Fudgebudget

Wherein I express myriad incredulities

Posts Tagged ‘feminism

Wedding planning and the “war on men.”

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I’m getting married next year, so I thought maybe I’d turn this blog into a wedding planning blog!

I’m so kidding. I would never do that to you. I don’t have time to plan a wedding, much less write about planning one.

But, I did run into this lovely article by Fox News, and wanted so badly to post on Facebook about it, but I made a deal with myself earlier this year that there would be no more politics on Facebook, for my sanity’s sake. (Seriously, arguing about politics on the internet with people you know is a lose/lose proposition in which I am no longer willing to engage.) So, the solution was to blog-vent.

I’m not going to argue the notion that women’s generalized gender expectations and aspirations have not changed in decades past. More women are working, many are out-earning their partners, and being a single mother is no longer a scandalous notion. But, women are still socialized in such a way as to at least partially perpetuate traditional gender roles. Many women, while out-earning their partners, are still doing the majority of household chores. Romney still expects us to be home to cook dinner.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be home or enjoying taking care of one’s family and household. But, I think many of us can agree that it is not necessarily and automatically the responsibility of the nearest woman to accommodate these basic needs for her family/community. I love cooking and enjoy putting dinner on the table, but if the man in my life judged me for not making that my number one priority over career/education/sanity, then you can bet I’d have a problem with it.

Here’s my major beef with the idea of a “war on men”: It is never presented in such a way as to illicit any sympathy from someone who doesn’t already feel like a disenfranchised man. These arguments are almost always presented in the same way as is done by Fox News in this article: men feel entitled and feel like women don’t need them so we force men to take their balls and go home (pun not intended, but relished).

And to go back to my original point, the expectations and generalizations hurt everyone. I think most men do not feel that there is a war being waged against them by women. I think that there are a lot of good men out there who have altered their expectations of gender roles based on how our world has changed to enfranchise more women.

Also: why must “feminism” be a dirty word? Feminism does not imply that we don’t need men and that we don’t want them to have a place in world. It does, however, question why the two most widely recognized genders must abide by antiquated assigned roles that can be grossly skewed to advantage some over others.

The author of this article (a woman, by the way, whom I will attempt to judge solely on the quality of her writing and refrain from calling her a traitor to her gender) appeals to women and men to surrender to their roles, because marriage will be awesome again if we do that (marriage for whom? And I’d love to hear this woman’s take on marriage equality).

If we must assign blame for the article’s presumed lack of marriageable men, why blame ourselves for doing what is in our own best interest? Why blame women for having the courage to buck gender norms and lead lives where we can have choices and seize opportunities?

[Men] want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.

Really? We’re going to use the DNA argument? Because that’s the same argument that a lot of people use to justify rape. We are bigger than our hormones. We are capable of being respectful to each other and nurturing relationships without requiring either party to act a certain way for reasons that amount to “just because.” However, you can’t expect people to just intuit how they need to approach a new idea. We need to educate young people about healthy relationships, and that will lead to more marriageable men and women.

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Written by fudgebudget

December 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Why do I do this to myself.

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So shortly after embarking on an 11 hour drive home yesterday, the Boyfriend and I were trying to find something on the radio before resorting to the iPod and it’s wonderful but not super-clear FM transmitter.

We pushed the “seek” button and heard a lot of Tejano accordion, some bad country music (seriously, folks, if you need that much “down home” in your music ALL THE TIME you might want to confront your insecurities with the realities of this world so that your head doesn’t explode and you can start voting Progressive) and went back to a passed station when we heard:

At this point, my feminism alert is sounding off, and I begin to get indignant.  Because that’s what I do when I hear things like that – opinions that I hear all the time, and for whatever reason – unfortunately or mercifully, depending on my mood – I cannot just sit back and listen to.  These are the times that I am very thankful for the fact that the Boyfriend does not consider me some sort of crazy feminazi who is out to emasculate all in my path, and also thankful that he will get indignant WITH me.  Especially since the radio insanity continued.

Wait.  Who’s a what now?  There are SO MANY THINGS that are wrong with this statement.  Submission is not aggressive … by definition.  It MIGHT be passive-aggressive, when one is using it to incite guilt, but that’s more manipulative than it is submissive.  And why, in this broadcast, and in so many forums, is it that women are the only ones being taught this “virtue?”  The immediate reaction in the car was:

Which was then followed by:

And isn’t that the worst part, really?  I mean it’s one thing to believe that you should submit to God, that’s fine, that’s sort of universally egalitarian if you think about it.  But, it’s a whole other can of beans to say that you should submit unquestioningly to another human being when you don’t believe that they owe you the same courtesy.  Not when you are in a supposedly equal partnership like marriage (although, arguably, these people do not believe that marriage is an equal partnership if this is the case).  We can question our friends, our family (though maybe not the patriarchy), and our government (helloooooo Tea Party – I’m pretty sure that 4 years ago it was the lot of you who were calling me unAmerican for dissenting), but not the will of a husband?

And just so you know, this was not AM radio, this was mainstream FM radio.  This was like one notch down from that time that the Boyfriend and I were driving through Indiana and heard Rush Limbaugh on FM radio.

So, going back to what the Boyfriend said about how women are taught these things by religious/cultural institutions, it took me back to another place in another time.  Far, far away in Baptist country, at a place much like the camp in Jesus Camp, where a young me spent a week every summer for about 7 years.  A place where evolution was shunned, but somehow, it was more plausible that the atmosphere had a layer of water that prevented UV damage which is how Methuselah was able to live as long as the Bible says he did.

Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Maybe one day, we will live in a world where we won’t need Fundamentalism, because people will realize that the fundamentals – the foundations – the Bible – were not faxed down from God in English, and that perhaps if we cannot discern the exclusive absolutes, we should instead try to live by the (subjectively) better and inclusive teachings of tolerance, equality, and love.

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Written by fudgebudget

September 7, 2010 at 6:41 pm