Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Feminist or Pornstar?

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I was over t' Stageleft yammerin' in a comments gabfest with Arwen an' Balbulican an' Candace an' some other boogers about gal MP's an' MPP's an' MLA's an' decorum an' civility an' I got sorta off on a tangent an' posted up a bigass comment on feminism. Here's what I sed an' maybe some gals'll chime in with their two-cents-worth.

When I was readin' them Stageleft comments, a personal tidbit popped inta my noggin. Back in 1969, I was a 20 year old hippie an' I was in Chicago visitin’ my university buddy, John. I asked John about his former girlfriend, Virginia. He replied that she was heavily involved in something called the “womens’ liberation movement.”

“Womens’ liberation” was a new one fer me. “What’s that?” I asked.

We talked about feminism without usin’ that word, since neither of us had probbly ever heard of it. After that, the womens’ lib movement was on my radar an’ I supported most of it with words an’ actions, as best I knew how - washin' dishes, changin' diapers, readin' Gloria Steinem, deliverin' mind-shatterin' multiple orgasms whenever I got the chance...

Sometime in the past 10 years, or so, the young female so-called feminists that I know (mostly, my 20-something nieces) started lookin’ less an’ less liberated with their push-up bras, pierced bits an’ tattooed asses. Alls they’re fightin’ for now is the right to objectify themselves an’ they don’t even see it. Useta be, you could tell a feminist from a pornstar.

In case maybe yer thinkin’ my nieces is dirty-haired junkie white trash ho’s, they ain’t. My sexiest, most-tattooed, most pierced-parts niece has a masters degree in womens’ studies, works full-time at a womens’ shelter and ran for the federal NDP a couple of elections ago.

I reckon my 1949 birth year is showin’. My wifemate’s sort of an old hippie-chick feminist who don’t wear any make-up an’ ain’t got any tattoos. Whenever we go somewheres where there’s a buncha gals, Ma’s the purtiest one an’ probbly the smartest, healthiest an’ most successful one, too.

Anyways, some gals readin' this might have some answers about what happened.



Anonymous said...

At this point my daughter (20 year old) has 4 piercings, and is talking about a tattoo of some sort, some where, some day.

It's not about objectification JimBobby, it's about self expression. I think I'm pretty safe in saying that the majority of those girls who have tattoos and pierced bits have them for exactly the same reason that I have tattoos and pierced bits :-)

JimBobby said...

Well SL, I can see the self-expression side but when I look at the Britney worship an' bandwagon peer-pressure brand-loyalty political apathy in the 15-30 age group, I ain't buyin' it entirely.

I remember usin' the slf-expression reason fer growin' long hair an' a beard when I was 19. In all honesty, it was partly youthful rebellion but largely that I wanted to look like and fit in with a certain group and look like other hippies.

Maybe the attoos an' piercin's is more about art an' personal expression than about tryin' to look all sexy like a sex object an' it's only a coincidence that the ass tattoo and pierced labia trend gets associated with the sex trade and porn actresses.

I'm glad you chimed in with the personal info, SL. I'm maybe just jealous that back in my young stud days, gals with hairy armpits was hot.


Art Hornbie said...

gals with hairy armpits was hot

was hot?

JimBobby said...

Okay, Herb. Still hot fer some old hippies, I guess.

Anonymous said...

JimBobby, I'll leave it to you to do your own reading about third wave feminism but it has very little to do with Britney worship or pre-teen precocious sexuality. Please do not confuse the two.

Here's my take, as someone who is kinda stuck between two generations of feminists (my legs aren't shaved but I do have a fine collection of push-up bras). I think a lot of third wave feminists are rebelling against the notion or perception that one has to erase one's sexuality to resist being viewed as a sexual object. Part of it is reacting against a stereotype of what a "feminist" is supposed to look like. The other part is about celebrating one's womanhood - reclaiming one's sexuality for one's own benefit and nobody else's. I can be sexy AND kick your objectifying chauvinist ass, thank you very much.

Polly Jones said...

I wrote a long blog entry about this yesterday, Jimbobby. Hope you don't mind me providing the link:

Liberated Women?

Much of feminism has lost it's edge. It's not so much about whether you sport the piercings or the stilettos as whether you truly believe that sexual freedom and formal equality is the end game. If your ideas end there, you're marching to someone else's beat.

Anonymous said...

that's an excellent blog post, Polly.

JimBobby said...

Thankee fer chimin' in, gals. Miss Vicky, thankee fer not kickin' my ass. I like yer points on celebratin' yer womanhood by wearin' the pushup outfit (no chauvinist pun intended :) ). I left a comment over t' Polly's fine boog where I sed up til now, I been thinkin' all this tartin' up was mostly panderin' t' the eye candy desires of men -- aimed at pleasin' men more than at pleasin' oneself. I'm seein' more sides an' I'm glad of it.

Polly's got a good boog story on this stuff with a good comment gabfest goin' on an' I recommend it.


Rosie said...

as a tattoed and peirced 30 year old, i think I long convinced my mom that it isn't rebellion any more. I just like it.

As for the feminism and sexualizing ourselves, and therefore taking our "liberation" to such an extreme that we've come full circle back to sexual objects who now can not only take care of the children and housework, but can work full-time too (granted this is not necessarily a male expectation, although I know a few who could use a good talking to by a big guy with a club), i don't agree this is the case. I think that every generation changes and evolves. Long hair and a beard were rebellious to the generation before, tattooes and peircings are rebellious to the generation before mine. To tell you the truth, the skirts I wore during my teen years were ballroom gowns compared to the micro-minis and hotpants my mother wore in the 60's! And the amount of makeup I wear is nothing compared to what hers was!

Why is it that women always have to be studied, scrutinized, classified and judged, no matter what we do? If we don't shave and have buzz cuts and mullets we are too "butch", "feminazi" etc. If we peirce, tattoo, dress scantily, we are tarts who throw back all the progress made by feminists over the years. Where ARE we supposed to be on this spectrum of femininity? Why can't we just be ourselves? We will always be "too" something.

One day a lesbian couple in my apartment building were waiting by the front door. It was freezing out and my husband had gone out to clear the ice off the car. One of them commented on the weather and I said "I think I will just stay warm in here while my husband clears off the car" She then said to me snarkily "Way to fit the gender role". That pissed me off. I cleaned off the car the day before. i just didn't feel like doing it. Why does it have to become political?

I am convinced that women as a gender will NEVER live up to society's expectations of us no matter WHAT we do. I wanted to tell that woman judging me, that sometimes after a hard day working on a PhD in a male dominated profession, sometimes I LIKE having a few things done for me by a man who would, in a heartbeat, give up his entire career to raise our future children.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Thankee fer chimin' in with that good comment, RosieGal. Yer helpin' an old fart understand better, fer sure.

One question you asked would make fodder fer probbly a year's worth o' boogin' --

"Why can't we just be ourselves?"

Good food fer thought.


Polly Jones said...

Thanks, JB and Vicky.

Rosie said...

Thanks JB,

I've been stewing over that incident for a while and it was nice to get it out. Thanks for providing the forum ;)