Archive for February, 2007
As I posted an article about Wimbledon’s decision to finally pay women players the same as the men players, my 14 year-old daughter came up behind me and asked what I was doing.
I told her about the article and she wanted to know why men were paid more for so long. As I tried to explain, I realised it was a very good thing that my 14 year-old daughter does not understand the reasons why men are still paid more than women in the 21st century.
When I was 14, I understood all too well that men were suppose to be better than women since it was drilled into my head at the church I attended three times a week. The superiority of men was in evident in so many aspects at my church, the women wore dresses to display our femininity, no women were allowed to preach from the pulpit, wives were to submit to their husbands, etc.
That my daughter has never been exposed to this type of thinking, it means there is no reason for her to ever think she should defer to a man in any aspect of life.
That there are so many young women growing up today without any idea that just a few years ago men were still thought to be superior to women, is one of the best indications that our society is indeed changing for the best.
Since I grew up in a very conservative Christian home, I know full well how the Bible Belt would define a godly woman. She would submit to her husband, she would meekly obey her husband and she would take care of the kids and the house without complaint. That is what their holy book demands.
However, if you ask me, that version of a godly woman is dated and sexist. Therefore, I think it is high time to revise that stale definition of a godly woman and to make it something that is far more gender equitable.
I am a spiritual woman who struggled with wrapping my mind around the injustices meted out to women by holy books written eons ago. It is bad enough that little girls must hear how evil they are because some fictitious woman ate an apple long ago in a far away place, but it is even worse when normal biological occurrences, like painful labor during birth, is attributed to the curse of being a woman.
In the spirit of the new rise of gender equality that is spreading around the world through the UN’s new efforts to help women gain ground in politics, business and education, it can be easily concluded that before any of these other areas experience real change, the first area that must change is religion…
The title of this blog might seem a bit ironic since I am obviously hating on feminist haters, but if I hear the word “feminazi” one more time on television, I am going to scream.
Last night I was watching one of my favorite shows, Law and Order, and there was a character playing an obviously conservative judge. That judge had refused to extend a restraining order against a woman’s threatening estranged husband. During the explanation of his actions to the inquiring police officers, the term “feminazi” was used. I don’t remember much of what happened after that because I was so offended.
Wikipedia defines feminazi like this: “A feminazi is a neologism and invective term of the words feminist and Nazi, used predominantly in United States conservative political rhetoric, to describe misandrous women. That is, to describe women seen as having an irrational, extreme and militant hatred of all men.”
Do social conservatives truly believe feminists hate men? Since I grew up as in a highly conservative environment, I would have to say that given the amount of propaganda with which they surround themselves and how they isolate themselves from “outside” thought – yes, they do indeed believe feminists hate men.
Just for the record, feminists do not hate men, we just believe we should be on equal footing with them in every aspect of society, religion, education and politics.
In fact, I am married and love my husband incredibly. I am not a demanding and over-bearing woman, as the term “feminazi” implies. I love to take care of my husband and he loves to take care of me, but we can each take care of ourselves too.
We have a very loving relationship, contrary to what most conservatives would think about being married to a feminist.
I am a feminist and proud to stand up for the rights of women. I will persist in my endeavors to promote the continued development and protection of women’s rights regardless of the sentiments social conservatives have about feminists like me – or rather precisely because of those sentiments.
The more that terms like “feminazi” infiltrate our society, the more women should be emboldened to stand up against the forces that would demonize our cause in their last ditch efforts to preserve their long-standing culture of misogyny.
I hate that a word to which I am associated has been perverted by the addition of the word “nazi,” as if feminists are in any way associated such a distasteful term.
The ironic thing about social conservatives associating the word “nazi” with feminists is that it is they who would impose their bigotry on an entire gender while feminist only want true equality.
How much have American men really changed their perception of women in the last 50 years? The honest answer would be that some men have made dramatic changes and others have changed very little.
However, that is hardly a proper answer to such an important question. Our world at the start of the 21st century is still comprised of countries that treat women cruelly, but that has changed in America – for the most part.
For example, a husband can no longer beat his wife in America without legal ramifications, women can expect favorable monetary judgments in divorce courts that will help them raise their children, legislation prevents young girls from becoming victims to old would-be husbands and rape victims can expect to be treated with dignity and care.
In fact, new laws have changed the way women are treated overall and most ladies feel as if they are safe in this newly defined nation of assumed equality. I too largely identified with this feeling of security until I read an article about a young woman who was raped and when she went to the police, was treated like a criminal instead of a victim.
The college student was raped after attending a parade in Tampa, Florida. She called 911 and while the police did a background check at the police station, they found she had an outstanding warrant for not paying restitution on a theft arrest from a juvenile case.
Instead of receiving the proper attention that a rape victim should garner, the young woman was arrested and was not allowed to take the second dose of the morning after pill to prevent an unwanted pregnancy by her attacker because a jail worker cited a religious conflict concerning the pill.
It is at times like this that I have to shake my head and remind myself that we do indeed live in the 21st century. Incidents such as this one make it clear that although America may have come a long way in the last 50 years, we still have so very far to go.
This is how the young woman’s attorney, Vic Moore, responded to the incident, “Shocked. Stunned. Outraged. I don’t have words to describe it. She is not a victim of any one person. She is a victim of the system. There’s just got to be some humanity involved when it’s a victim of rape.”
Evidently, the outstanding restitution that caused the warrant came to a sum of about $4,500. Therefore, it seems this victim was further victimized by the law enforcement officials she trusted to help in her time of dire need for a measly $4,500.
The humiliation and degradation of rape was further propagated by the humiliation of an arrest for a separate event. This woman said she was not even aware of the warrant and said she had already paid the restitution in question.
However, even if the warrant was valid and the restitution still outstanding, the system still failed this young woman during what will probably become the most vulnerable day of her life.
There was a quick turn about in the offending police station once the media got wind of this story. It managed to get the woman an emergency bond hearing and she was able to take the second “day-after” pill – a day late. Tampa police also said they were changing their policy on arresting crime victims who have outstanding warrants.
Change is slow, this I know. But when this arresting officer called to make sure the arrest should be made, it would seem that anyone with even a little bit of humanity would insist that the warrant be put on hold until the victim was in a better physical and mental condition to handle the situation.
This situation begs us to question whether the current status of women in America, which on the surface appears safe and equal, is no more than just following a form mandated by new laws and not really a change in the actual way women are perceived by society at large.
If perception had actually been altered, if the changes we see in the robotic actions of our judicial system and government were embedded within the social fabric of America, this incident would have never happened.
Instead, society automatically reverted back to its old misogynistic ways when no guidelines were in place to tell them how to behave. If this is any indication as to whether men have really changed their perception of women, then it does not look very promising at all.