Pia Glenn of xoJane again attempts to Explain feminism- Julie Pascal
Pia Glenn of xoJane again attempts to Explain feminism. (I know it’s “again” because this is the second most important thing that feminists do.)
A bit ago actress Maisie Williams of “Game of Thrones” innocently announced the plain truth, the elephant in the room, the evidence before her own eyes, and the shock of it all is still being felt.
“And then someone explained [feminism] to me. And I remember thinking, “Isn’t that just like everyone?” And then I realized everyone is not a feminist, unfortunately. But I also feel like we should stop calling feminists “feminists” and just start calling people who aren’t feminist “sexist” – and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist.”
Because what Miss Williams got was the “Explanation”. I’ve gotten it before. So have you. Feminism is about equality for everyone, it’s pretty simple the Explanation goes, women are equal to men and deserve to be treated the same. And Miss Williams is entirely correct in her complete obvious honesty… “Isn’t that just like everyone?” Why yes, it is. It’s exactly “like everyone” except for a few people who actually and truly are sexists.
Well, Pia Glenn simply won’t have it.
“…Women who have lived longer lives and suffered seriously due to sexism might be less likely to find beauty in her blitheness, of course, and she does go on to say, “Because it works the other way, as well. A lot of men have it hard too,” which is an unfortunate follow-up that reveals her not fully embracing the idea of sexism as a systemic ill that actually doesn’t work the same way in reverse.”
Because women, that’s all of us BTW, who have lived longer, who understand, know that the unfairness in women’s lives is entirely different from the unfairness that men experience. Feminism isn’t about equality and not being sexist, it’s about a “systemic ill” that only flows in one direction, ever.
So, because explaining what feminism is never works very well but results in logical and clearheaded young women getting it ALL WRONG, Pia Glenn is now going to explain what feminism is *not*.
Feminism is not a buzzword.
“Feminism is a movement that is vital to societal progress, not the latest headline or hot topic.”
Turns out that young ladies tend to say foolish unhelpful things when they are cornered by reporters and Pia would like reporters to ask older women and men questions about feminism. Yes, I think that would work out about the same as you do.
(By the way, “ladies” is Pia’s word choice, not mine, so we can safely assume that “ladies” is no longer an inherently sexist term. Good to know. I’m sure certain people involved in a SFWA brouhaha a couple of years ago will soon be issuing apologies.)
Feminism is not determined by your career.
I honest to dawg have never heard a single person claim it was. I will say this… some people are professional feminists. They spend their time policing the expressions of young women who foolishly think that feminism is the opposite of sexism rather than a systemic ill that men can never experience.
Feminism is not a 100% lovey-dovey sorority pact.
Pia explains, “My feminism is such that I want gender equality and specifically to support women, but I’ll tell another woman she done fucked up if that’s what went down, and I expect the same.”
Pia, you done fucked up. I realize you believe that’s impossible, and you do go on to explain that you’re talking about trivial stuff like making mistakes at work because women are “new” to many careers and don’t have experience which “hasn’t been doled out evenly”, which is sort of… interesting, because we all enter the world naked and hungry and we all arrive at our first job completely and entirely unexperienced.
But patriarchal logic aside, we should understand the rules of fighting: “I can read you to filth without attacking physical appearance, like history so often has with women, or using gendered/coded insults.” Because, again, history never does this to men… right, I forgot, systemic and only in one direction. Well, what about this then? The choice of insult is irrelevant to the validity of an argument. If you insult in non-gendered, non-appearance attacking ways, you’re still issuing insults. You haven’t achieved some get out of jail free card because you yourself made a rule about proper and improper insults and then followed them. Insults have a rhetorical purpose and it’s not a nice one. They attack the person, no matter you never mentioned gender or appearance, and serve the purpose of allowing you to just skip the part where you ever have to prove your point. If my purpose is to insult someone rather than prove my point, a gendered insult is as good as any other.
Feminism is not about your appearance.
Of course not. I’m pretty sure it’s actually about concocting pure fiction and then being really mad about it. (See the next point.)
Feminism is not automatically pro-abortion.
“Ultra-conservatives like to paint ugly pictures of so-called feminazis sneaking into the bedrooms of pregnant women at night and forcing abortions upon them. We know this is bullshit,…”
Yes, so do we.
Just as we know that “feminists” like to paint ugly pictures of so-called pro-lifers impregnating women against their will, locking them up, and making them carry to term. Apparently feminists make up both versions of this story, the one where ultra-conservatives lie about an abortion squad sneaking into your house and forcing an abortion on you, and also the lie about women being made to have babies against their wills.
No one thinks that a woman shouldn’t have a choice. As Maisie said, “Isn’t that like everyone?” Yes, it is. So is belief in bodily autonomy. That’s like… everyone.
Since no one wants to force any woman to reproduce if she does not want to reproduce the question comes down to when in the reproductive process those choices are made and how that bodily autonomy is exercised.
If you’re anti-abortion you believe that women are fully capable adult humans able to make informed choices before becoming pregnant and you think that the unborn are entitled to bodily autonomy as well. If you’re pro-abortion you feel that women are not able, or at least ought not to be expected to make their reproductive choices until they darned well get around to it because it’s just not that important as the fetus is just cells. Shockingly there are people in the world of both opinions who can be in profound disagreement with each other without hatred.
In any case, the answer was yes, feminism is automatically pro-abortion.
Feminism is not against men.
“Again, we’ve all seen and heard the “scary” propaganda. But there is a space to address the difference between misandry as a playful pushback against misogyny that we know can’t have the societal gravitas of historic woman-hating, but can still be used to express fully justified frustrations, and… straight-up hating men.”
I think the term for that is “word salad.” I’m tempted to just leave it with her own amazing eloquence explaining why hating men with “fully justified” reasons is different from just straight up hating men. And it really doesn’t matter how hateful the man-hating is because it “can’t have the societal gravitas of historic woman-hating“. In other words, and trying not to commit word salad myself… it’s not hate when women do it.
And so we arrive at Project Consent… good people Pia usually admires, undoubtedly feminists themselves, but they made a mistake. They said that “rape is not a feminist issue”. Except that it is.
“… feminists certainly know that male victims of rape absolutely matter as well, while fighting the highly gendered scourge of rape overall.”
Male victims matter, yes they do, but rape itself is gendered. Apparently like sexism and hard times and lots of other things, while it can happen to men, it’s really all about women. And forgetting that fact for a moment requires apologies and some groveling. No one can just assume good will and intentions. That would be silly talk, right there. Time to throw about some non-gendered insults because they done fucked up, no?
Which brings us to the first most important thing that feminists do – they make people on their own side issue apologies for doing feminism wrong.
Feminism is not in need of backlash.
I just have to quote most of it because it’s amazing.
“Ultra-conservative ladies of social media, you can keep your signs about why you “don’t need feminism.” You’re operating on behalf of the enemy, and the devil needs no more advocates. (…) …what we don’t need are the women who seem to think they’re doing something revolutionary by loudly declaring that they choose to be subservient to their husbands or they prefer to assume a “lesser” role in the home.” (emphasis in original.. remember it for later).
(…) “They’re unable or afraid to assert that work done in the home, including child-rearing, is valuable beyond belief and they should be prized as contributing members of society. They might have been made to feel inferior or somehow inadequate for choosing a path that looks from the outside like what feminism seeks to combat, and, unaware or not in command of their agency, they think they’ll take up arms for those they perceive to be on their side.”
Eventually all feminists will reach this point. What you’ve just observed is a writer who feels superior for not using gendered insults explaining to you that women don’t know their own minds, they don’t know who is on their side, and they aren’t “in command of their agency.”
Men used to do this. Pat you on the head. Say “little lady”. All in a “oh, isn’t that cute, it talks!” sort of way. Now feminists do it.
“We are on your side. Feminism is on your side. It bears repeating that choosing to be a devoted wife, mother, or female partner of any kind who works to maintain a home for yourself and your partner/family because you want to does not exclude you from feminism or make you the enemy.
Doing so because you feel that’s “a woman’s place?” Well, that kind of does.”
She honestly can’t keep her story straight. If I support my spouse and family “because I want to” that’s really okay?
Do I get to “choose” to be submissive? Am I allowed to “prefer” to assume a role that is supportive of my husband’s fully capable adulthood and agency? If I explain that it’s far too easy for women to transfer all of the feminine management and authority over their home and children into “bossing” their husband and therefore they ought to make a concerted and thoughtful effort not to do so, if I explain that would that make me the enemy?
Feminism is not a quality pickup line.
Considering how many male “feminists” are shit lords (Bill Clinton, cough, cough), it must work or they wouldn’t do it.
Feminism is not an insult.
Well, since you already said that gendered insults were off limits.
“This goes back to the narrow minds who spread hateful propaganda and are ignorant, willfully or otherwise, of what the word means. To the fools who spew “oh she’s one of those feminists” as though it’s a negative thing, I’m sorry that you’re so lost, but you’re damn right I am.”
Feminism can be used as an insult because of the feminists.
Women proclaim themselves not to be feminist because of the feminists.
Women who get the Explanation and are amazed because “isn’t that everyone?” can’t escape the fact that there are others, there are “those feminists” out there. The neurotic hysterics who think that even when men are raped it’s about women, that men can’t be oppressed, that it’s okay to be hateful toward men because, even if you wanted it to, your hatred of men would lack historical gravitas, who believe that women who point out the foolishness of these positions lack agency and self-awareness, and that women are too ignorant to understand and control their reproduction at the source.
There are the Marxists and the man-haters and the “PIV is rape” nut-jobs. There’s that never ending foolishness about the Patriarchy. There’s the slut walks followed by outrage over fantasy armor and video games. There’s giant pink vagina costumes and demands to be taken seriously. There are the language police, the tone police, and whoever it is who issues the lists of words that are sexist this week.
It’s the double standards. It’s the fact that feminism can bring the hammer down on Project Consent for failing to present rape as a gendered issue but they can’t be bothered to bring the hammer down on “all PIV is rape”.
Pointing this out is not hateful propaganda. It’s not being confused in our poor weak female brains about what the word means.
And really, if we want to talk about delusions – there is no “gendered” insult or insult to a woman’s looks that is more offensive than the insult of suggesting that those women who disagree with “feminism” are lacking agency or understanding about their own lives. People know what feminism is. They know what it is not. And feminism has earned every last insult.
Feminism is not going anywhere.
And we come to the last reason that people hate feminism.
“It’s not a trend. It’s vital to progress, and if you’re not with us, you’re against us. What Maisie said.”
Stealing the voice of women.
Maisie didn’t say “if you’re not with feminism as imagined by xoJane, you’re against us.” You don’t get to steal her voice. She said that feminism as it was explained to her already described everyone except for sexists, and that it also applied to some of the hardships that men face, and that we should just have “normal people” and “sexists” and not have feminism at all. She was clearly not using the xoJane definition of feminism.
What else she might say now, older, and with better understanding of just how much trouble she could be in for using a word wrong or suggesting that men have troubles too, I couldn’t say and neither could you.