Eavesdropping on Feminists.

Well sort of, I’ve been noticing that the odd feminist pops in here for a looksee, and then off they go, with one raddled oops, I meant radical feminist as the exception. She came she brain farted, and now……the wait goes on to see if one of her multiple personalities shows up. Exciting isn’t it?

Anyhoo, I decided to repay the, eeeemm compliment and go take a look at them. Which led me to an interesting exchange between someone who might be a feminist and someone who definitely IS a feminist about………….well, feminism of course.

The first step on this little adventure into the world of navel gazing feminism is with this article, by Leslie Loftus called, Can we rebrand feminism? Hmmm, the word NO springs to mind, but we’ll get to that shortly, this article was posted on November 14, 2013 and apparently caused one Susan L.M. Goldberg to get her knickers in a bit of a knot because she posted her own article on November 20, 2013, entitled Feminism Doesn’t Need Re-Branding, It Needs a Revolution in response – Oooooooh, thems fighting words.

Moving on, Leslie decided to respond to the response, on November 27, 2013 with, How to Overcome the Looming Feminist Collapse.

So, was it handbags at noon? Was there hair-pulling and scratching? Nah, as scraps go, it was pretty tame, actually it was boring.

Some of the comments on all three articles were funny, and some were very interesting, almost ALL more or less said it was time to hold the wake for feminism and bury the corpse, under the light of the moon while banshees wailed and wolves howled no doubt (burn in hell – sorry, got a bit carried away there)

Before I go on to take a closer look at the articles, a little about our two protagonists. Leslie Loftus is I believe what is called a staunch “right wing woman” whatever that is, her tiny bio gives this information about her:

“Leslie Loftis is a recovering lawyer, a housewife, and a mother of 4. She is also a serial Texpatriate, most recently returned from London, England.”

While Susan Goldberg describes herself as first and foremost a feminist, her bio at the end of her article had this to say about her:

“Susan L.M. Goldberg is a writer with a Master’s in Radio, Television & Film and a PhD in Life who would be happy roaming the fields of Prince Edward Island with Anne of Green Gables, were it not for her strong belief in the axiom “all that is required for evil to prevail is for good women to do nothing.” She prefers “Renaissance Woman” as opposed to any career title found on Monster.com. Her writing tends towards the intersection of culture, politics and faith with the interest in starting, not stopping the discussion. Follow her on Twitter @SLMGoldberg and @winegirlblog”

Well, whatever floats your boat Susan. I am, I admit slightly irked that she taken a classic quote from that great Irish philosopher, Edmund Burke and not only bastardised it, but not had the decency or honesty to attribute it.

The last point I want to make before we finally get to those articles is this, what led me to these particular articles, it was a link to a load of feminist sites, blogs and other articles, of which many were all asking the same questions, Is feminism dead? Can we save feminism? Where did feminism go wrong? And of course plenty about this “rebranding” that seems to be exercising the minds of all these “concerned” feminists. Someone used it to visit my blog.

Please allow me one small moment to gloat, aaahhh, I looked at this list, and I smiled, (ok – I gloated) there is discontent, consternation, and a bit of an identity crisis happening in feminist circles, the gals are all in a bit of a tizzy, the numbers are looking baaaaaaaaaaaaaad, people it seems are being very very mean and horrible about feminism! Lots of people! Tut tut.

Worse, apparently waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayy to many people have THE WRONG IDEA about feminism. Gosh darn it.

So, onto the articles, Leslie concludes her first article with this statement:

So I suspect that many women will continue to disavow “feminism” as the label for a life of work. As women plan for more in their lives, the term will diminish and fade, an ignominious end to a once-powerful historical label.”

She seems like a nice well-meaning sort, she does almost home in on the corrosive nature of feminism when she says:

“Right now feminism is defined by the old line political feminists, who have no intention of releasing their grip on the term. Any attempt to make feminism more popular will have to confront and break this hold.”

But of course completely misses that this IS feminism, the vice like corrupting and malign grip of feminism on ALL aspects of our political, legal, cultural and societal structures. Poor Leslie tries to make a case for nice feminism, what she calls “equal opportunity” feminists, and gives Christina Hoff Sommers a nod in a slightly condescending way:

“I struggled in writing this piece to describe the non-political feminists. It’s probably why Hoff Sommers suggested the a-bit-too-earnest “freedom feminism” as an attempt at a common banner.”

But Leslie just doesn’t get it, obviously the words, dead, horse, and flogging are not in Leslie’s vocabulary, and to be honest, she really, really doesn’t know feminism at all!

So, on to Susan – well Susan was a bit miffed, one could almost visualize Susan’s feathers getting all ruffled, but she settled down and decided to be “civil” though I swear I could hear the sound of teeth grinding while I was reading her article. Odd.

The thing is Susan had nuthin and she knew she had nuthin. So, what CAN SHE DO? Leslie to all intents and purposes focused on home- grown feminism, and she does confine herself to the experiences of women in HER world, and the world we all inhabit, the West, and her arguments are sound(ish) if decidedly underdeveloped and do avoid getting too close to any real core issues.

Even so, Susan knows she has nuthin, so she latches onto the handy “sacrificial lambs” that Leslie gives her on a plate, the “wealthy, elite-educated, white women…..” the “political feminists” Leslie   tut tuts at, and then takes out the big guns of 21st century feminism, and wraps her feminism in the flavor of the month, the latest “what the hell can I use to cloak feminism in SOME legitimacy” cause? Global Issues.

“Loftis is fully correct in her observation that feminism has become the property of “wealthy, elite-educated,white women, who are closest to perfect [boardroom] parity”. But, to turn our collective back on the real oppression of women that exists in this world because of the ideological failures of Barbie-esque dilettantes is as effective as throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

In a post-denominational era where religion has been replaced by cause and community has gone from neighborhood to global, better to rally effectively than disperse into isolationism. What feminism needs isn’t dissolution, but evolution out of the boardroom and into the real world.”

Yep, for nigh on fifty years, feminism has not given a rats arse about anything other than acquiring more and more unearned privileges for the already privileged, but all of a sudden is the caring sharing voice of (where the hell did you say Camaroon was again?) poor oppressed women GLOBALLY.

And the “issue” guaranteed to stop all conversations, make any decent human being cringe?

“While American feminists engage in Dunham-esque debates over their penny-ante problems, over 500 girls in Britain are “estimated to have undergone the procedure of female genital cutting” common in African culture. According to a recent BBC report, “It is estimated about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.”

FGM, female genital mutilation, and she even posts what is obviously a video of a female circumcision in progress, and no, I didn’t watch it, but I’ll bet lots of people did.

I addressed this issue in my post Count Me Out!

Susan doesn’t bother addressing any of the relatively valid points Leslie raises, nope, Susan plays to the gallery, while Leslie is in contemplative mood and actually tries to look at her experience of feminism with some honesty, if misguidedly, Susan’s article is an opera, with clashing cymbals, drum rolls, a crescendo of noise and fury, shrieking out secrets at the top of her lungs, all to hide the fact that the diva actually can’t sing for toffee!

“Whether the cause be FGM, honor killings, or any other threat to women, if feminism doesn’t exit the territory of privileged navel-gazing moral relativists, it will become a powerful weapon for the justification of female abuse across the globe.”

As you can see, grand sweeping operatic gestures, all piss and wind and no substance.

So, what about Leslies second article in response to Susan’s “response”?

She caves, yep, she backs down just as I was beginning to like Leslie, she retreats in the face of Susan’s histrionics, Susan’s bag of dirty feminist tricks.

“My pessimism is about that alliance forming. But alliance or no, Goldberg is right, there is much to be done.”

Oh she tries to rally a bit and stand her ground, but after letting Susan railroad her into acknowledging her (Susan’s) moral superiority it is hollow, but a nice try all the same.

“Some of us got pushed out or left the feminist fold and got on with life. But for the women who thought, who hoped, the movement worthy to follow, as it crumbles, they seek. What do they find?”

Two things about this little journey of mine into the wild n wacky world of feminist chatter and musings struck me, one they know that something is not right, something has entered into their previously smug little world (hello MRA’s 🙂) none of them are willing to admit it, and none of them have the guts to say it out loud, but they know.

The second thing is this, all it takes for a relatively “nice” feminist or a “not sure if I am a feminist” woman to back down is one snarky, bombastic, bullying hectoring feminist wretch, and they crumble, they cave, how to counter that?  Hmmmm, I will be giving that some serious thought.

Edit: I thought you might like some other examples of the “debate” within feminism about this “rebranding” issue that is keeping them all awake at night. 🙂

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fidelbogen
    Dec 03, 2013 @ 03:13:53

    I am enjoying your blog hugely. Keep it up!

    ~Fidelbogen~

    Reply

  2. shmiggen
    Dec 03, 2013 @ 05:38:03

    I recently obtained an Irish passport. It turns out that if you can demonstrate that you have a grandparent from Ireland you can become an Irish citizen. So I gathered together my grandpa’s birth certificate and other papers and voila! I am an Irish citizen. Question: is there still a lot of emigration going on? How are things over there? How are the politics and economics? My gut tells me it is an anomaly for someone from the US or Canada to move to Ireland.

    Reply

    • Anja Eriud
      Dec 03, 2013 @ 13:28:29

      First, welcome to the family 🙂

      Secondly, are you mad? Lol It has been calculated that 243 people are leaving Ireland every day, and these are our best and brightest. (see the linked articles below)

      In order to avoid a possible defamation suit, with regard to “Irish politics” – no comment.:)

      Though for the benefit of all those sneaky little feminists who have been reading my blog through slitted eyes (Hi girls, top of the morning to you all :)) one of the most vilified, hated and incompetent politicians who, in my opinion was directly complicit in the events which precipitated our current woes was and is FEMALE. Any Irish people reading will know who I’m talking about.

      Economically and politically we are in the shit – up to our eyeballs.

      Though, as an Irish citizen I have to say, I love my country, I honestly couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, and I have tried. The people are and can be, immensely kind, generous, a bit eccentric, prone to maudlin sentimentality, and have it must be said a rather sceptical view of “authority” many Irish people think of laws as “more guidelines, suggestions perhaps than ACTUAL rules”

      Anyhoo, if you like rain, if you don’t take yourself too seriously, if you can take a “slagging” and stand your own in the face of said slagging, you’ll fit right in.

      By the way, if you do come, you WILL be forced to drink at least one pint of Guinness, a vile drink, but hey ho. If you do it, in good humour, you will be resoundingly declared to be “a good skin”

      Last but definitely not least, you will be interrogated as to where “your people” (ancestors) came from – so we can ascertain which “clan” you belong to. 

      Slagging – A time honoured tradition of taking the unmerciful piss out of someone to see how they handle themselves in company.

      Ten people emigrate from Ireland every hour: Aug 29 2013
      http://www.thejournal.ie/10-people-leave-ireland-every-hour-1059323-Aug2013/

      Gerard O’Regan: Emigrating Irish are now masters of their own destiny: 14 October 2013
      http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/gerard-oregan/gerard-oregan-emigrating-irish-are-now-masters-of-their-own-destiny-29657347.html

      Reply

  3. shmiggen
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 02:27:21

    Grandpa is from a village in Killarney called Gortdromakerry. He left when he was 18 yrs old or so for Boston where he eventually did marry and settle down. He wanted to join the Garde but they said he was too young. I’ve never been to Ireland but my Mom has and she says there would have been absolutely nothing for him to do with respect to employment in Kerry at that time except sod farming. I wish I had known him. I wonder if he knew anyone in the Flying Columns. On the other hand he could have been just an innocent young boy and knew zilch about the rebellion in 1916. He left for Boston in 1920.

    I’m tall and lanky. I have dark hair, dark eyes, am just generally dark complected. I also have a thick nose and stubborn chin. Is that a south Irish thing? Where are the reds and gingers at? East and North?

    One other thing: University College Dublin is one of the highest ranked universities in the world. Do you agree that it is an excellent school?

    Reply

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