Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I dislike calling myself a feminist, though I do so for simplicity's sake. I agree with a lot of what feminism stands for, however what I don't agree with I really don't agree with. And it's what gets me in trouble with other feminists.
See, I believe that there is a whole subsection of feminism (and society in general) that fosters a certain victim mentality. It's kind of what the Republicans talk about when they talkabout how liberals encourage a victim society, except I don't think people are actively encouraging it. I think it happens because people try to do good, and the road to hell being paved with good intentions, it kind of got out of hand.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not some upper crust white guy (heh) bitching about the poor brown people who live on welfare. That isn't my beef, mainly because that's a bit out of my experience. I grew up poor in a bad home, had a crappy adolecence, got past it all, and am slowly getting past all that various shit in order to make my life better.
No, my beef here is the fact that feminists rarely allow women to move past victimization. In a strange way, it because how they are identified, it objectifies them the way women were objectified before by men. We're just being objectified by ourselves.
I was an abused woman. That is not who I am now. I was a victim, I am not one now. I hate being termed as a victim of anything, because it implies it is on going. I am also not a survivor because that imples that I lived through something much greater than my experience. I am simply me, what happened is a part of that, not the sum of the whole. I was abused by more than one person, in more than one part of my life. I didn't learn to go past it because I didn't learn that I was anything but that victim. No one told me I could be anything other than a victim because that's what you're called. You're a victim. It's degrading. And while some people are fine with being called that I hope other's aren't.
Feminism labels women who have lived through sexual assaults and domestic violence even as they seek to end the sources of our pain. It's a strange dicotomy. Do I want people to never be treated the way I was? Dear god of course I do! Do I wish to help the women who lived through it? Yes, more than anything. I feel their pain. Do I call them victims? No, victims are just that. If it were me I would put every woman in intensive therapy to reclaim themselves and banish the word victim from everyone's lips. Survivor too. I would ask these women to realize that this is not who they are now, but it helped them to where they are, and I that they should realize that what happened isn't the sum of their own self.
Of course this is intensely unpopular, and at times has been called selfish, cold, and many other things that boil down to "You don't understand what it's like to live throught something like this" (again with the heh. Trust me people, I know. Cycle of violence? Yeah baby). But there it is. No more victims, and as long as feminism creates a space where it is alright to allow women to be victimized again and again by the people trying to help them I will not feel comfortable calling myself a feminist. It's not right.


  1. I identify myself as a feminist, but I know exactly whereof you speak. For example, Feministing posted an article called "How much porn is too much porn?"

    One commentor kept whinging that this article should have included a "trigger warning" because she couldn't have been the only person raped by a man who made her watch porn while he did it.

    She probably isn't, but as another commentor pointed out, "porn" appeared twice in the title! Yeesh.

    And, I wear wonderbras and makeup, do my hair, shave all relevant parts, etc. I can't really identify with the "I never wear makeup or shave my legs" feminists at all. I think women are, and should be regarded as, equal to men, but I like smooth legs. And eyebrows. Which nature failed to give me.

  2. Oh man yes, if nature and genetics had seen fit to even give me lighter hair (or darker skin) I wouldn't mind not having my legs, but man, black hair and white skin, my legs are getting shaved! It looks weird.
    I love Feministing, but sometimes they post things that drive me up a wall. I want to just shake some of those girls and tell them they are stronger than that, so deal, for god's sake start to deal with things!

  3. Yeah, they get a little worked up about nothing sometimes. It's like "chill, i just don't like being prickly, I'm not embracing the patriarchy."


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