It's Official: I'm Not A Feminist
For a long time, I really thought I should keep identifying as a "feminist", even when I hated everything I saw of feminism, as a sort of rehabilitation of the term, or a claiming of it, or something.
But now I wonder: when I say I'm a feminist, am I actually just dredging up a bunch of crap I don't want spread around. So, for the moment, I'm avoiding it.
I don't want to link to the blogs that are making me furious right now, so I won't. Suffice it to say, I'm sick of the thoughtlessness, the pettiness, the racism, and classism that go unacknowledged and/or willfully misunderstood. I'm sick of the hypocrisy and the bizarre sense of ownership. I'm exhausted by the mind-numbing sameness and, frankly, intellectual emptiness, of most "feminist" discussion.
I could discuss the burqa thing or the disturbing consideration of the "choice to wax" or the stupid Playboy-Pandagon thing, but all of those have been tackled with aplomb by bloggers I respect. I want to talk, briefly, about the whole "Amp's a sell-out!" controversy.
I have a few things to say about that.
1. Unless it is actually your blog, not just a place you enjoy commenting, then it's not your blog. All these ideas around the blogosphere about how it's a blog propreitor's duty to protect people from stuff they don't like - grow the fuck up, people. I've seen it in the past when someone didn't immediately ban someone who was an anti-feminist. And now this. Amp doesn't owe you anything. You should feel lucky that he entertains your complaints at the frequency he does.
2. Maia was awesome in admitting how she'd done something for money that she didn't support politically. If you have not, you must be pretty wealthy or ascetic. It's a basic precept of capitalism that we all become complicit in our own oppression. It reminds me of a "real life" feminist group I was involved in (back in my youth) wherein one member wanted another member out because that member worked at Loreal cosmetics. Again: grow the fuck up, people.
3. If you can't handle running in into porn, you may want to get off the internet. Because I don't think you'll like it much. The other option is to set your homepage to The Margins and never, NEVER click a link or check your email again. (I'm not saying you can't critique what you see.)
(Right about now, Amp is going, "Why did EL jump to my defense!? Shut up, EL!" :) )
Recently, a certain someone called the burqa issue a "flame war". Why? Because the uproar over something like Amp's selling his domain name, sadly, matches the intensity of people's critique of the appropriation of a burqa. Whether your waxing appointment is grounds for revocation of your feminist card warrants as much fevered commenting as the class considerations of a $40 wax. Seriously fucked-up priorities. So nothing looks bigger or more important than a petty "flame war".
Okay, so am I really "not a feminist"? I don't know if I'm quite ready to say that because I don't want feminism, a movement to which I've devoted quite a lot of time and energy, to be totally stupid. But ... let's just say that, for the first time, I'm beginning to think that shedding the label wouldn't be much of a loss to me.