Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Salutes the Suffragists

Anna-Liza here.

Today is Women’s Equality Day, celebrating the passage of the 19th Amendment only 87 years ago. That means there are people alive now who can remember when women could not vote.

One of our local journalists, Diane Carman, had an article about it in the Denver Post this morning, and I can’t really say it better than she does. Yes, we’ve come a long way (babies) and there is still a long way to go. And by “we”, I mean all of humanity.

I’m an “out and proud” feminist. I am so very, very tired of all the women I see out there, living lives that would never have been possible without feminism, saying “Oh, no, I’m not a feminist!” By saying that, darlings, you are giving even more power to the enemy.

The enemy is not men. The enemy is any human, male or female, who denies that each human being is inherently of equal worth, no matter the gender, social class, level of education, national origin, sexual orientation, or level of perceived beauty. There are plenty of them, not all so easily identifiable. The only way to prove that feminists are NOT “feminazis” is to reclaim the word. Same way as “dyke”, and “queer”, and “liberal”. And “knitter”.

I am all for people living according to their beliefs. If a woman wants to go take homemaking courses at a Bible college and agree that her husband will make all the important decisions, well hey, that’s her life and her family, and if they are able to make it work well for them, that’s great.

Also, if she later discovers that her husband is misusing the Bible to justify abusing her, she does not deserve to be judged and condemned because of her choices. There are plenty of conservative Christian men (and conservative Islamic men) who do not view their religiously prescribed roles in their families as license for abuse, who love and respect their wives and treat them accordingly.

Myself, I’m very happy with my spiritual-not-religious husband who agrees with me that marriage, and the roles within marriage, are whatever the people involved agree to. Which is exactly how I view marriage. So, yes, that’s another strike against me. Not only do I support the legalization of gay marriage, I really, truly don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

And, being the product of a “mixed race” marriage that was illegal in many states not so very long ago, I can’t help but notice that the arguments being brought up against gay marriage are pretty much the same thing as those against “mixed race” marriage less than a generation ago. I’m talking to YOU, Hillary Clinton! “States’ rights” is the weasel’s way out.

Oh, pardon me. I’m afraid I got a little carried away there.

I also want to point out that the deep, continuing, and insidious devaluation of the feminine side of humanity is a major contributor to all kinds of unhappiness–men who are ashamed of their nuturing instincts; women who think that to be successful, they have to abandon anything smacking of the traditionally feminine; transgender folk who are pretty much disrespected by everyone; men who are knitters who are greeted with suspicion in yarn shops; knitters being dismissed as somehow shallow, frivolous, and “not counted” in society.

Being a feminist means that the masculine and feminine, whether obvious or subtle, are both necessary to the functioning of a balanced, happy society and balanced, happy people; that condoning by commission or omission the unequal treatment of any individual or group based on gender or sexual prefence is inherently wrong and deeply harmful to all, even those who claim “traditional” gender roles and activities for themselves; and that people who knit, crochet, sew, or practice any other fiber art are not to be taken lightly.

Raise your pointy sticks, sisters and brothers, take a deep breath and repeat after me.

“I am a feminist!”


4 thoughts on “Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Salutes the Suffragists

  1. Marin

    I am not a feminist. I hate the term. The semantics of it have gone too far afield for me to ever be comfortable with it.

    Y’all go ahead and fly your feminist flag. I just prefer not to.

  2. lyda

    Wonderful post! I am a feminist. Yes, I know that some people have given it a bad rap. I refuse to relenquish the title to them.

    Or to those who use the extremists as a way to keep the rest of us from claiming our power and expressing our outrage, vision, ideas, our selves…

    In the same way, there have always been people who have given “patriot” a bad rap (and I think we know the current ones are). I refuse to suceed that title to them either.

    I’m also stubborn. You may have noticed.

    Some people prefer “humanist”, and I’ll drink to that. Because it’s not about power over, or being against each other. It’s about R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

    Sing it, Aretha!

    In “The Truth” (Terry Pratchett of course), one of the characters says, “I trust we can all pull together.” And the other character responds:

    “Oh, I hope not. Free people pull in all different directions.”


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