I suppose as a response to comments on my earlier rant regarding the topic: "Feminism: still relevant? still useful? discuss." and given that others too, seem bothered by the post-feminist assumption that we're over it already, or perhaps even more to the point: get over it already, I wanted to note a particular tenet of mine. Which, in the end, relates to the religion/faith discussion we had earlier. I'm also prompted to link to the even earlier discussion about how there is only one narrative, really, and here we are again.
Yes. Hilary in '08. Absolutely. Hilary-Obama or perhaps Obama-Hilary. mix it up a bit. but as friend Dan knows quite well, the political also occurs on the everyday, minute level. the level of: here's who I am, and I'm not going to be cowed by your assumptions about who I am into being someone else. this goes for being gay, a woman, or just in general queer. and by that I don't mean gay. I mean undercutting the norms in general.
So if that means speaking your mind in a meeting, interrupting or cutting off someone else in a loud voice, even if you don't have a penis (sorry Mom—so hard to say that word in front of your Mom, no?) then that's what it means. And yes, it's not a battle that one signs up for. Or gets paid to do. It's a daily, groveling, crap battle that demands nuance, respect for others, wit, and a generosity of spirit. Often, it is fought by those with cynical, small, close-minded ways who demand others bend to their will, or risk being labeled "fascist." [Sam and I call these types of people, usually left-leaning and well-meaning, "close-minded open-minded people"] but one hopes, for the future of the universe, that it is fought from the generous side of listening but then also arguing for what is, fundamentally right. Like equal opportunities for each person, the right to work for a living wage, the right to maintain one's health without breaking the bank, the right to speak your mind in meetings or on the web regardless of the expectations of gender or race or class. These are things that we do not yet have. Perhaps will never have. And yet they are still important to argue for and stand up for. In a generous, open way, but one that promotes debate and discussion not: I'm okay, you're okay.
so it's not about squashing others' opinions, it's about fighting for something that is right. And everyone's opinions are, in the end, not equally correct or right. one only needs to read a few undergraduate papers to learn this universal truth. we need to stop looking at the sexism thing as about individuals, individual choices, or individual opinions. it's not about blaming some single person, it's about recognizing the atmosphere of misogyny and ameliorating it where we can. it's a systemic, all-encompassing sludge that we are all in: women, men, transgendered, and the rest. our job should be to try to clean up this sludge one molecule at a time.
(don't know where that metaphor came from. sorry about that. damn you metaphors!)