This has been on my mind a lot lately, though I’m still working out the finer points. I just wanted to post about the apparent contradictions between right and left, feminism/chauvinism/equality, and other issues relating to gender and politics.
I consider myself a conservative, particularly in matters of economics, taxation, and the size of government. When it comes to social issues, I tend to lean libertarian — don’t care if consenting adults have gay sex (but believe in traditional marriage), don’t care if people smoke pot (except that it’s illegal), don’t care what religion people practice (as long as they don’t use it to oppress or murder others). There are a few issues on which I’m actually a tad liberal, namely legalizing pot and abolishing the death penalty (that’s a whole other post).
When it comes to gender, and being a woman in society, I am a feminist with a little “f”. I’m not a “feminazi,” I don’t hate men, and most importantly, I don’t think women are better than men or deserve better treatment. I simply believe we’re all human. There is nothing inherently un-conservative about recognizing that women are equally capable and competent to perform jobs in academia, the arts, science, medicine, government, and most other realms.
I do recognize the physical limitations of the average woman versus the average man in activities like pro football and logging. I’m not Liz Lemon, and am troubled by the idea of girls forcing their way into boys’ sports, and women into men’s locker rooms. There is a time and place for separation of the sexes.
However, I don’t appreciate being called “hon” or “little lady” or told to “smile” in public by men I don’t know. My marriage, childbearing choices, and sexuality are not up for discussion with strangers or potential employers. My sex should have no bearing on my job applications, juried art exhibition entries, scholarships, funding, or other achievements — it should neither promote me nor hold me back.
Not all women are emotional wrecks who love chocolate and red wine and bubble baths. Not all women love or want babies, or tiny dogs for that matter. Not all women enjoy “girls’ night” or romantic comedies. Women are over half the world’s population; it stands to reason that there is a great variety amongst our personalities, preferences, and abilities. I just want to be treated as an individual. My work and my CV will prove my competence. There is no need to pat me on the head, nor to raise a fist in “girl power” solidarity.
To me, this is conservative feminism. We (generally) have the biological capability to bear children, but no social or moral obligation to do so unless we want to. We are — on average, but not always — physically weaker than men. Other than that, there’s not much we all have in common, so there is no reason to treat us as a monolithic block of PMS monsters, bridezillas, attachment mommies, Sandra Flukes, Britney Spearses, Madonnas, whores, or Joans of Arc. As with any humans, we should be approached as individuals, and presumed competent until we prove ourselves otherwise.
Is this a difficult concept? Is anything about this anti-conservative or anti-Judeo-Christian? I don’t think so, but it seems to rile a few people up.
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- weighteddown answered: i don’t understand why some people who claim they are feminists are judgmental against strong women who follow some “girly” stereotypes.. :(
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