Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Five Things Feminism Has Done for Me

As I mentioned yesterday, the Status of Women Canada was one of the programs that got slashed by our lovely government. Also yesterday I was participating in a conversation at the end of this piece on feminism. Seems people have something against feminists. I don't quite get it, except maybe these people have absorbed the stereotype of male-bashing ball-busting "feminazis", which incidentally I think doesn't really exist (maybe on the fringe somewhere, but I've certainly never met anyone like this. The feminists I know actually like men, they just don't like mysogyny).

The Progressive Bloggers have a project going called "5 Things Feminism Has Done for Me". So here's my list:

Feminism has:

  1. Improved my access to better paying jobs. Women have always worked, but now we get paid better than we used to. We are not yet at wage parity with men, but we have come a long way. Now I can at least support myself without relying on a man. I even have my very own bank account.
  2. Given me legal rights to my own body, including abortion rights and recourse in case of domestic violence. Domestic violence is still a big problem, but at least legally a man has no right to the "rule of thumb" anymore.
  3. Allowed me to own property (not that I do, but I could if I had the money and the desire), sign my own contracts, vote, join the army, drive, run for public office... in other words, allowed me to be considered a human being on par with the male human beings.
  4. Enabled me to get an edu-ma-cation. I believe the men in my life are also happy that I'm educated, informed and politically aware. It gives us more to talk about at the dinner table.
  5. Finally, along with other social justice movements, feminism has participated in making the world a more tolerant and just place for everyone. By challenging existing oppressive structures, we open society up to further change.

Feminism has done an incredible job so far, but we still have a long way to go. Around the world the struggles we have faced in the past continue to be fought, and our rights here are under assault, as the funding cut to SWC shows.

Solidarity is our only hope. A very small minority (mostly white upper class Christian men - please note this does not mean I hate white people, rich people, Christians or men) have it all, and the rest have to make do with the scraps. I say: don't fight each other for the scraps, fight the structures that keep us ALL down.

Oh, and tag, you're it.

More on women's issues.
related posts


Anonymous said...

Excuse me, "white", "christian" "male" here, not that there is anything wrong with that.
Feminism has not done anything for you except give you a false sense of reality and faulted belief in yourself and phoney outlook.
I wonder if cerberus the three headed Liberal might be a "white" "christian" "man" ?

Red Jenny said...

Hi there Blanks. Did you miss the part where I said I have no problems with white Christian males. Hell, you could be purple with two heads, I wouldn't care. Anyways, I stick with my original post. Thanks for trying to tell me I have a false sense of reality. Actually I think I have a pretty good sense of reality, I just haven't given up on ideals either.

Feminism has done a lot for me. It has a long way to go. The two statements are not mutually exclusive.

Kathy said...

The rule of thumb is yet another feminist myth:

Was that another of the many bit of information you paid thousands of dollars a year to learn in university?

A few questions:

How did Marie Currie get an education before the miracle of feminism?

Does the fetus have a right to its body too? Or just when you decide it does? Now who's being 'oppressive'? Does our right to exist begin and end with whether or not someone 'wants' us?

PS: women and men who work the same jobs make the same salaries.

I'm a Canadian woman and I support the funding cuts. SoW is a paternalistic, Trudeau era dinosaur. If you really care about women making more money, at least let them keep it in their wallets, rather than having to hand it over to prop up radical agendas we don't all support.

See: a surplus means, in part, that the government has been stealing too much of my money. I want some of it back.

I was your age once, and to the left of you. Now that I have a real job, own property and learned that 90% of the leftist propaganda you and I were spoonfed was junk science and mythology, I came to my senses.

PS: as to one of your earlier posts. I don't think it is the government's job to help 'aboriginal' youth stop smoking. But since my taxes pay for their cigarettes, I'd like a refund on that too.

Red Jenny said...

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for stopping by. Although I don't expect you'll change your mind on anything, I'll address your comments one by one.

Regarding the "rule of thumb" if you look at the Wikipedia article I linked to, you'll see that it agrees with you that "rule of thumb" does not necessarily have anything to do with wife beating. It has come to have a certain urban myth meaning today, however. You are correct, however, it was sloppy of me to simply use it in that context without explaining. That was definitely not one of the topics covered in University, but thanks for being so concerned about the cost of my education.

Speaking of education, good for Marie Curie. A very small percentage of women were educated back then. What does that have to do with anything?

As to the right of the fetus, we won't ever agree on this, but I believe the rights of a human being trump the rights of a "potential human". You and I have the right to carry our potential humans to term.

ps. Women experience job segregation which is what accounts for most of the wage disparity. That means we work in more low paid type jobs, often referred to as "pink collar jobs". That doesn't mean two doctors, male and female don't make the same money - in Canada they usually do. It means women are overrepresented in unskilled low paid jobs such as house cleaning, for example, and underrepresented in unskilled high paid jobs like construction. Female headed households are significantly poorer than male headed households. Is this a feminist myth too?

SWC is not radical. It is not even a feminist organization, but an organization that ensures the rights of women in Canada are upheld. As to letting women keep more money in their wallets... the $5 Million dollars cut represents about $0.15 per Canadian over two years. I'm sorry but I doubt that an extra 15 cents will help Canadian women more than a well-funded and effective SWC.

I feel very sad that you have given up any compassion you have for others. Your job and your property and your money in your pocket is more important, and you don't even realize how much of what you have is due to the shared cost of education, health care, infrastructure and other social services.

p.s. I find it curious that you put the word Aboriginal in quotes, as if you are writing the word ironically. Aboriginal means they were here first. Do you think history is junk science too, and is propaganda that has lied to us about European occupation of land that was already inhabited?


Oxford County Liberals said...

It seems this feminism list meme is making some people like Blanks57 and Kathy come out of the woodwork (if thats Kathy Shaidle however.. I'm not surprised at the tripe she's spouted.. that's an everyday occurrence for her)

Good. I'm glad to see they're noticing. For too long the right-wing noise machine online here has been left unchallenged. Its time the progressive blogs stepped up to the plate ad show we're here too.

Red Jenny said...

This has been pretty interesting, actually. Anyways, I want to tag another blog.

Oxford County Liberals said...

Make sure you let her know she's been tagged and what she's been tagged for... else she may not see it on here.

sparkle hayter said...

Red Jenny, I have blogged my list but with litle explanation and no tag yet because I am on the road for Travelgirl and haven't been able to get to the internet. Will add more next time I get online.

Your list is superb.