Monday, July 21, 2003

What to do with those "I'm not a feminist, but..." women

On July 1, Zoe Williams wrote an excellent article discussing a recent British "survey" done by the Equal Opportunities Commission that showed "women earn less than men and, furthermore, undertake the lioness's share of domestic chores - not because we are forced to, but because we choose to." Williams pointed out many of flaws with this survey (like the fact that the sample contained only 35 women) as well as other interpretations of the results. It's really quite a good read, and I suggest others do take the time to glance through it.

As a result of that article, The Guardian received several letters in response, mostly positive (one of the people who conducted the survey, unsurprisingly, didn't like her article much). But there was one letter that really stuck out for me. It was written by another Guardian columnist, Julie Burchill.
There is a short and sharp way to deal with women who say they are not feminists - you could do it as a nationwide census, which might be more representative than the survey of "35 selected individuals". If a woman answers no to the question "Are you a feminist?", she should immediately be stripped of her voting rights, her right to institute divorce, her legal protection from domestic violence and marital rape - oh, and her pay should be cut to 19% less than that of her male colleagues. Then she could lead the carefree, non-ball-breaking life she so desires, and not be forced to take advantage of all those unpleasant and exhausting social gains which those nasty butch feminists in the 20th century forced on her.

When I hear a woman say "I'm not a feminist" I avoid her. Partly because I despise her, but partly because this makes me think that she spends time entertaining furtive fantasies about lesbian sex, and repeats such Stepford Wife cliches merely to put us off the "scent". And as a respectable middle-aged heterosexual monogamist matron from Hove, such closeted, confused suck-ups fill me with horror. For they are neither friends of women or of men; but stunted misanthropists, fearful and envious of the true love and comradeship between the sexes that can only come from simple equality. Let these cowering wretches embrace the state of allegedly longed-for slavery that existed before modern feminism, and see if they like it; it could even be a reality TV show. It'd be a total hoot!
Julie Burchill
Brighton

Now, no doubt, there are some who will read this and think, "well, she's not very pro-woman." But, frankly, I laughed my ass off reading this. Obviously it's hyperbole (and well-written hyperbole, I might add, something that most writers today can't do), and I don't know a feminist alive who doesn't get more than a little peeved and frustrated with these "I'm not a feminist, but..." women. I think is a perfect way to deal with them!! (In a hyberpolic sense, of course :p )

By the way -- for those not familiar with the "I'm not a feminist, but..." phrase, the following poster (from One Angry Girl site -- a must see for anyone who has not checked out it out yet) should explain it:

1 comment:

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