Thursday, July 31, 2003

Proclaiming the feminist label -- Redux

Sappho, over at Noli Irritare Leones has responded to my earlier post on What to do about all those "I'm not a feminist, but ..." women,"

Now, I do want to point out a couple of things (and I'm not trying, in any way, to pick on Sappho -- simply pointing out a few things):

  • Not all feminists believe that Christianity is the antithesis of feminism -- although most do believe that Christianity (and Judaism and Islam) are historically patriarchal (and let's face it, they are). But, there are a great number of feminists who believe that feminists can be Christians and vice-versa -- it's simply a matter of how one follows the religion. In fact, I'd say that from Sappho's brief explanation of her view of relgion, that's a pretty feminist view, even while maintaining a strong Christian stance.

  • Feminists believe in the maintaining (or bringing about) legal and financial access to abortions. However, the majority of feminists also want to see a reduction in the number of abortions. The difference between feminists views on reducing this number and conservative views are that for feminists, rather than reducing access to abortions, they simply want to reduce the need for them -- through better access to sex education and birth control.

  • Most feminists do not equate the "sexual revolution" with feminism. Not because feminists don't believe in the premise of the sexual revolution -- but because the sexual revolution, as it played out, was more about benefitting men than it was women. Yes, feminists want to get rid the world of the mentality that divides women between Madonna and whore, wants to rid the world of the mentality that labels some women slut. But most feminists are not giving a big "hurrah!" for the sexual revolution as it played out.

That said -- Sappho's post is an excellent one. She, for one, recognizes that one does not need to agree with every single feminist stance (as if it would possible for anyone to do anyway) in order for her to recognize and acknowledge the very real freedoms and rights that feminism has given the women of this world and the work that feminism is still doing. She is able to distinguish between what feminism is what pop-culture says it is, and is able to accept that she may disagree with what some individual feminists believe without discarding the entire ideology.

The world needs more people like Sappho.

1 comment:

Dr. Psycho said...

"I am not a feminist, but...."

I, for one, am getting awfully tired of the not-a-feminist-but-heads.