You know, upon reading some responses to a post by a certain matriarch of a certain segment of the feminist blogtopia (y!sctp!) I have to wonder...where are my tool-of-the-patriarchy rewards? (Also, this has been on my mind ever since Ren started getting all the shit from a similar quadrant of the blogosphere.) Honestly, what prize am I winning? Is it like frequent-flyer miles? Do I have to redeem something with a promotional code at checkout? Because, honestly, I feel like I'm missing out.
I just don't get it. How do I , by being myself, by being what La Twisty and the Twistophants would dismissively term "empowerful" or "fun feminist" or "sexbot," how do I gain anything? What have I won? If anything, people take me *less* seriously when I wear a dress and makeup and heels or whatever.
Also, I have a hard time separating that attitude from this attitude.
It makes me think of Biting Beaver's situation a while back (which, BTW, is the situation millions of women are in around the world). You know, something that happened to a real woman, not a theoretical construct based on outdated 1970s ideological philosophy. What, what may I ask you, could Biting Beaver have worn or not worn that would have made her situation better? If she had said she 'supports porn' or something would she have avoided all of the problems she had?
I don't think so.
Certainly many of the women who die from unsafe septic abortions were wearing heels at the time. What did they win?
There is no avoiding the patriarchy (and let's leave aside any arguments as to what that is, exactly, for the moment). 'They' hate you because you're a woman, not because you're a woman with comfy shoes and pants on. It's going to get you no matter how you dress. If I'm wearing heels it won't make it easier for me to get adequate reproductive health care, or make it easier for me to prosecute a rape. Lipstick won't get me paid maternity leave. Long hair doesn't win me equal pay.
(Granted, there are the jobs that require a 'professional' dress code...but this goes for both sexes, no? The only person I know in real life with a 'professional' job is a male lawyer friend, who bitches constantly about having to sweat under his suit and tie, and shave, and be all kempt and manicured and stuff.)
I do think it's possible to talk about these things without sounding like a huge, shaming asshole (see, for instance, this post by Zuzu) but mostly it just makes me want to tear my hair out.
So please, put the Sherry Ortner back on the shelf.
Now, I really really need to go study for my last final.