Monday, August 4, 2008

If the Think Feminism Is Not Your Issue, Contemplate Your Navel

Cross-posted everywhere

Disclaimer. I have worked my heart out for Obama on mybarackobama and locally since Hillary gave her concession speech. I have totally avoided PUMA blogs; all I know about them, I know from their attackers. Responding to this post by talking about PUMAs will be regarded by me as the equivalent of "the dog ate my homework."

Everytime a poster or commenter mocks and excoriates the PUMAs as batshit crazy, it brutally rips open all the wounds of rabid misogyny inflicted on women during the primary campaign by the media, progressive blogs, and Obama supporters. You are guaranteeing that another PUMA will never come around and vote for Obama; you might as well openly support McCain.

At 63,I am a lifelong feminist, the older sister of 5 brothers, the mother of 4 grown daughters, the grandma of a toddler grandson with two granddaughters on the way, the oldest of 45 first cousins, the 24/7 caregiver of my mom for 4 years, a political science major with master's degrees in library science and social work. In the last 50 years, I have read most books about feminism, parenting, combining careers with caregiving.

I am old enough, brilliant enough, arrogant enough, experienced enough to assign daily homework. I pray some comments will reflect at least reading the belly-button homework post I will provide semester and yearly homework upon request, but I don't set deadlines.:) I am fiercely proud of being a public librarian, whose concept of success is empty shelves. I never hoard knowledge.

Warning: my favorite article of clothing is a sweatshirt made up in 1987 that proclaims, "Never love a man who doesn't love Jane Austen, Doris Lessing, and Margaret Drabble." Talk about abstinence education. Only my two husbands have done the homework. My adventures with that shirt would require a novel to do justice to. I have been asked if it was a public proclamation of lesbianism. I have been asked which of these 3 women I am. I have been asked if Austen is a movie star. My brother claims that my shirt singlehandedly started the Austen revival. And of course, I have been asked why the shirt doesn't say, Never love anyone...."The owner of the shop that made the shop said the funniest comment it had elicited was: "That poor women. She lives in the wrong country." The shirt worked slowly; it took 14 years to win me an English husband:) I very quickly discovered I needed another shirt that said: "Never trust a psychiatrist who has never heard of Jane Austen."

Every day read Shakesville, a brilliant, gutsy, often hilariously funny, collective feminist blog. Its guiding spirit is Melissa McEvan, who didn't support either Clinton or Obama. She was an Edwards supporter; Edwards hired her to supervise his netroots outreach and then pressured her to resign after he found out exactly how colorfully she writes.

Why does anyone read Daily Kos or MYDD is they can read this. I apologize for quoting so extensively, but this is a recruiting drive.
What's Shakesville all about, anyway?

Shakesville is a feminist blog, and a feminist's blog. It is a progressive blog. It is a safe space. It is a community. It is a blog whose contributors are resolved to endeavor always to be aware of our privilege, and, in moments of failure, remain open to criticisms and suggestions, think twice before responding defensively, and apologize when we fuck up. We expect the same of those who want membership in the community. No one is expected to be perfect; everyone is expected to be willing to self-examine and learn. Forward movement, progress, on cultural, political, and individual levels is woven into the fabric of Shakesville.

Shakesville's key objectives are equality, momentum, growth, community, empathy, and laughter.

We blog about domestic politics, foreign policy, high culture, pop culture, books, film, telly, food, the patriarchy, oppression, repression, religion, philosophy, parenting, not parenting, marriage, cats, why women's trousers have so many buttons, and anything else that we feel like discussing. With photos. Many of them doctored for maximum hilarity.

All are invited. Whether you are welcome is up to you.

What's your commenting policy?

Comments are open to anyone as long as they don't traffic in racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise overtly objectionable commentary. Differences of opinion are welcome; no one has ever been nor will ever be banned on a difference of opinion alone. Threats, trolling, pointless belligerence, and hate speech will get you banned. Or get your comments redacted and/or replaced with an incredibly sophomoric paraphrase, like an announcement that you're a huge douche. If some of that sounds rather arbitrary, well, it is. Ultimately, whether you can comment at Shakesville is at my discretion—and plaintive, angry, or accusatory wailing about free speech will fall on deaf ears. This isn't a public square. This is a safe space.

Make sure you read Feminism 101. Right now read the current post:
How Contemplating Your Navel May Lead You to An Understanding of Why Feminism is Fundamental by Portly Dyke

Here is Portly Dyke's brilliant conclusion:
Since each of us owes our very existence to such a coupling -- an egg from a woman and a sperm from a man -- it means that attaining true equality of the sexes affects each of us -- that the cultural and societal problems arising from the oppression called sexism reside smack dab in the middle of every home in the world....Every single human being on this planet has a billboard on their abdomen that says this:

“Iwas once so connected with a female human body that we shared the same blood, the same oxygen, the same food. If it weren’t for that woman, I would not exist. Look – here is the evidence.”

So, if you think Feminism is not your issue:

Contemplate your fucking navel.


Anonymous said...

Some of the PUMAs are principled people. No doubt. But pretend whitey tapes and fake birth certificates have nothing to do with feminism. The people who peddle that bullshit don't care about Hillary and they don't care about women's issues. They care about themselves.

Anonymous said...

In no way, shape, or form am I defending PUMAs. I am a PUMA virgin. What I know about them, I know from the people who bash them. I am just trying to convince you that too many virulent attacks against PUMAs, especially attacks that use dogwhistle words for attacking women, make you a member of McCain's PR campaign.

I want to discuss feminism and the Democratic Party, not PUMAs. For many years all the Democratic Party has offered women is Roe vs. Wade People, I raised many important issues. Why talk about PUMAs? It feels like the equivalent of the dog ate my homework:)

Anonymous said...

I've been very fair to the PUMAs, but the lunatics who scream about whitey tapes deserve the scorn they reserve.

Anonymous said...

Of course they deserve scorn, but ignoring them instead might be a good idea. You can't attack them without spreading their smears further. Librarians pray that people will try to ban books, which will then circulate more in a month than they have in four years.

Anonymous said...

Interesting idea. It's like dealing with teenagers. If you tell them "no," they want it more.

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