Thursday, November 11, 2004

Part Two: Feminist 

A couple months ago I promised a two-part series on taking back words. Then the election heated up and all my attention was diverted to that.

However, now that we lost miserably and our values and way of life is under attack, it is high time to take this word back. While the use of taking back "Liberal" can be debated (a co-worker argued no need considering we have the more uplifting word "Progressive" in its place), "feminist" and its extension "feminism" must be taken back now more than ever.

And it's not only the misogynists, Evangelicals or Republicans that have stolen this word from us; it is also my fellow women. I worked at the hub of women power last year where women thrived on putting each other down and rewarded each other for being caddy, petty and depressed. There I fully realized the epidemic of insecurity and a dearth of women role models and mentors. Moreover, we see younger and younger girls objectifying themselves, consumed with physical perfection to the point of bodily harm or death. Becoming sex objects at age 11 with no recourse or positive messages to counter. The nail on the coffin came the other day I heard that a woman I highly respect and who is known for her hardcore ways and assertiveness said she would never consider herself a feminist. I was shocked. I knew there was a problem with the "feminist" movement, but I didn't know people had disavowed it altogether.

Yes, I understand that 1/2 the country just said a big f-you to Roe v. Wade this November. I also understand people associate the word feminist with bra-burning and man-hating. I was brought up in a household where my mom never wore a bra, encouraged me to wear my hair boy short and reject makeup and high heels that she believed were made to keep women subservient. But that was never what feminism was about. I think feminism, given the right explanation and context could be made palatable even to some people who voted for Dubya in November.

My boss Kirstin always said the next wave of feminism had to include men, and I always agreed that women should get men involved, but then I realized what that really means. Feminism is about breaking down the societal constructs that constrain us all. If freedom of choice and opportunity is what this country is about, feminism is getting rid of the unnecessary barriers that burden men to always assume the role of provider and woman to always act as nurturer.

Take my father for example: A successful lawyer, he stayed home with my brother and I for four years while my mom, another successful lawyer, was the breadwinner. This allowed me to develop an intense bond with my father that my other girlfriends typically don't have, while retaining the innate bond almost all children have with their mothers. I always tell people that my mom is my best friend and I am a daddy's girl. And I honestly attribute that to the fact that I was basically raised by my father for the first part of my life. But guess what? When my father tried to re-enter the workforce, after having been a successful lawyer for 10 years previously, he couldn't find a job to save his life. He was branded a freak for having been a "house-husband" in a time where that was socially unacceptable.

And times haven't changed much from then.

The next wave of feminism gives both men and women the ability to make choices and follow their dreams. People can make their own choices about the kind of life they lead and the type of person they want to become.

So let's take back the word feminist and bring back feminism. I, for one, will continue to proudly sport the t-shirt Kirstin recently bought me: This Is What a Feminist Looks Like, along with my short skirt, my lipstick and my push up bra.


Monday, November 08, 2004


The Economist had a great article on November 4th titled Liberalism and Other Insults basically talking about taking back the word Liberal:

Yet there ought to be a word—not to mention, here and there, a political
party—to stand for what liberalism used to mean. The idea, with its roots in
English and Scottish political philosophy of the 18th century, speaks up for
individual rights and freedoms, and challenges over-mighty government and other
forms of power. In that sense, traditional English liberalism favoured small
government—but, crucially, it viewed a government's efforts to legislate
religion and personal morality as sceptically as it regarded the attempt to
regulate trade (the favoured economic intervention of the age). This, in our
view, remains a very appealing, as well as internally consistent, kind of

Not to toot my own horn, and while I'm not as verbose or well-spoken, it does seem to compliment well my August 9th blogpost on "Part 1: Liberal." (I still haven't written Part 2...maybe I'll do that right now.)


Friday, November 05, 2004

My 5 Stages of Grief 

I have been reading that many Democrats have equated the loss of this election to having a death in the family. I wanted to share with you my 5 stages of grief:

1) Denial happened election night - i fell asleep thinking I would wake up the next morning and they would tell me that Kerry had actually had won and it was not even close.
2) Anger stayed with me the entire day after. I actually saw a message on my phone from a moderate republican friend (but a very good friend who was probably calling to console me) and deleted it without even listening to it first.
3) Then bargaining set in. I bargained that maybe they'd find massive voter fraud in ohio, Kerry would withdraw his concession and they would reverse the decision. I bargained that however it was done we'd somehow find the 20,000 votes we needed in Ohio.
4) Then depression set in yesterday. I couldn't talk to anyone. I was back at my office but I couldn't write any consoling emails to anyone including my family and friends. I couldn't turn on the TV or read any newspapers or analysis. I just wanted to be left alone to wallow in my misery (see post from yesterday).
5) Finally, I think i've found a certain level of acceptance. Honestly, I figure hey, this country voted for this guy, so we're just going to have to accept the consequences, and if it's really that bad, we'll win in 2008 and try to undo what we can. Life is cyclical. It ebbs and flows. All I can do is continue to fight for what's right, be a good person and better try to make people understand. I accept that half this country voted for the anti-christ. And that is okay.

But, I still can't really believe we elected this guy by 3 million votes.

Guess I'm still back to stage 1.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Post-Election Analysis 

Oh, and I purposely don't want to lend my voice to any post-election analysis at this time. I just want to reflect on my experience and grieve for our country. It is frightening to me to think I will be 28 years old the next time we have a shot to have a Democratic president (or even someone other than Dubya).


Field Feuds 

I just got back from doing field in Florida for ACT (America Coming Together). It was an absolutely grueling experience. While it was very rewarding to be on the ground during the election of our lifetime talking to real people, it was also the biggest cluster#$&@ I have ever witnessed. For the first time Democrats tried a "paid-canvassing" program. But instead of offering jobs to people in their churches like the Republicans have done in the past, we went into the salvation armies and the ghetto offering $75/day for people to knock on doors. No offense, but that seemed really strange to me. At best, it seemed un-Democrat-like. At worst, no one anticipated what a logistical screw it would be trying to hand checks out to thousands of people. At times we even feared for our safety. Let's just say that 1000 people from the poorest Florida neighborhoods who went to cash their checks and had them bounce because the wrong routing number was printed on the check were not too happy to say the least. Think mini riots. It was not good. Just another story to add to the hords that assert the Democratic Party/infrastructure had better get its shit together over the next few years.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com