Ra Ra Feminism

Let me clarify a few things quickly about the last post:

  1. I love Feministe, and don’t mean to criticize it or Jill specifically.  I was reading it on a Sunday night because it’s a good blog, not because I was planning to use one of it’s pieces as a negative launching point.
  2. I don’t know why my first substantive post came out so negative.  It started as a long comment I was leaving on Feministe, and then I realized I should put it here, since this is exactly the type of thing I want to be blogging about.
  3. Just like Femeniste, I criticize feminists and feminism because I love them / it.   But as a dude, I know I’m walking a fine line.  By starting this blog off on a negative post, I open myself up to the charge of being a feminist basher or one of those creepy “men’s rights” people.  I am not.
  4. I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t believe me when I make point 3.  After all, we live in a society where it is safe to assume sexism will come from most people, where feminism is attacked from all corners, even by people who should be allies.  I also know that plenty of men (and women) writing under the mantle of feminism have let patriarchal cultural assumptions seep into their writing & lives.  I just hope that anyone who wonders what type of blog this is, will bother to RSS subscribe, and will in-time learn I’m not that type of blogger.  To assume that because I am a man, and because I will often be criticizing feminists & sometimes even feminism on my blog, I am not worth reading would be… well…. gender discrimination.  Give me a chance.

Finally, the main reason I started things off with that last post, rather than just letting it sit as a long comment on the Feministe website, is because it illustrates an important point, which I will be returning to in much of my writing.

There is a strain of feminism, which I call Ra-Ra Feminism, which easily mistakes some women doing well for women being equal.  Is it great that Oprah has a hit TV show?  Sure.  But does that mean Hollywood has some sort of equal playing field now?  Of course not.  And more importantly, by focusing too much on how well Oprah is doing, we miss the insidious way in which capitalism & patriarchy play a key roll in the demographics of talk show hosts & programs.

That’s just an example, but my point is this:

Ra-Ra Feminism is often a hindrance to gender equality, and feminism in general.  That’s why I feel I’ve got to call it out when I can.


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