EQUATING WOMANHOOD TO ANYTHING ELSE THAN HAVING A BIOLOGICALLY FEMALE BODY GOES AGAINST EVERYTHING FEMINISM HAS FOUGHT FOR FOR DECADES
A feeling? Feminists have had to fight the idea that women “feel” a certain way and therefore behave in certain ways and are unable to do or understand certain things - ideas that have existed for millenias -, in order to show why women aren’t meant to be subordinate people. Reinforcing the idea that “womanhood is a feeling” is anti-feminist.
A style? Only ten years ago feminists agreed girls and women can dress however they like and that part of the point of feminism is to free women from gender norms and beauty ideals - women have had to fight for the right to wear pants! Certain clothes does not a woman make. No clothes, beauty products or hair styles equate womanhood.
“Just saying you are makes you one”? Women (female human beings) haven’t had the possibility to assert themselves as subjects and whole human beings for very long. Women haven’t been allowed to define themselves, and the word “woman” has been hijacked many times to signify something less, something pathetic, something unworthy. Don’t you dare steal our right to define ourselves and hijack what we are for your own purposes now. Words have meanings and the meaning of woman is “female human being”.
What does “feminist” mean? Feminist is formed with the word “femme,” “woman,” and means: someone who fights for women. For many of us it means someone who fights for women as a class and for the disappearance of this class. For many others it means someone who fights for woman and her defense – for the myth, then, and its reenforcement. But why was the word “feminist” chosen if it retains the least ambiguity? We chose to call ourselves “feminists” ten years ago, not in order to support or reenforce the myth of woman, nor to identify ourselves with the oppressor’s definition of us, but rather to affirm that our movement had a history and to emphasize the political link with the old feminist movement.
Okay, so. I’m wearing my “I’M HERE AND I’M QUEER” shirt today right? No problems, everyone has been super nice and super entertaining…. then, right as my faith in humanity has reached maximum potential… in pops these two neckbeards. Neckbeard #1 leans over the counter, his nasty breath wafting into my face, and says “It’s a shame that a pretty girl like you is queer, You were almost perfect”. To which neckbeard #2 laughs and says “At least it doesn’t say FEMINIST”.
Both neckbeards laugh at their witty joke and proceed to order. After the order is placed, neckbeard #1 decides to then lean further over the counter, his stained Call Of Duty shirt riding up to reveal the nasty cavern that should have been covered by his elastic waistband pants, and says “Are you sure your queer, because I could prove to you that you’re not. Wanna go out next Saturday?”
Unable to hold it in any longer, I laughed. Loud belly laughter.
“What is so funny?” Neckbeard #1 asks, affronted.
The scathing remark that has been burning the tip of my tongue finally breaks free. “Oh, I just find it ironic that you have proceeded to hit on, and insult, the most obviously queer feminist in a ten mile radius and you still expect to get their phone number.”
Neckbeard #1 looks to neckbeard #2, both of them have been called out… I can feel their tiny brains trying to process the new information that they have adamantly refused to pick up. Both sit down and wait till their order is ready, complete silence fills China Wong I have won.
olivia records was founded in 1973 specifically to produce and market women’s music. the collective was founded by ten lesbian feminists from washington, d.c. (they later moved to l.a. and then to oakland). while the collective did moderately well and produced many albums, including “lesbian concentrate,” a collection of songs and poetry which benefitted the lesbian mothers national defense fund, they are also remembered for rejecting melissa ethridge, who went on to become one of the most successful lesbian musicians of all time. the two concerts they performed at carnegie hall in 1988 were the highest grossing at that venue in history at the time, but were barely mentioned by the new york times.
from 1974-1978 sandy stone (pictured above, at work) was olivia’s sound engineer. she recorded and mixed all of olivia’s music during this period. stone, a trans woman, was subjected to negative and transphobic attacks during this period from some in the mainstream lesbian community. janice raymond, a lesbian feminist scholar, was particularly vicious and attempted to out stone to olivia records and described her as a “male” working for an all-women’s record company. the collective responded by publicly defending stone in various feminist publications of the time. stone continued as a member of the collective and continued to record olivia artists but eventually left after pressure from a book written by raymond, the transsexual empire, (essentially an attack on stone) and the community became too much.
stone went on to collaborate with donna haraway on a response to raymond’s book called the empire strikes back: a posttranssexual manifesto, which has been called “the protean text from which contemporary transgender studies emerged.”
(a slightly unrelated but nonetheless interesting fact: in the late 80s stone bought herself a computer and taught herself how to code, and became a freelance coder, which was no small feat).
apparently my 10 year old sister is already a bitter feminist
some girl in her friend group was being mean and excluding the fat black girl and my sister chewed her out about it and said “if you’re gonna be mean to her like that we can’t be friends anymore” and cut the girl out of her life immediately
In the spirit of end-of-year lists, a small offering: my favorite feminist writing of 2013, complete with quotes. Here’s looking forward to a new year of feminist analysis, activism, and general bad-assery.
I’ll be featuring quotes from these articles throughout the day. And thanks to all the feminist writers out there doing their thing - you all are amazing.
Ten feminists walk into a bar.
A solitary bowl of M&Ms sits upon a table.
How many survive?
This is actually an old Zen koan, similar to the more well-known “what is the sound of one feminist oppressing herself?” that young gender studies scholars must puzzle over before attaining full victimhood.
(The answer to both is “Stop derailing my abuse of you!!!”)