Now, for years, I called myself “Minnesota’s Best Feminist” – largely because it pissed lesser feminists off so much.
I’ve laid off the bit for a few years, now – not because it wasn’t true (like most fathers these days, I don’t want my daughter to be held back for any reason but her own merit or hard work, or lack thereof (and she has plenty of both). I am what some academics would call a “Gender-Equity Feminist” – someone who believes in removing obstacles to female equality in law, which is the starting point of real equality in our society. That’s as opposed to “Gender Identity Feminists”, who see feminism as something analogous to nationalism, an identity to be upheld against a hostile opposition. I’m not one of those.
Most of American “feminism” in academia and “womens’ studies” programs and the media today is the latter – which is a sort of dumb irony; members of the most spoiled, cossetted community in America, academics and social thinkers, from most most spoiled and overweened generation of people in American history (Generation X and the Millennials, who are rapidly approaching the Baby Boom for sheer irritation factor), prattling about the hardships they face.
The WaPo recently ran a list of new years resolutions by a group of “feminists”.
Most of them are written in the curious, circular argot of the post-1990s humanities graduate student, clogged with circular, post-structural, deconstructionist language that is only intermittently interchangeable with standard English.
By the way, the drawings of the various thinkers involved were done by the author of the WaPo piece, Ruth Tam.
So as my service to you, I’m going to translate the statements into plain(ish) English.
|Janet Mock, 31 | ‘Redefining Realness’ author and MSNBC’s ‘So Popular’ host | @JanetMock||“All you white, urban, upper-middle-class women have seized “feminism”. I’m here to subdivide the turf! Stand back!”|
|Lux Alptraum, 32 | BinderCon co-founder | @luxalptraum||“When I talk about “putting programs and policies in place to level the playing field”, you know what I mean is yet another social-service bureaucracy staffed with lots of people like me – because those Women’s Studies degrees aren’t exactly raking in the bucks, if you catch my drift”.|
|Leigh Stein, 30 | BinderCon co-founder | @rhymeswithbee||“While everyone that has any sort of public profile online gets harassed one way or another, I want to make harassing women a special, extra level of wrong. Sort of like ‘hate crime’”|
|Ai-jen Poo, 40 | National Domestic Workers Alliance director, Caring Across Generations co-director, created #dwdignity, #caringamerica, #womentogether | @aijenpoo||“Hey, don’t let Lux Alptraum reel in all the swag! The political process…er, ‘feminism’, needs to provide jobs for my constituency, too!”|
|Elizabeth Nyamayaro, 40 | Senior Advisor to Executive Director of UN Women, heads HeForShe campaign | @e_nyamayaro||“It sure sounds like I’m asking for men to just siddown and shaddup, doesn’t it? There’s a reason for that…”|
|Jessica Pierce, 29 | Black Youth Project 100 National Co-Chair | @JFierce||“Not only should one never waste a crisis, one must find a way to turn a crisis into power”|
|Charlene Carruthers, 29 | Black Youth Project 100 National Coordinator | @CharleneCac||[Actually, Ms. Carruthers wasn't especially satire-worthy; while I likely disagree, she says nothing especially outrageous]|
|Lindy West, 32 | Writer, performer, I Believe You | It’s Not Your Fault founder and editor | @thelindywest||“Free Speech, Schmee Schmeech. Women, while boundlessly strong, are fragile vessels that must be protected from the scrum of the marketplace of ideas, above and beyond current civil and criminal law. That’s right – you must both respect womens’ power and yet show us a level of deference that’d make the Victorians shake their heads with disgust. Also, why did Ruth Tam dislocate my mouth?”|
|Mikki Kendall, 38 | HoodFeminism.com co-editor, created #solidarityisforwhitewomen, #fasttailedgirls, #NotJustHello | @karnythia||“Poor black men are the disproportionate victims of police brutality. That’s a lot of victimological mindshare we feminists are leaving on the table. Let’s get moving on that!”|
|Feminista Jones, 35 | Social Worker, writer, activist, created #YouOKSis and #NMOS14 | @FeministaJones||“More marches now!”|
|Mia McKenzie, 38 | Award-Winning Writer, Black Girl Dangerous founder | @blackgirldanger||“You know when I say ‘I want to see queer and trans people of color with radical social and political analyses dominate independent media by creating and growing our own platforms, so we can centralize and control our own narratives’ that I actually mean ‘I want to develop yet another left-wing noise machine that allows ‘us’ to lie with impunity, just like the Alliance for a Better Minnesota and Media Matters do’, right?”|
|Alexandra Brodsky, 24 | Know Your IX founding co-director; Feministing.com editor; The Feminist Utopia Project co-editor, Yale Law School student | @azbrodsky||“Dealing with sexual violence via concepts of ‘male guilt until proven innocence’, ‘trial without representation’ and ‘mob justice’ have done so much for higher education; it’s time to bring them from the campus to the larger society!”|
|Patrisse Cullors, 31 | Dignity and Power Now executive director, co-created #BlackLivesMatter | @osope||“I have something to say – but first, I’m gonna cut Ruth Tam for this drawing she did of me”|
|Alicia Garza, 33 | National Domestic Workers Alliance Special Projects Director, co-created #BlackLivesMatter | @aliciagarza, @blklivesmatter||“When I say stuff like ‘black women are the portals to the future’, I’m not being racist. Seriously.”|
|Opal Tometi, 30 | Black Alliance for Just Immigration Executive Director, Co-Founder www.blacklivesmatter.com, co-created #BlackLivesMatter, #reunitehaitianfams, blackimmigration.net, reunitehaitianfamilies.com | @opalayo||“When I went to the doctor, I told her ‘forget about the virus – treat the sneezing!’”|
|Brianna Spacekat Wu, 35 | Giant Spacekat head of development | @spacekatgal||“Just as Americans did at Omaha Beach and Selma, we need to mobilize our entire society against the plague of doughy, cheetoh-dust-flecked thirty-something game programmers sending hate male to female game programmers; that is the real plague!”|
You hear that sound, gender-equity feminism? That’s a boat revving up, pulling a full load of Fonzie behind it.