Archive for June, 2010

Feminism and Shame

Today, some people were discussing a feminist version of Cinderella. Pretty cool! There was talk about Cinderella saving the Prince instead of the other way around, which was just great. And then the old refrain cried out about why does she even NEED a prince?

Why does anyone need anyone? And why is it so important for some feminists to hide so many feminine things? All women are different, but it seems that to be a feminist, you need to not be feminine. Why should we cheer on the female soldier, but scorn the stay at home mother?

Why are we ashamed of feminine traits? If we put that out there as the feminist message, then aren’t we saying that those traits are weak, shameful, undesirable? Why is loving someone, nurturing, cooking, looking ‘pretty’, liking the arts, negative? For starters, they are not female only traits, but to say they are negative is just another way to devalue not just women, but women’s work.

Sure, I want equal pay for equal work. It’s a matter of human rights, a moral issue. But I also think that we need to place a greater value on “women’s work”, such as teaching, nursing, administrative work. We need to respect the work that those who do not have a paying job spend their time on every day. We’re volunteering at the schools your children go to. We’re raising money for the organizations you support. We’re running households, our own small businesses in many respects. How is that not as feminist as working as a lawyer or doctor? (Let’s hear them say “truck driver” — no, females should only aspire for men’s white collar jobs, not blue collar ones, another issue entirely.)

If we start by devaluing some traits that many women share, scorning them, rejecting them, then we are rejecting not just our sisters, but ourselves. We’re saying women are not as valuable as men. We’re saying women should be men to be equal. I say we should elevate women, not try to suppress the ones that don’t hold up to some sort of male standard of behavior. I am not ashamed of being a woman, and still believe in equal rights for women, which is what feminism is. You can be different and equal. You can be yourself AND still be important, equal, valued. That’s how it should be.

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This link makes it appear as if despite all our complaints, more people move TO Chicago than FROM Chicago, here in Dubuque. Interesting map on the comings and goings of residents, from one county to another, all over the country.

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Originally uploaded by Kibbles

Went to watch the sun set over the city of Dubuque on the Mississippi River yesterday. We were at the Mines of Spain/Julien Dubuque Monument. Oddly, they had a wheelbarrow stored on top of his grave and other debris. Even if they were working on it, you would have thought they would have been more respectful. We might ask at the E B Lyons center later on today, if they’re open.

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World View

So, people complain if you see something from a feminist viewpoint. Or a Pagan one. Or a homosexual one. Or an Asian one. Or a disabled one. That oh, you see things filtered through your ‘issue’, as it were.

That’s because people don’t realize that the default view is usually white male, and probably Christian. So why can’t we say that? Why can’t we say that oh, you filter everything through a white male point of view? Why is that one the ok, the gold standard, the one all other points of view should be held up against? Why is that POV the valid one and all the others suspect?

Do I even have to answer those questions?

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Don’t confuse being busy with being stressed.

Being busy is just another way to acknowledge you’re alive, valuable, needed, part of the greater world around you.

Sometimes you can be very stressed, and not busy at all. The silence, the lack of motion, when not reflective, can be a time that leads you to worry and fret about what you’re not doing, what you’re unable to do, and your separation from your community and life.

So the next time you’re running around without a minute to spare, remember the goals of it all, and your purpose, your place in those tasks. You’re busy because someone needs you, you need something, something needs doing.

And if none of those (or similar thoughts) are true? Then maybe you CAN be a little less busy, and step away from those tasks that are weighing on you.

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