Posted by: canthold | February 29, 2008

What Kind of Feminist Am I?

I have always identified myself as a woman first. Mom comes next, then the rest trickles down. Who am I here? Well, what am I doing right now? As a woman, which feels as though it should be capitalized sometimes, I am in-tuned to the fact that I am a feminist. That too seems as though it should be capitalized, in my new obsession with capitalizations.

This presidential election has got me reeling. For some reason, no one thinks it’s okay to want a woman in power. Forget that they NEVER ARE. We’re so under-represented in positions of authority that people don’t even look for us there. Wanting a woman president to give women the ultimate power in our country is simply stupid. I must not have a brain in my head. I should just shut up and be quiet while all the people who are smarter than I am put me in my place.

I can understand why men believe that gender isn’t important. It isn’t their issue! But for women to defend that gender power isn’t important is part of the reason we’re second class citizens. Haven’t these women ever heard of United We Stand, Divided We Are Nothing? Clinton isn’t universally loved because strong women are vilified in our society. Strong women aren’t to be trusted. We will find faults in her for all the things that are normal and tolerated in men. I don’t defend all of her actions, but I like her strengths enough to overlook her faults. I do not expect other women to be perfect. I am not. How can I expect anyone else to be?

I don’t understand the women who call themselves feminists who show disregard for feminist objectives. I think it is possible to love other male candidates but voting them into office in an act of seeking equality is lost on me. And to me, feminism is all about seeking equality. We might have to accept baby steps forward to gain a few more rights, but there is nothing equal in choosing for men to lead 50% of the population 100% of the time. I hate to use the words Sell Out, but I feel a betrayal from these women. A disappointment.

Rah rah Obama all you want, but I’m sad that we can’t rise to the occasion here. I’m sad that women just don’t get it. I’m sad that Obama is running his historic election in the same year that women have their chance to have their historic (herstoric?) place in the sun. It is supposed to be our time.

What kind of feminist am I? I’m a feminist who wants to see women represented in equal numbers in positions of power and I don’t want to wait for it. I don’t want to wait another 20 years for another strong woman to get lambasted in the media because she’s not a docile, quiet, sex kitten.

Women have not even been allowed to vote for 100 years. The 19th Amendment wasn’t ratified until 1920. I know that it feels like we’ve come a long way, Baby, but we haven’t spent that long on the road. By the looks of it, American women are content putting the needs of others in front of their own as usual. Unless the people in Texas and Ohio decide to make herstory, women need to change their shoes, talc their feet and start hoofin’ it. We’ve got a long way more to go until we see the Promised Land.

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Responses

  1. We are in such a time in the feminist movement that feminists are starting to form their own feminist-cliques to the point where a post entitled “What Kind of Feminist Am I?” oddly, did not strike me as a little off; as it should have since I should have thought “What is she talking about? She’s a feminist and I’m a feminist and there’s a lot of other feminists out there like us!” But there aren’t, since feminists have felt the need to take certain parts of the movement and agree with those and discard the rest.

    This is a great post and although I don’t agree with you regarding Clinton, the point of my above tangent is that while I don’t agree with you, I can still see you as a fellow sister in this movement.

    I like Obama, although I didn’t consider him until Mike Gravel dropped to third party and I don’t believe that now is the time to throw another party into the mix when honestly, hardly anything comes of it.

    Clinton didn’t even enter my mind as a candidate that I would personally vote for because I don’t like her or how she decides to throw her power around. On the same level, I don’t believe that she is being treated fairly especially in the media due to the sole fact that she is a woman and people are simply afraid of a woman president.

    It is time for a woman president and I whole-heartedly believe that and would most definitely vote for a woman president with whom I could agree with. I do not believe that feminists should vote for a woman feminist just because the candidate is a woman. To me, that is basically calling feminists and women as a whole, sheep and I am not a sheep who will vote for a woman president just because it would look good in the herstory books. Because I am a feminist I will vote for the candidate in which I can most agree with and whom I believe would do the best job as president of the United States and if I simply voted for a woman because I’m a woman, without agreeing or condoning what she believed, I would not be a feminist.

  2. Well, there you go. Another well thought out argument for the other side.

    A lot of the passion that I feel for this subject comes from the fact that I think Clinton IS the right woman. That’s my opinion and even though there are people who disagree with me, I’m not going to hold my tongue. I can’t.

  3. Hence your website name! I’m glad that you’re not going to hold your tongue because then YOU wouldn’t be a feminist. :p

  4. You know, I’m still a woman and you know how we are about seeking approval. Speaking my mind is such a double edged sword for me. On one hand I just HAVE to say what I think and on the otherhand, I don’t want to offend anyone and I want the approval of the people I respect.

    I know that offend without even trying, but I’m really striving to be considerate and respectful AND expressive.

  5. I, on the other hand, absolutely love offending…It’s good for the hits. Ha.

    Considerate, respectful and expressive is a ton of things to consider when expressing yourself. I tend to go with expressive and if the people I respect who read what I have to say like it then that’s cool with me, if they don’t like what I have to say, then that’s cool with me too! I think we achieve respect from others when we refuse to hold back and remain true to ourselves because really, if you’re not true to yourself, you can’t be true to anyone else and you certainly can’t make the whole world happy.

  6. […] presents What Kind of Feminist Am I? posted at Can’t Holder […]


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