Yes, after a lifetime of feminist consciousness (well since I was nine years old anyway) I was told the other day I am no longer a feminist because I reject the victimhood hierarchy that passes for feminism among so many younger feminists today. I was told this in no uncertain terms by a young lady on her blog who then proceeded to lecture me, apparently in total absence of any knowledge of my body of writing or my actual life, about the evils of the second wave feminists, gender as having any meaning and, as has become strangely common among some like her, my own relationship with Goddess Consciousness. Oh yes, I’m also an “ablist” too despite the fact I walk with a cane due to multiple back injuries and have chronic pain as a result.
What happened to Feminism? I will freely grant I am not a Feminist by her definition but not a Feminist? Hardly.
A brief history lesson might be in order. “First Wave Feminism” spanned almost a hundred years beginning with abolishing slavery as it’s first goal then suddenly expanded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the famous Seneca Falls conference where she proposed womans suffrage to the shock of almost all who attended. You might notice, because it is significant, that First Wavers were tied to what became the Civil Rights movement from it’s very beginnings. Stanton, basically a stay at home mom, and her close lifelong associate and friend, Susan B. Anthony spent the rest of their lives dedicated to womans suffrage and Stanton continued until her death to keep pushing the envelop on woman’s rights and sexual equality, so much so that in her last few years she was so far ahead of the curve the Movement denounced her. Women like Rebecca West and Alice Paul continued the fight using direct confrontation, picketing the White House and eventually hunger strikes when they were imprisoned. If these women were anything, it was not victims. And eventually they prevailed and won the right to vote for women. Frederick Douglass supported Stanton at Seneca Falls but later, when Black men were granted suffrage told the Suffragettes they had to wait their turn and denounced tying womans rights to voting rights for Black men. It’s history people, read about it because the history of the Movement reads better than any thriller ever penned.
So called Second Wave Feminism began in the late 1950′s as essentially a Housewive revolution and has morphed many times into goals and positions that are often contradictory as it moved through the sixties and seventies because it’s goal was less narrowly focused and much much wider in scope as a result. The basic goal? Full social, economic and educational equality of the sexes which we still have yet to achieve. Younger women don’t remember but most of my lifetime, even want ads in newspapers were divided by sex long after it was supposedly illegal to do so under Title VII rights. You had ads declaring they were from “equal opportunity employers” separated under “men” and “women”. What is frequently decried today as “Second Wavers” was hardly monolithic movement and never was. You had lesbian separatists, sex positive vs sex negative schools, liberated housewives, matriarchialists, andro positive and andro negative and the European school that preceeded it all by around twenty years or so that was just plain Espirt Feminique. In the early stages the main message to women was self empowerment and the European Second Wave was very much about celebration and restoration of women’s strengths as of equal importance to humanity.
What is being called Third Wave Feminism today is all about oppression with every fraction within jockeying for position as more oppressed than the other. This is the polar opposite of empowerment. This is the school the young lady who told me I am no longer a feminist belongs to. This is passing strange to me because it also, on a fundamental level, feels downright anti-feminist to me personally in that the focus is individual groups vying for position to advance individual “wrongs” based on dis-empowerment and completely at the cost of one of women’s greatest strengths, the ability to compromise and cooperate as a whole for the good of all. The young lady in question compared me to Sarah Palen and called me a fascist right winger which is ironic because I see true feminism as essentially socialist (in the communal as opposed to communism sense) in nature and my studies of ancient history seem to confirm that egalitarian societies always had a primary socialist organization by their very nature.
I fear we have lost an entire generation of potential feminists to the disempowerment of the oppression Olympics who have been seduced from goal by self indulgent whining and finger pointing at others while crying “me me me” rather than “we, we, we”. It is no accident that so called Third Wave Feminism began at the same time the “transgender” gender deconstructionist appeared and they are hopelessly entwined. The supreme irony being the entire goal apparently is erasing women and womanhood. Does it get more patriarchal than that? Also interesting is that they decry women of history defining “transsexuality” in it’s original sense and claim the right to expand it to include those who clearly do not have the medical birth condition the word refers to and yet they then turn right around and narrowly define feminism to exclude anyone who disagrees with their position. Their logic is so fuzzy one is at a loss how to point it out.
I remain a proud European school Second Wave Feminist who has dedicated the rest of her life to full economic and social parity with men and full valuation of so called “woman’s work” with male occupations. I am not a victim, I am woman, hear me roar.
Postscript: Susan’s Tranvestite Place linked to this blog and now a bunch of crossdressers are also engaging in revisionist history….way to prove my points. In response to my reply that they engage in wholesale censorship of ideas, it was denied by a moderator then I received a “warning” and the entire discussion was erased.