feminism and death

Oh, Time.

If you haven’t read the article, read it now. Then we’ll have a little “rap” session, as Time wishes we would still do, sitting in a circle, with beads and crystals all around us, discussing babies and the “evils” of alcohol.”Is Feminism Dead?” I equate this question with “Is self-esteem dead?” “Who likes being a woman?” “Still wish you gals were like us?”


Let’s take a look at what “killed” feminism.

The suspects:

This article made me shake my head many times. They just don’t get it.The very things that Time says points out why feminism is dead are the very things that show how much it is alive. Feminism is at such a strong level that we can now laugh at what we don’t have to be anymore. None of us want to be Bridget Jones, and when we see ourselves in her, then we are embarrassed in an “Oh, God, I remember when I did that” sort of way. We groan and laugh and blush because we can identify her in a “I’ve been that low” feeling. Bridget isn’t a role model, she’s a comedic figure. She represents the things that we are afraid of becoming if we don’t stick to our “feminist” ways. In this case “feminism” is “giving a crap about yourself.” Bridget is as much of a role model as Patsy and Edwina, or for that matter, any of the “Heathers” in the film of the same name. We know that Ally McBeal and Bridget and the Spice Girls are laughable characters. But that’s the point. These people are characters. Even Baby Spice. And the real women of the world are now a definite force. Time points out that “child care” isn’t listed as a major focus of NOW’s campaign. If it was, wouldn’t we be just concerning ourselves with the “women’s issues” of the past? We know how to raise our families. We know how to get jobs. We know how to keep a man, despite what “The Rules” tell us (a slap in the face to women if there ever was one). And now it has left us time to focus on other things. Now men aren’t the only ones with sex on the brain. We have the luxury to dwell on those thoughts, too. If you want to be my lover, indeed.

More to the point, if we look at the list above of the assassins of the modern woman, what do they have in common? They’re fun. We like good times, too.

The “Young Modern” women of today are the first to grow up with the saying “Girls can do anything boys can do better” told to us from kindergarten. I mention “Young Modern” because I remember clearly the day my YM magazine arrived in my mailbox and instead of being called “Young Miss” anymore, it was now known as “Young and Modern.” I knew I was growing up, and I was being looked at differently.

My friends would never consider me a “feminist” because that word has developed such a negative connotation. We think of militant, braless, hairy, unfriendly, man-hating women. We don’t want to be thought of that way. But aren’t we protective of the word when someone tries to tell us we don’t care about being women anymore? Nowadays we don’t care who’s hairy, or braless, or militant. We think of ourselves as one unit. Women. And to think that we don’t care about our own advancement and more about being “cute” and “sassy” is absurd. I think women of today thought that we can gone farther than that. Or at least that’s what Virginia Slims tells us. We seem to feel comfortable that if someone sees you as a success, obviously, you are a woman who holds feminist ideals, and doesn’t need to throw those ideals in your face.

I am a woman. I enjoy being a woman. I even enjoy being a girl, as the song goes. I like wearing a woman’s smile. But don’t tell me I can’t go to the bachelor party because I’d ruin the “man fun.” I’m a hell of a party. Remember, girls can do anything boys can do better?

Women are not just looking for equality anymore, but privacy. Privacy to live their lives as they choose. With babies, without babies. With a man, or a woman, or both. Short skirts, long. Family life, career path. Treat us with the same respect.

I dare say feminism will never die. It is something that makes you believe in who you are. Women are a part of a very special group that doesn’t need to be told what our strong points are. We have incredible powers. Did Time think that feminism was just a fad?

The real travesty of the article was leaving out anyone who actually existed as a feminine role model. We have women politicians, musicians, writers, artists, archeologists, scientists, CEO’s… just mentioning the success of Lilith Fair…but instead the article dwells on the media’s perception of women…and what they think we want.

Yeah, we still curl up with a Cosmo or Elle every now and then… when we are at the gym and we are jumping too much to try and take heavy reading, or when there’s a particularly appealing sex quiz… but that’s not our main source of information. Women’s magazines are growing up, too. Jane took over where Sassy left off, and made sure to continue to treat twentysomething women as they wanted to be treated. MTV has decided to cater to the younger female these days, what with the pretty-boy videos we’ve been subjected to…does anyone listen to the Backstreet Boys? Just curious.

Oh, this was supposed to be a very direct point, and it has sort of gone everywhere, but the point is, I never thought about how people would assume just because you aren’t squawking about being treated fairly and equally, that you don’t care. I assumed that women had come so far that feminism is just understood. Respect is just understood. I don’t know whether to scoff at the article, or think about how I present myself. My plays always have female protagonists, and I think they are very “girl power”, and I am sitting as I type underneath my Spice Girls poster in my office (my workplace is very male-oriented, and I like to remind them every once in a while that there is definite chic forces around). But what does it say about me? Am I trying to be cute? Am I just kidding myself?

No. I’m being honest. There are things that I like about being a woman that I wouldn’t give up just to be considered more mannish. Being feminist does not mean trying to be like a man. It means celebrating the various forms of woman, and embracing the many ways to say female.

I quote Scary Spice: “Girl Power, blah, blah, blah.”

let me hear you roar. a woman’s response.

Leave a Reply

Comments (