Sunday, April 24, 2011

What Will They Think of Next?

While perusing the InterWebs yesterday, Chandra found this:  Conservapedia.  There are folks out there, Dearly Beloved, who find that the usual sources of information on the web are laced with a certain "liberal bias."  They started an on-line encyclopedia for those who don't want facts to interfere with their nonsense.  This is fascinating, scintillating stuff.  Check out their entry on Feminism.  After some other bullshit, here's a list of bullet points describing the purported beliefs of "modern feminists" (my comments interspersed in bold).

Specifically, a modern feminist denies or downplays differences between men and women, opposes the encouragement of homemaking and child-rearing for women, and seeks to participate in predominantly male activities. Modern feminists:
  • never wanted gender equality; they want power for the female left.  What "female left?"  Left behind?  It takes a lot of power to generate gender equality.
  • believe that there are no meaningful differences between men and women (The most significant belief underlying contemporary feminism is that there are no sex differences; therefore advocacy for equal rights must be extended to advocacy for equal results or outcomes.)  This makes no sense at all.  I've noticed differences between the sexes, haven't you?  Are we blind, all of a sudden? 
  • oppose chivalry and even feign insult at harmless displays of it (see battle between the sexes)  Some early feminists opposed displays of chivalry, but that was by no means universal.  I always considered myself a feminist, but I have never objected to anyone holding a door for me, and I will always hold the door for the next person, be they of the masculine or the feminine persuasion.  Equality is what it's about, not rejection of courtesy.
  • view traditional marriage as unacceptably patriarchal  Your point?  Seriously, once they dropped the pesky "obey" line, I'm pretty happy with vows.  However, I suppose that dropping that line is departing from tradition, so, yes.  Traditional marriage is patriarchal in setup.  No problem shaking up the stereotype, here.
  • belittle and mock other women who desire to have children or raise a family. Hilary Clinton did that, briefly, when her husband first ran for the presidency, and received such a backlash that she apologized for the comment. It's about choice, not about all of us making the same choice.
  • shirk traditional gender activities, like baking  "Traditional gender activities like baking??"  Give me a break!  Ask any chef  just how traditionally feminine he considers the art/science of baking!  I'm sure we all know some guys who "shirk" the traditional gender activities, like car maintenance or supporting their families...
  • support affirmative action for women  Well, yes.  And equal pay for equal work.
  • prefer that women wear pants rather than dresses, presumably because men do.  Again, it's about choice.  I prefer to wear pants, because of the increased range of movement they allow.  And so I don't have to shave my legs.  However, even I will don a dress and wield the razor on occasion.  Conservatives prefer their women in skirts because not only is their movement limited, the skirt also implies easy sexual access.
  • seek women in combat in the military just like men, and coed submarines  Your point?  Why shouldn't women get the same combat pay and opportunity for promotion and opportunity to show that they can kick enemy ass as well as their masculine counterparts?  As drivers, etc., they get blown up just as easily.
  • refuse to take her husband's last name when marrying.  Some women have careers built on their own name.  Actresses, for instance, frequently use their own (father's) name throughout their lives.  conservatives never objected to that...however it has always been a joke if the husband in such a case is referred to by his wife's name.  Why is that, I wonder?  And, if her name sounds lovely and his is...less so, why shouldn't he take hers?  Hyphenation is cumbersome, particularly unto the next generation--when John Smith-Farley marries Mary Peterson-Cohen, do they become John and Mary Smith-Farley-Peterson-Cohen?  I CHOSE Jim's last name when we married because the alternative was to keep the name of my former husband (why?), or revert to my father's name, which gave me the same unfortunate initials I grew up with.  
  • distort historical focus onto female figures, often overshadowing important events (Eg: Henry VIII's wives take precedence in common knowledge to his actual reign.)  This is scarcely the fault of feminists.  If the man WOULD insist on marrying six women (three Catherines, two Anns and a Jane) (with variations in spelling, I know), offing two of them and generally making an ass of himself with all of them, you can't blame history on feminism.
  • object to being addressed as "ma'am," or feminine nicknames such as "sweetheart" or "honey"; object to other female-only names, such as "temptress" Gotta love this one.  When was the last time somebody affectionately called you a "temptress?"  I do prefer the masculine form of several words that have been feminized with the "ess" suffix.  Actress, for one.  Much prefer to be an "actor."  At my age, I don't object to "ma'am;" indeed, I feel I have earned that.  I LOATHE being called "sweetie" or "honey,"  by strangers.  I consider those to be affectionate pet names to be bestowed among family members or close friends, not some blanket term applied by a person who either doesn't know my name or has forgotten it.
  • take offense at grammatical rules of the English language, like using the pronoun "he" when referring to a hypothetical/anonymous person, or phrases like 'fireman' and 'stewardess.'  This is one area where I feel some feminists go a bit over the top.  "Herstory," for instance.  The word "history" has nothing to do with just looks that way on the surface.  I have generally been in favour of the changes I've seen over the years..."fire fighter" for "fireman,"  "letter carrier" for "mailman," etc.  I frequently use the clumsy "his or her" because I dislike the usual (plural) substitute, "their."  Language is a process, not a product, and, eventually we shall all get through this clumsy phase.
So much for the latest conservative take on feminism.  It's backlash time, sisters, and we had better get our shit together, or our daughters and granddaughters will be back in the dark ages.


  1. Brava Ronni! Scary but realistic stuff for one living in one of the first countries in the world, if not the first country in the world, where women got the vote. My fear is compounded by the fact that so many young women I work with haven't a clue how that come about. Perhaps, unfortunately, these Conservapedia people are on to something.

  2. Rewrite history...they want us back in the kitchen, cleaning the oven and baking in it!

  3. Great Rant! I have a funny story about Gene calling me a Conservapedia "pet name". He slammed the kitchen cabinet very hard, trying to remind me to close it because he bumps his head on it (I don't). I shrieked and yelled "Don't ever do that again! You'll scare me so much
    I WON'T TALK TO YOU FOR A WHOLE WEEK!" He looked at me very tenderly, caressed my cheek, and bent close to my face. I thought he was going to apologize. Instead, he whispered "Temptress". LOL!
    congrats on the new little one! -tracie