Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Indeed I do.

I'm not going to discuss the current fuss in the fatosphere because you know what? As I said yesterday I've been through it in this neighborhood before and I'm really just not in the mood today. Maybe tomorrow.

Rather I want to talk about some newish feelings I have about current feminism.

Now for you new folks I (as of what sometime last year?) no longer identify as a feminist. The last time I discussed it in depth was here.

For today keep this in mind. I am speaking to my own experiences here. These are my impressions and my feelings so if you want to disagree that's fine but, do take in the fact that I'm not trying to present facts or empirical evidence, I'm not linking to anything because I have no intention of having a beef with anyone.

This is how I feel.

Something I've come to slowly is that I'm terribly seriously and extraordinarily turned off by hard line anything. The idea that only what you're saying is appropriate and good and right, turns me off. When I get that impression I quite frankly stop listening or caring.

The fundamentalist viewpoint when it comes to any issue I come across is generally the first viewpoint that I like to edge out of my radar.

Fundamentalist views often get makes in my next issue with feminism as I have been experiencing it lately. The I'm educated and therefore correct attitude.

That isn't to say I have any sort of objection to being educated. I don't have a big problem with academia. What I do have an issue with is using academia and academic language to create a barrier between people. Especially when the people one is trying to reach may not be in that particular academic club.

It's just not my bag.

Additionally, as ever I have no patience for the idea that you cannot be a feminist if you do/believe/or feel like X. I think that's bullshit and I have a severe allergy to bullshit.

I don't like it (as if you've been reading me for awhile you're probably perfectly aware) when dissenting views are castigated for simply being dissenting. I personally have learned far more about the things I am passionate about by speaking to people who might not necessarily agree than talking about them with people who are just as for it as I am.

You can only pass around so many nods before things turn into a circle jerk.

I'm tired of hearing what issues are and aren't important. As with any set of issues that fall under a large umbrella term, if so and so with the eleventy billion readers, and forty contributors who all are brilliant educated people who also have written loads of important books and articles say, that X is an important issue and other issues are just Not. As. Important. I don't dig it.

I don't dig it because while yes, lots of things are tragedies, miscarriages of justice and fucking terrible there are only so many things I have space in my head to get worked up about. And if I were to express this in a lot of feminist oriented spaces I am familiar with, stones would be thrown. I don't like this trend towards having to search out every atrocity and get worked up about it.

The issue is not a lack of caring on my part, I do in fact care. However, my actual life is pretty fucking stressful and I only have enough Sanity Points for so much stress before I want to explode. I just don't. Which is why I have a tendency to not read comments on blogs or news articles. Which is why if within the first couple of paragraphs of something, if I think it's going to piss me off, I take a minute to figure out whether or not this is something I really need to be angry about.

Now maybe the spaces I'm thinking of do in fact welcome these sorts of opinions I don't know but frankly I don't have the patience to find out.

Moving along.

I have been trying to read a few contemporary blogs on the recommendations of a few trusted friends and I keep running into the same roadblocks.

A lot of what I'm reading just has nothing to do with the actual life I live. I have no special feminist tingle from the sort of I'm wearing designer shoes fist pumping type feminism I see a lot of. I don't identify.

I don't identify with the whole look at me I've got money and I'm awesome and Fuck you kind of feminism I've seen a lot of lately.

Basically it boils down to this.

I have an extreme intolerance to fundamentalism in any form. Whether it's religious, political or personal. I will not partake in things where if you do not believe in the One. True. Way. or you have the gonads to disagree with those in the position of disseminating the One. True. Way. Fuck you type mentality.

That's not the kind of person I am and it's not the kind of things I support when I come across it.

That is my big issue with a lot of current feminism, aside from rampant transphobia, racism (in the forms of blatant, insidious and sneaky and racism via ignorance) etc. I'm just not having it.

I think I'm done.

I'll revisit the issue maybe round my birthday when I tend to get introspective.

I have been doing some work regarding my feelings about religion and sprituality over on Dreamwidth. I am highly protective of it and have been waffling about opening it up. I'm not sure yet. I will probably make a decision this week and if anyone is interested in my yammering about spirituality (as in my OWN with the occasional side rant) let me know.

The essays are coming along. I've pulled about fourteen entries from here, some of my archived stuff from the Diary-x days and have been working on new ones. I'm not sure if they will be ready to be released on Lulu (yeah I know I could probably shop them around but I'm honestly not ready for that) by the holidays or not. The process has been way more intensely emotional than I'd anticipated I've hit some emotional land mines that surprised me and frankly it scares the pee out of me.

So with that my darlings I'm spent. I'm going to continue my research for Nanowrimo. I'm really excited about it this year. I'm going to be doing a vampire novel with way less focus on the European model of vampires. My main vampire is an ancient Nubian. There is going to be a lot of Egyptian religion, some of my own flavor of vampire mythos, sex, blood, and monsters who love being monsters. The type I've said before who will rip out your throat and fuck the hole and still feel good about themselves in the morning. Self loving monsters.

So yeah I'm still yammering fuck man. Okay now I'm really done. I'm going to stretch, make some tea and probably do a little fiction writing.

Homo Out.

PS a few people have asked where my little tag line comes from. I'll retell the story tomorrow.


Haddayr said...

I no longer call myself a feminist because after Gloria Steinem's shameful op-ed in which she basically said: "Step aside for the nice white lady, Obama," after the Seal Press debacle, after the SF/F explosion in which a ton of white feminists showed themselves to not give a whit about women who were not their hue, I could no longer pretend to myself that feminism was anything but a movement set up by self-righteous middle and upper-class white women because they were outraged that "Negroes" got the vote before they did.

It's always been a movement of white middle- and upper-class women, FOR middle-and-upper-class women. And I'm just not interested.

I think what you say about fundamentalism is interesting. I mean, you have to have SOME guidelines for language, right? Like, if you don't believe men and women are equal maybe don't call yourself a feminist. But I agree that there's so much fundamentalism in so many movements, but particularly the feminist one.

hsofia said...

Haddayr - I hear what you're saying but I weight that against the realities of what women are facing and ... what Gloria Steinem says about Barack Obama just doesn't compare. I know people my age who are raising their daughters to "serve their father and brothers," (their words) and so on. I think being a "feminist" is still very necessary. In the past I've waffled on it, but since having a girl child, I recognize that it's just not an option (for me).

Anonymous said...

Great post, as always!

Re; feminism and fundamentalism. I consider myself a radical feminist in the most literal sense of the word-radical comes from the Latin 'radix', which means root. The root of feminism has always been equality. That's the only 'dogma' or fundamental, radical belief I have about feminism. Equality. If you're* not behind the idea of equality for men, women, and everyone inbetween, of every colour and country on this beautiful earth, well then, you're not someone I want as an ally.

This blog has always felt like a safe-haven for me, a place with a sensitive but no-nonsense writer, a place where I can always learn something new (like interesting sexy times things!) and how to listen to people who are different from myself. Thank you for this.


*using an all-inclusive 'you' here, not as in You Shannon the person.

Anonymous said...

/agree. the whole current argument makes me, a fat white female who doesnt nessesarily buy into the whole "feminist" belife (i am personally a stay at home mom because i am better equipted to do so than my husband) bewildered. I am fairly new to the fatosphere too....and kinda hurt that a place i thought would be safe is attacking others for disagreeing with the stus quo.

and btw if u want to discuss religion...i DO have a degree in Comparative world religion. (and my views are pretty open) if i dont have a good answer/argument i will probably have a good book or website u CAN check out.

- erin

Chris G said...

I think that you have just categorised yourself as an 'angry moderate'.

Must people, just average people, are moderates. They go about their daily business and largely keep to themselves. It tends to be the extremists who are the most vocal, and who do the most damage. They tend to drag groups into more extreme and untenable behaviour than they would otherwise feel comfortable with.

Then there are angry moderates, who rail against extremist positions. It's not an easy path to follow, because you'll alienate people with strong opinions from every side.

But screw 'em, because they're jerks.

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