October 17, 2006

Some Thoughts on my Rad Femme Days

I just read my local blogging sister Adoro Te Devote's blog entry from Monday, October 16th and it reminded me of my radical feminism days. Aside: If you aren't reading Adoro's blog, why not? You don't have to be a woman to learn from it!

I've only recently gotten to know Adoro but I could tell even before I met her in person that she's a strong woman. But, she's a woman who's not afraid to be a WOMAN. She's worked in traditionally masculine fields but she's kept her femininity.

In my 20's I was a radical feminist "wannabe". If you read Ms. Minnesota Women's Press and the collected works of Daly, MacKinnon, and Dworkin long enough you are bound to see every man as a potential rapist, predator, and slave master.

I said "wannabe" because looking back it's clear to me that I did not entirely buy the whole radical feminist thang. I continued to date and love men and wear make-up and feminine clothes.

The big moment when I realized I was not really a radical feminist was when I realized I was not weak because of my gender-nor did I think other women were. I may do stupid things individually that make me weak but they had nothing to do with the fact that I was a woman. To accept the radical feminist doctrine in its entiriety is to acknowledge that being a woman makes you weak. You are too weak to stand up to male wrongs because you are a woman. You are too weak to speak for yourself because you are a woman. You are too weak to be a stay at home mom because you are a woman. You are too weak to be promoted at work because you are a woman. You are too weak to stand up to a batterer because you are a woman. You are too weak to have kids that interfere with your career because you are woman.

These sayings don't make any sense to me now. But, they did at one time. I thought every woman who stayed at home with her kids was a fool. She must have caved into her husband's pressure. I did not like to think about stay-at home Dads because they did not fit my beliefs.

I used to think battered women were hurt by societies incorrect gender dominence. Never mind the individual flaws of her and her batterer. Somehow the bad situation was all caused by male societal dominence. Battered men was an inconvenient truth that did not fit my narrow belief system of men being the only oppressors.

The redical feminists say: If you were a man you would have been promoted in spite of everything. I say: what if you just aren't the right person for the job?

If I were ever in serious trouble my Uncles and my Dad, not to mention my Aunts would show up like my own private army. When I have been in trouble, it's usually my Aunts and the various women in my life who sweep in and help.

No man that I have ever known has thought I was weak. I would not have put up with them if they had. I'm not talking about physical strength. Men are generally physically stronger then me and I don't have trouble saying that. I'm talking about emotional strength. But, then, I have never wanted men, or women, in my life who think that I'm emotionally incapable of making up my own mind and standing up for myself.

Am I a feminist in the sense that I think females have an inherent strength? Absolutely! But, am I a radical feminist in the sense that I don't want to be a woman and that I hate men? No!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


October 17, 2006 11:32 AM  

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