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Friday, November 25, 2005

The feminist trajectory

Amandagon is running out of patience with the antifeminist New York Times:

there's no doubt at this point that's what the NY Times is up to--running a non-official series that Echidne has dubbed "New York Times Lessons For Uppity Women". The lesson by now is shaping up. Lesson #1 for young women: Make a lot of noise about how non-ambitious you are or you won't get a husband. Lesson #2: Women who don't quit their careers to stay home to be wives and mothers full time are bad mothers. (Unspoken assumption is they are also bad wives.) Lesson #3, provided by Maureen Dowd: Being rich and powerful and well-respected is good and all, but only if you're a man. If not, you need such a man in your life to count at all. Lesson #4 is provided by this Daughter Track article: If you don't hang up your ambitions young and thereby snag that man and get to breeding, you'll get shoehorned into giving up your job to care for elderly parents anyway. So what's it gonna be?

One thing I really think, at least hope, that blogging is doing for feminism is that it makes it harder for feminism's opponents to keep believing so strongly in the Strawfeminist when faced with the prospect of real feminists to have to deal with. Feminist bloggers I read come from all socioeconomic backgrounds and all races. Feminist bloggers are younger and older, male and female, gay and straight and bisexual and other sundry things, married and unmarried, religious and non-religious, career-having and job-having and even staying at home, and most of us have a pretty good sense of humor, though some of us are rowdier than others. (*ahem*) The gap between the Strawfeminist that the haters like to pick at and the real feminists out gets more and more comical every day.

The notion that blogging - sharing the real hopes, dreams and fears of feminist women - is going to make it harder for feminism's opponents is hilarious. I mean, after wading through one after another hormone-laden, emotion-drenched, femchismo-filled lament about how Mizz Strong Independent Woman is falling to pieces because Boyfriend didn't read her mind / doesn't exist / dumped her, I know I'm prone to taking these lunatics more seriously as my intellectual and social peers.

What makes Amanda think that Maureen Dowd isn't a true feminist? Maureen has long been a feminist poster girl and likely thought very much like Amanda did thirty years ago. The most striking thing about feminist bloggers is how young and immature they sound, even when they aren't still engaged in picking up a Womens Studies, Political Science or Sociology major.

I've noticed that feminists tend to follow a certain trajectory over time:

18-27 - arrogant and angry
27-35 - confident, but increasingly concerned
36-45 - privately resigned, but publicly chipper
46-55 - brittle and desparate
56+ - openly sad but not always wiser

It's been particularly interesting to see how my friends who are single, non-feminist career girls are beginning to get very angry at their feminist forebears, as they begin to realize to their shock and horror that the mysogynistic neanderthals were telling them the truth all along. Men don't give a damn about degrees, don't care at all about a woman's career and tend to see these things as a threat, not to themselves, but to the possibility of a romantic relationship.

The two key things that too many women fail to grasp with regards to relationships is that men simply don't think like women, and that the sell-by date is about 32 when it comes to dating men your own age. You don't have to like these things, but you do have to deal with their reality. As with gravity, you ignore it at your own peril.

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