Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Why You Hatin'?

Yesterday, my undergrad alma mater, The University of Southern California, had an article in its newspaper that covered a small, but growing feminist population in its campus (it grew from four members to eight).

I am not too surprised by this number. First, as young people, it is increasingly hard to see the strength in women -- it appears that it is easier to do what the crowd is doing, dress provocatively, bat ones eyes at the football team, and play the innocent woman card. For many, according to both the article and my own experience with introducing myself as a feminist, there is extreme hatred and fear surrounding the idea. For most, it is hard to wrap one's self around the idea of being independent, strong and equal...even at a top-notch university where folks graduating will be handed their lives/careers on a silver platter. I can still remember sitting in my Spanish 101 class and being appalled at the young woman next to me who told the class that her future included not working, pumping out babies, taking care of the home and socializing. Whoa. So what is the point of going to school, I wondered. I hate to stereotype, but many of this girls' peers were rich, blond haired, blue-eyed women who spent more time attaching sorority appliqu├ęs to their ass, and less of it actually making strides. Many of them shook their head with this comment -- and not side to side like mine was, but rather, up and down; they were agreeing with her.

I took my first feminist course at USC and I felt so liberated and empowered after reading the works of those who cam before me, I told my Professor ( Diana Blaine) that each and every male and female student should be required to take the course. In my eyes, I see feminism as knocking down issues that nearly every campus experiences: rape, violence, hatred, prejudice, anorexia and drug/alcohol abuse.

So when the university's sole newspaper provided a peek into the value of feminism, I leapt from my chair. But scrolling to the bottom, I was reminded; again, of the hatred many women have towards feminists.

Michelle
posted 4/02/07 @ 9:43 AM EST
It's funny. Feminists promote "equality" of men and women, but fail to embrace and celebrate how they are different. For instance, the legalization of abortion has only succeeded in further sexually objectifying women as playtoys for men with no consequences (except for the mother who eventually must deal with the emotional aftermath of abortion, which feminist and abortion groups are desperately trying to discount...ironic, no?)

Women who testify that they have been negatively affected by abortion are dismissed as either unstable or liars (sound familiar...frequently used against women who report being raped).

I am so sick of this oppression of women posing instead as liberation. Wake up, ladies. You're being used as pawns to promote a covert social and political agenda. Don't let it happen to you.


OF WHICH I JUST HAD TO REPLY:

Bonnie Schindler
posted 4/02/07 @ 10:47 PM EST
To the comment written by Michelle:

Wow. You are a clear product of patriarchy, and you don't even know it. You see, the awesome thing about feminsim, equality and the fight to keep our bodies ours, is that we have the choice. This does not mean that one has to have an abortion; that one has to throw all razors in the garbage; that one has to dismiss all men and their agendas. No. It means that women can be offered the same treatment at their male counterparts -- and this means not getting paid the 70-odd cents to every one dollar that men make (and yes, this is still true today); and breaking through the glass ceiling in the corporate and political arenas.

It also means smashing the pre-decided gender molds that the patriarch has already established. You may not realize it, but women and men are handed a doll a piece when they come in to the world: G.I. Joe for the boys, and Barbie for the girls. Every decision has been wired into our brains froma that point on: be cute, quiet, submissive, hate yourself for not being pretty enough, take the abuse, have children, be a homemaker, accept the pay reduction, and so on. Good girls follow suit; feminists follow our own goals. We are the ones who make it so that you can even write into this comment form, expressing your thoughts as a woman.

Contrary to other beliefs, it is not the dark side one joins if they open their world to feminism, it is a breath of fresh air. And if you feel different, don't worry, it's not your fault...you were pre-wired to think like that.