievements (though there was that whole suffrage thing once). Why exactly are we paying feminism's rent? What's the point of it? It can't do a thing for us!

    I wish feminism would go away so it could quit obliterating everything that is good and pure and noble in life. But most of all, I want it gone because it's dumb and lazy and we don't need it anymore.

    I'd like my couch back, feminism. And lay off the bonbons.

    Posted by Ilyka at 11:23 PM | Comments (4)

    March 18, 2006



    Would you seek care at a hospital that displayed the above?

    Posted by Ilyka at 02:52 PM