Gut Check

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This picture. It’s from the Women’s March in 2017, but the message resonates even after a year. Maybe more, after Charlottesville and Roy Moore and #metoo and all the other mind boggling crap that happened this year.

I didn’t vote for Trump, because I’m a pro-life Christian. But I’m white and I KNOW that with those lame ass pink hats and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Persistence, we made the women’s social justice movement Pinterest-able, and then acted like we invented the damn thing.

It’s not that #metoo isn’t important, because it is and, #metoo.

It’s not that women are not marginalized, not abused, not underrepresented, not all of it.

But there’s something off about the pampered and privileged white women of Hollywood taking a diamond-laden and perfectly coiffed stand against sexual abuse in the workplace while still clamoring to act in movies that objectify women, glorify violence and desecrate marriage.

It’s in this picture too, where white women stand with carelessly curled hair and memorialize their “social justice girls weekend” with selfies.

As if this is the first moment, the first rally, the first battle.

As if this outrage didn’t exist until we felt it.

That black woman with the bored look on her face and the searing truth on her poster? She is LITERALLY keeping it real. God bless her, because that’s the business. And she’s probably been doing the business, like her mother and her mother before her and back and back.*

She’s also been waiting on us to show up. She is our dose of humility. This is not about a girls weekend or stylized pink ear pictures on Instagram. It’s not supposed to be fun. There won’t be wine later, for the love of God.

Show up. Be humble. Change the world.

*Turns out, she has. Her name is Angela Peoples and she was the director of GetEQUAL before leaving to start her own consulting group called MsPeoples. Her friend Kevin took that picture. You can follow her on Twitter at @MsPeoples.

She Shamed Herself, and Other Thoughts

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Maybe, like me, you had no idea that the latest Bachelorette had sex with one of her suitor/contestants, and then sent him home.

Maybe, like me, you think the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise is one of many examples of troubling but ultimately unimportant immorality in society today, along with Justin Bieber, the Kardashians and Rush Limbaugh.

But then I saw this headline: Who is Responsible for the Slut-Shaming of the Bachelorette?”

Facebook has been rocking this week with posts and counter-posts promoting “I don’t need feminism because” and the satirical responses “I don’t need feminism because…” and “Confused Cats Against Feminism”.

We know this issue is a hot button, because when I wrote the piece about conservative feminists and arrogance, it struck a cord with some of our readers.

I was working from the place that feminism means that women are equal to men and should be treated as such under the law.

Not that women are better than men.

Not that women can take the place of men.

Not that men are an inferior, violent and dangerous species and women should bring back Amazon warriors to guard us all in some utopian, female-only bastion of moon cycles and extended breast feeding.

But that is how the conservative half of the culture views the political face of the feminist movement today. I looked at the anti-feminists statements, and agreed with the sentiment of many—that being a woman is not a disadvantage, that we should work for equality, not entitlement and supremacy, and that we are able to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions.

But these young women, with their signs?  They’re feminists. How come they don’t know that?

The movement has a problem these days: ready, fire, aim.

Like this Bachelorette slut-shaming thing.

Bachelorette Andi agreed to find a husband on TV, picking from a pool of men chosen for their good looks and/or professions, in only eight weeks. This after she volunteered to be one of the pool of women chosen for their good looks and/or capacity for drama on the last Bachelor. So we already know that she is not a paragon of integrity.

But more than that, the way she behaved deserves censure from women everywhere. This is not about her sexual freedom. And this is not about the double standard. Yes, its’ true that men are treated differently for the same behavior, but I for one appreciate the good ol’ boys from the simple standpoint that it makes the a-holes easier to identify. I’m sure men would say the same about some sub-culture of women.

This is about Bachelorette Andi buying the true anti-feminism, that her worth only goes as far as her looks and her willingness to put out will take her.

Should the male anchors at FoxNews be popping off about her, as if they have no moral skeletons in their closets?

Of course not, but humility is not a strong point over at Fox. Those guys are good ol’ boys, so we know what we think about them.

What should be happening is that instead of defending her behavior by accusing others of “slut-shaming”, feminists everywhere should be hanging their heads in despair.

The goal used to be freedom to raise daughters strong in their heads, hearts and bodies, who dream big and do big things wherever their sphere of influence might be.

Now the movement seems to defend a woman’s right to a complete lack of sexual or moral boundaries, but ridicules women who believe in marriage, motherhood, religion and country. We defend Bachelorette Andi’s right to demean and devalue herself, instead of worrying how it is that she grew up with all the advantages of over 100 years of feminism and STILL DIDN’T GET THE MEMO.

My grandmother went to college in the ’30s, when 26 states still had laws prohibiting the employment of married women. She joined the Navy as an RN and served in the Pacific during WWII. Then she spent the next 50 years providing the economic stability in her family that sent my mom to college in the 60s.

Is this why she did all that? So women today could sleep around?

Today’s feminism is messing with my grandmother’s legacy.

And that’s not cool.

 

 

 

 

 

Conservative Feminists and Arrogance

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Dana and I are Feminists from way back. Maybe you’ve noticed.

So we take issue when a group of powerful and important women trash Feminism, which is what happened last week at the Heritage Foundation’s celebration of Women’s History Month, “Evaluating Feminism, Its Failures and Its Future”.

These women have some serious hubris. Do they even know what the word Feminist means?

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women  (dictionary.com)

The Conservative Right would have us believe that Feminism only serves liberals. That’s not true. Sarah Palin is a product of Feminism. Condolezza Rice. Michelle Bachman. Bay Buchanon. Michelle Malkin. Even, and sadly, Ann Coulter. The only reason Karin Agness, Mona Charen and Mollie Hemingway even had a microphone to speak in front of the other day is because of Feminism.

And yet these women blithely turn their backs on the path forged by our grandmothers and great grandmothers, a path that says that every woman born to freedom in this great nation can be anything she chooses to be. Like a presidential candidate, Secretary of State, political pundit or even character assassin in a nodding relationship with the truth.

I am pretty sure that Mona Charen who “called the glass-ceiling a ‘supposed barrier’ and said Feminists and the Obama Administration often use “much debunked statistics” to argue their points” didn’t get where she is by sleeping her way to the top. But 70 years ago, who knows if she would have had the opportunity to run her mouth as a syndicated columnist? Maybe some cigar smoking editor with girlie pictures hanging all over his office would have sent her home to her husband and babies with a smack on her bum, or even invited her to “discuss” her career on his couch.

But that’s not allowed anymore, because of Feminism.

And Mollie Hemingway? It’s odd because I cannot find much specific information on this lady on the internet. Beyond that she’s a highly educated and decorated writer who lives in DC. I know she’s married because she wrote a defense of submissive wives after the whole Michele Bachman thing. But I don’t think she has kids. Which makes this statement all the more puzzling: “ ‘We’re telling women they should delay marriage, ‘lean in’ on career, focus on themselves,” Hemingway said. “And we know these things don’t lead to female happiness.’ “

I have no idea why this submissive wife doesn’t appear to have kids but does have a nationally important voice in the political debate. Or does have kids that are well hidden from an intrusive media, but still travels the country for her day job.

Oh wait, yes I do: Feminism.

And either way, I’m not judging her choices, even if her life seems to give a lie to her words. I don’t judge working moms and stay at home moms and single moms and two moms and dads who are moms and grandmas who are moms again. Because it takes a damn village, and there but for the grace of God go I, and no one should have to feel abandoned and alone before anyone else has walked a mile in their shoes.

You know where I learned all that?

Jesus. And Feminism.

So here’s the thing. If you think your daughter would make a great lawyer, you’re a Feminist. If you think your daughter would make a great wife and mom, you’re a Feminist. If you think your daughter is going to earn a scholarship to play soccer at Stanford or become a Rhodes scholar and get into every single Ivy League school she applies to, you’re a Feminist. If you proudly take her to vote the first time after she turns 18, you’re a Feminist. If you raise your sons to treat the women around them with respect and if you married a man who treats you with respect, you’re a Feminist.

Heck, let’s make this bottom line easy: if you teach your daughter to read and write, you’re a Feminist. And thank God, because in places where they don’t believe in Feminism, girls die on the way to school, shot by men who think they should never leave the house. Their. Entire. Lives.

So come on ladies. Where’s your humility? Maybe you don’t like the tone of womanhood today. I don’t, either. Too much sexuality, too much photoshop, too much divorce, too many babies born out of wedlock, too much abortion. But that’s not Feminism. That’s a crooked culture, and if we could just stop flailing at each other, we could band together like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and put the crooked straight.

(Well, maybe not just like them, because I do enjoy a good vodka tonic)

The point is that history shows us that women’s voices are strong and powerful and sensitive and maternal and compassionate and unyielding when we have something to protect.

You know how I know this?

Feminism.