Thursday, December 09, 2010

Oh, so the worst thing you will read all day.

Posted today on Shakesville was this, which is a link to an article about a "controversial" new book that postulates that feminism has ruined male-female relations and that women need to stop "acting like men" at home and give up on this whole "equal" thing because "men don't fall in love with equals."

If you've got enough sanity points, it's worth reading the article, if only because I cannot make this shit up, y'all.

Feminism does in fact tell women that we do not have to act demure, "sexually available", "complimentary", etc. and so on. 

But feminism does not tell us that we MUST not act that way.  The beauty of feminism is that we have the ability to be individual people, and decide what femininity means to us on our own terms - so far as any of us can have our own terms, growing up and living in the miasma of patriarchy.

Likewise, feminism does not proscribe narrow roles for men and say all men like THIS and think THIS and do THIS and are capable of THIS.  Which is what the authors are saying.  And yet, feminists are man-haters?

Additionally, you know, I am all for clear communication in relationships.  Part of that is because I try to do it myself and I really like the results, part of it is because I think communicating respectfully with people is just part of being a decent person and I have this thing about not being an asshole.  And it chaps my ass that these authors can advocate a healthy relationship skill like communication in the same mothafuckin BREATH as they advocate that women should tone their personalities and accomplishments down so they don't hurt the menz' precious fee-fees.

And while we're at it, could this book get any more hetero-normative?  The entire QUILTBAG community, where are they in all this?  Oh right, patriarchy tells us that only straight relationships matter.  And only those where the woman is properly "sexually available" and "complimentary" (no, the misspelling is not mine).

Oh also, what about relationships that aren't dyads?  Wait wait wait, those don't exist either; sorry my silly ladybrane forgot.

This is the same old WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ LADIES YOU BETTER STAY DEMURE ON THE GROUND WITH THAT BOOT ON YOUR NECK OR ELSE bullshit.  And it is absolutely galling that they mixed in a little bit of actual relationship advice to, what, make it more palatable?  Make it more mainstream?  I don't even know.

Is it possible someone will read this and chime to the "communication" part and it'll change their lives for the better?  Sure.  But why should they have to swallow all of that other shit to get there?

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