Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Modern Feminism and the Death of Female Empowerment

No, no no, this is not about the ersatz war of women. This post is generally more basic, but it was brought to mind by the latest brouhaha created by Camille Paglia. You know her, that agent provocateur extraordinaire of the feminist movement, that lesbian iconoclast pain in the ass. Well she did it again. She basically chastised Taylor Swift and Katy Perry for well, not being Beyonce. Read HERE. You have to read it yourself to believe how totally out of touch she really is and yes I agree with an editorial in the New York Post basically handing Paglia her own tuchas on the matter. Read HERE. How anyone can say, as Paglia says,  that Rihanna is the epitome of the feminist movement after returning to the man that beat her to a pulp is beyond me. Perhaps female empowerment means something different in Paglia's mind, I don't know. You be the judge.

But actually these editorials did remind me of an incident at the boys school and how it generally disturbed me. While sitting in the commuter lounge waiting for the boys to finish one day, CM2 said some off color jokes about blow jobs and sexuality. No, not anti-gay, but more leading to the misogynistic, which quite frankly I thought I'd never hear from my self-proclaimed male-feminist. Needlesstosay, I publicly chastised him for it. Since he was sitting across the room from me, none of the students in the lounge knew I was his parent.

I then overheard two girls talking about how rude it was for me to yell at him for what he said. Seriously. Now not being their parent I didn't interact with them. But I wondered where did female empowerment go? These young women were openly talking about voting for Obama because of his stand on abortion and birth control. How as "women" they would never vote republican. But it seems that males can disrespect you by speaking to you as if you are a whore and its just fine and dandy.

I am not certain when the definition of female empowerment changed in society. When I was growing up it meant that access to schools, corporations, law firms and medical practices were to be on an equal footing to a man's ability to access these successes. It meant being allowed to work your ass off just like any man did to garner the same financial and professional rewards. It meant fighting for the rights inherent in being seen as a human being not simply as a utero-American.

But what female empowerment also meant was standing up against sexual harassment. Not allowing men, or males of any age for that matter, to demean and belittle who you are by simply breaking you down into sexual body parts. So without a doubt I was totally floored by the attitude of the girls around me. They seem to think nothing of rude, sexist, and demeaning lyrics on songs. They think nothing of male peers talking to them in such a way as to take from them their own humanity.

Now I know there is the advent of "slut-feminism," which I have discussed before and how detrimental it is to the women's movement. I think its inane to embrace a word meant to demean you as a person and somehow repurpose it as if it magically imbues the wearer as an intellectual thinking humanbeing. No its doesn't. By embracing this male-derogation of women, third-wave "feminists" only give further credence to the castrating effect of misogyny upon women worldwide. When a prominent feminist such as Naomi Wolf can openly say that wearing a burqa is somehow sexy, there is something truly Orwellian about today's "feminists." (I am not actually talking about "slut walks" however, but I think they accomplished nothing and quite frankly belittled their purpose.)

There is a big difference between being in control of your body and throwing away your body as if you were a prostitute. Well at least the prostitute earns some form of currency in exchange for her body. No it is not empowering to "fuck around." Hooking up is not cool. It is ego destroying and diminishes your own personhood.  When did young women think that men were going to respect them or listen to anything they have to say in this world if they lack any respect for themselves? And that includes not allowing males to make demeaning and rude sexual innuendo jokes in your presence.

Also how are youngmen supposed to identify what is and is not sexual harassment, when young women support, even promote, overt sex-talk yet fail to identify for these "boys" that they need to have respect for their classmates? How is a youngman supposed to learn the difference between  what is correct in a relationship and what is misogyny? Truth is, parents can do so much. I can talk til I am "blue in the face" on this topic, but if girls let boys get away with treating them as inferiors, how is either side of the sexual divide supposed to learn interactions, dating and relationship realities never mind the absolute importance of respecting one another?

I suppose this is why it is so important when raising aspergeans to delineate to them what is right and what is wrong. Girls MUST have strict boundaries when it comes to dealing with hormonal youngmen. Boys must have strict guidelines on how to treat women. As CM1 always says, he has his morals and ethics and no one is ever going to change his mind. He gets angry with his brother if he makes rude jokes at the dinner table and doesn't like CM2's middle school immaturity. I think CM1 sees how different his thinking appears to be as compared to his peers. I know CM2 will learn too over time. It is something very stressed in our home. I will make him miserable if he doesn't learn it too.

But what concerns me is when did young women mistake promiscuity for empowerment and being spoken to as if you were a slut as equality? Have parents been so negligent in raising their daughters that they have allowed the Hollywood culture, that Paglia laments, to truly be the only moral basis for their daughters upbringing?

Elise