Let’s rock with the tough girls

14 08 2013

I’m a feminist, and a theorist, but I’m not a feminist theorist.

Theorist: I do political theory, mucking about the edges of modern thought in both its pre- and post-forms, and much taken with ontology of late.

Feminist: While not the absolute beginning of my political consciousness—as a kid I held up the two-fingered peace sign against the Vietnam War—it was the way through which I entered politics in a determined way. And while I now prefer the term “liberationist” (yah, woman’s libber!), I don’t give up “feminist” because a) it has historical meaning, b) it means something in my own history, and c) because I’m a stubborn wench with little patience for those who cringe that “feminist” is too confrontational or mean or hairy or something.

Why, then, am I not a feminist theorist? Because my political self and my intellectual self, while in sympathy with one another, are not the same—which, by the way, suits my pluralist self (-ves).

The upshot of all of this is that I rarely peruse explicitly feminist websites. As I mentioned in the linked post, those joints are not meant for the likes of me (this is an observation more than a criticism) and, honestly, I don’t really need pointers from anyone on how to be a better or more authentic feminist, nor do I need reminders of how shitty this world is for women, and, for that matter, many human beings.

Still, two recent posts, one by bspencer at Lawyers, Guns & Money and another by Maria Farrell at Crooked Timber have set off a few of my feminist neurons.

Not in any particular direction, mind you: I’m almost as unfamiliar with the Hugo Schwyzer clusterfuck as is bspencer, and the Ferrell piece requires more thinking, or “unpacking” if you will.

(Do people still use unpacking? Useful term, tho’ dreadfully overused in the nineties. If it’s fallen out of favor, I’d be willing to pick it up again: I like me some gnarly anachronisms.)

Anyway, these pieces (and their attendant comments) set off a bit of a brain fizz. Now let’s see if I can manage to to pull more than a preface to a thought together before the carbonation runs out.




2 responses

14 08 2013

I had always thought there was something off about Hugo, so I was glad to be proven right.

15 08 2013

I had heard about him before, but hadn’t really followed the story. He seemed dodgy to me, but I didn’t much beyond that impression.

Too bad he’s sucked up so much air, esp. on the issue of whether a man can be a feminist. To me, it’s a no-brainer—yes!—but if, as this guy seemed to do, he dons the mantle of Professional Male Feminist, then, y’know. . . dodgy.

Just be a feminist, and be a man, and get to work.

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