re: Re: virus: Re:[genius] Sexism

Zloduska (
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 03:52:11 -0600

Bryan W. wrote:

>I think that the Feminism movement has some of the more powerful memes that
>I have seen. I don't know if I can even think of a woman that wouldn't
>consider herself a feminist.

I don't consider myself a Feminist, and yet I do. I'll try to explain. I do not identify entirely with the whole Feminist organization, or include myself in a group whose every principle I don't agree with. I believe in a different kind of Feminism though, and I have my own radical ideas about it. To put it very briefly, (oh you know how I do go on...) I don't want to be a proponent of this mystical 'femininity'(tm) that I keep hearing about. It's not about being pro-female or anti-men for me. That's a common myth about feminists that I cannot stand- that we all hate men. (Just because misogynists do it, doesn't mean we would stoop that low.) It's about asserting yourself as a human being.

I'm not really clear on my own convictions about feminism, but for me it's more of a personal attitude rather than a form of social action. I don't want to remain inert, and I agree that we need to speak out about the issues that concern us, but I don't think it's necessary for all women to 'team up' either. Am I making any sense?

Basically, I don't associate with the feminist movement and their group because I think it's enough to be myself, and NOT be a certain kind of woman (submissive, passive, sexist, stereotypical) to stop oppression. Yes, people need to work together to accomplish things, but for me, being outspoken about my opinions, relating to males on the same level, being educated and intelligent, challenging myself and others, and striving to be the best person I can be, and not allowing myself to be held back by sexism, is in fact being a feminist. Buying into the feminist meme and blindly following their leadership without acting the part just doesn't appeal to me.

>This meme has began maybe 50 years ago and has reached at least 25% of the
>population. How did this spread so quickly?
>My guess is that these memes are passed on to women at a point when they
>are very confused about their personal identity. This created the
>opportunity for the idea to slip inside.

I would think that it's passed on at a time when they are searching for a solution to a crisis. In my view, it's the woman that finds Feminism, and not the other way around.

>So the freshman girl at the Big School decides to try on the idea. The
>statistics make a lot of sense.(This makes it seem scientific.)There are
>the numbers right there on the paper. (Click)
>There are also a lot of anecdotes about some of the bad things men have
>done against women.
>This same girl most likely is surrounded by people during the incubation
>phase that all hold the same beliefs.(Peer pressure)

Whoa....not at all. In my experience, girls in grade and high school are not at ALL feminists. Perhaps some here and there, but the majority are more like the opposite at that age. It's not until they are older and join the 'real world' that they become more 'aware'. I've found that it's not until college that students are encouraged to think for themselves; unless the parents do it, the situation is quite the opposite. In high school the prevalent message is: Do not think for yourself. Let authority and pop culture determine your perception. Conform.

I agree that being surrounded by like-minded individuals does validate and influence your thinking/perception. However, I don't think it's statistics and facts, but life-long experience that convinces a woman of the need for change. It happens to me when I think about my past, and analyze my experience.

>When I think about it, the male sex really has screwed me over.(grr) That
>sure wasn;t right. I did all the right things. He must be evil. Men are
>evil. (Whack of their little heads)
>(This creates a generalized enemy to rally against.) I said, don't fall into the trap of believing that all feminists think that "Men are evil". I've never thought that. Effort for a positive change doesn't have to be motivated by a negative anti-male vibe. And if a feminist is anti-male, I say she is a hypocrite.

>Plus most of the statistics are very scary. I personally wouldn't want to
>be raped.

If only people listened to "treat others as you would be treated.." *wishful thinking*

>The Feminism movement also has a very evangelical component. I am not quite
>sure how they get that element. I would guess speading the word is ones
>personal duty.

I think that's about awareness. Awareness is one of the most important things to achieve, because women's rights have been ignored and abused for so long. The current crisis needs to be acknowledged, first of all. If ignorance and hatred are the cause of the problem to begin with, information, recognition, and enlightenment are the first step to solving it.

>Kristy, I would love to hear exactly how you began to learn about this?
>What exactly was it that made it feel true? How do you know that it is not

Wow, that is a loaded question. I'm not sure if it was ever a process of learning or being taught. I never had a class (unless you count Life 101 ;-)) to inform me. There are Women's Studies at universities of course, but I'm not familiar with those. Actually, I plead ignorance; I've never formally studied 'Feminism'.

I don't think you need an instructor on civil rights to tell you something is wrong; you just know it in your heart. (As cheesy as that sounds.) I may have interpreted your questions incorrectly, but are you asking how I know Feminism is not wrong? Well, I know first and foremost that I am a human being that deserves to be treated a certain way, and NOT a certain way. With the same respect and consideration that you deserve. How can that be wrong?

>I think that Feminism can teach us a great deal?

I don't know about teaching us..but inspiring us, perhaps?

Thanks for the reply.

>How do you want to perceive it,

Through purple-coloured glasses,