Now that my Christmas preparations are done and I have more time to devote to my daily entries, I have turned my attention to some popular misconceptions and myths of modern feminism. Since I am a practicing feminista and spend a great deal of time writing about feminist issues, I often find myself in encounters with folks are not too familiar with our ways. The uniniated tend to recoil in horror by what seems to be such alien practices and belief systems. Over the years, I have dutifully collected a variety of misapprehensions and darn right myths about the feminista. So, if you will allow me, dear reader, today I intend to demystify and enlighten you.
This post takes inspiration from an interesting opinion piece that I read today over at ifeminists. Before tacking popular myths about feministas, allow me this tiny digression. I was so delighted when I discovered the ifeminist website, thinking that it might be some sort of plug-in or otherwise cute accessory for my iPod or iSight. Alas, my hopes were dashed when I realized it was a cunning website dedicated to conservative "feminism," which champions abused men and the right to bear arms.
Now to the myths. While reading through, think of the person in your life most likely to hurl criticisms at you. I am sure you have such a special someone in your life, you know the kind of officious "friend" who is quick to point out your boo boos, faux pas, or character failures. You know who I am talking about, that person who tells you that you are "putting on the pounds" or that you are "rude to your guests," or that you are "self-absorbed."
Now, think hard about your favorite critic. Is he or she above reproach? Have you ever noticed the extra pounds she is packing on or the snooty ways that he treats the waitstaff at your favorite bistro? Yes, that's right. Our favorite critics tend to dump onto us their insecurities and failures. It is so much easier to pick on someone else than to take a look at your own shortcomings, right?
Alas, my list . . .
Myth #1: Feminism has turned women into selfish, spoiled, spiteful, powerless victims
Unfortunately, this is one of the more pervasive myths of feministas. Far too often do I encounter a young bloke, usually looking a bit alienated, carrying a dog-eared Ayn Rand book mouthing this sort of indictment of our ways. I try to show patience with such critics, since their frame of reference for what women should be is quite different from the ideal of human nature feminists work toward. I imagine that if your default view of "women" is doormat, then any woman who chooses to pursue her own interests might appear selfish, spoiled or spiteful. I find the "powerless victim" epitaph puzzling, since the tribe of feministas, I am told, tend to selfishly and spitefully demand consideration and respect from their fellow humans.