Anti-Empire

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I am rethinking my notion of freedom.
Good. Keep it up.

I guess I'm a paleo, eh? Easy way to become a paleo: stick around for a loooong time. ;-)

I try not to criticize postfeminism mainly because I am so out of it, so distanced from some aspects of being young right now, although I have found it amazingly easy to talk to younger women who identify as feminists. The group I know is smallish, though, and maybe we're peculiar because we all trend left -- not sure.

A couple of years ago there was a very uncomfortable period on another forum where at least one agent provocateur and some men were provoking polarization among the feminists present over postfeminist issues, especially porn and sexuality. A lot of us didn't see that coming, felt confused and ambushed by it, and ended up pretty burned by it. I wouldn't say we sorted that out -- we just kind of put it away for a time.

I believe very much in liberty and liberation, but I've never thought that consumerism or narcissism had much to do with those things. When I get confused, I just touch base with my inner socialist. And then stumble forward.

Interesting post.

I think it is also important not to see "feminism" in isolation. White, elite, upper class, you-can-have-it-all baby (if you choose matinee cigarettes), freedom-from-responsibility, buy pink stuff brand of "freedom" feminism is not all that different from white elite upper class patriarchy. To me, feminism is only one small part of the whole progressive movement - I always secretly hope it can unite women from different political viewpoints. So far, I've been consistently dissapointed, but I keep hoping. After all, we are half of the freakin' population. Can you imagine if we were all on the same side?

Herbinator, that sounded kinda 'paternal'?!

Skdadl and RJ, I find that on some of the feminist sites there is a tendency for the writers to become marginalized in the sense that they seem to only address so-called "women's issues". I find that both of you tackle such a breadth of issues and, yet, often a feminist analysis is present. In my view, this is the case with quite a few of the Canadian feminist blogs...in particular those I know through Progressive Bloggers. I feel fortunate to have exposure and access to these.

Skdadl, I think the pornography issue is quite a hot one among feminists. I think it is okay to disagree. I think it is okay also to say that we really question certain feminist ideologies - in this case what RJ calls "freedom" feminism (and what I name a little more harshly in my above post).

One advertisement, featured in the Adbusters issue, was lift and enhance underwear for men. The caption remarked on how men's bodies are being increasingly commodified. I think the high accessibility of porn is also proving to be oppressive to men. Our sexual lives are scripted - things that might have just naturally occurred, we now know to belong in the S&M or some other fetish category. And, of course, men now have the onus on them of harder, longer, and all the time...Thoughts for another blog entry.

The ideals of the Afghan war are certainly a disturbed one. While we lament the subjugation of women in Afghanistan, many men and women alike in Western Civ have absolutely no understanding of Afghan culture and tradition. Most of what we know, admittedly, is fed through the media centres of pro-Western hegemonic influence. At the same time, it's easy to cherry pick the evils of both civilizations, and much harder to show the true beauty.

As for the Pussy Cat Dolls, they represent to me the powerless woman, for she has fallen for the seductress capitalist allure of success and excess. I do not revile the women for their beauty; in fact I find the women distasteful in their sheer ugliness. Their mirror-perfect beauty is but an illusion of what women should be in some concept of perfection. For me, the perfect woman has lines on her face. She has age lines, and smile wrinkles, and UV damage. She's not some kind of nymph from a false world with perfect skin and teeth. Look at how pretty I am, look at how my skin glistens, and my hair shines, and my lips bleed with gloss.

That's the furthest thing from being a woman I can think of.

I recall being very disappointed when I saw the feminist and black movements begin to lobby for more representation in the power structure and social elite. The applauding of women becoming the next corporate executive officer, or a black man becoming a millionaire, is not empowering to "the cause". Capitalism is a lure for the individual, and through success in it, disenfranchises whatever solidarity was found in the convenient commonalities of one's minority status.

I had hoped that women would recognize that capitalism represents an inherent flaw in which one person's worth is valued much lower than their production. If women could see the imbalance between being an unpaid housewife, doing an equal job in the household, without monetary or societal compensation, perhaps they could transcend this into a political cause.

But no. Feminists have capitulated into the excess-driven wastefulness of the common man. Now SHE is as strong, powerful, rude, violent, abrasive, callous, and wasteful as the next man. Now women can drive SUV's, and buy urban-sprawling condos, and command workers to go forth and gouge their clients with late interest payments.

If the feminist movement could recognize that the supplantation of half the ruling class with women is not the answer to equality, I should be a feminist.

Herbinator, that sounded kinda 'paternal'?!
Gee, having been a single parent for 12 years I am paused to mull your retort. Even checked the definition of both paternal and maternal in the dictionary. Why am I left thinking you mean to convey that one is bad and tother good?

In blogging, I tend to use paternal for the controlling, monopolistic, dangerously bigoted, arrogant medico system exemplifying deliberate lack of choice in health care. I suppose I could use the word 'maternal,' interchangeably, if I strain my brain about it.

But in the moment, the endorsement of your "freedom" thoughts was motivated by my post of the day which implied society should have a duty to restrict rights for its very preservation. Kinda like global warming -- sometimes things just have to change toward a new norm before it is too late.
Church and State
And although I was thinking of a greater role for a societally determined alteration of morality, I suppose one could use the word, paternal. And the more I think about it, the more I like it. Of course (he says with a grin) that means maternal would have to represent the complete and utter degradation of society -- social anarchy.

Hmm, no. Don't really want to use sexist terms to represent the polarization of societal mores (even though I tend to frame the medicos as paternal).

"Kinda, 'paternal'?!" As much as any to and fro of position. That answer your question?

Herbinator,

I meant kind of paternalistic. I am keeping it up. Are you?

"But no. Feminists have capitulated into the excess-driven wastefulness of the common man. Now SHE is as strong, powerful, rude, violent, abrasive, callous, and wasteful as the next man. Now women can drive SUV's, and buy urban-sprawling condos, and command workers to go forth and gouge their clients with late interest payments."

This comment reminds me of a horrific commercial for 'The Hummer' where being this callous, threatening drivers supposedly "empowers" (a word that makes me cringe) an urban mom.

Again, Adrian, you are using totalizing statements to describe feminists. Have you read the comments above by self-identified feminists or their blogs?

Your comments on the black movemnets remind me of something I read or saw recently about the Black Panthers always being opposed to the lobby for formal equality and the goal of the civil rights movement to achieve what the white man's ideals rather than pursuing their own vision.

Feminism has been co-opted around the world. It is most unfortunate.

Certainly you're right. Totalizing statements are a habit of the political mind.

Whooee! Good boogin' fer somebuddy all doped up on steroids. Thankee fer droppin' by my little boog an' steerin' me over t' yer more knowledgeable treatise.

I reckon maybe I been wrong just lookin' at PussyCatDollTypes as manipulated victims of trash celbrity culture who's apparent main goal is to give men what men want in the eye candy department. It seemed subserviant and demeaning to my ancient mind. Seems like there's some debate on that, though, an' fellers sometimes is smart t' stand aside an' let the gals squabble over gal stuff like feminism an' body hair.

I get what yer sayin' an' the part I liked was when you sed --
"At the end of the day, pro-choice, pro-equality, pro-porn feminists are no more of a threat to the system than The Pussy Cat Dolls."

JimBobby

JB, I like to hear what men say about these issues. Plus, some men are way more feminist than some women.

The hyped-up sexuality we see today is demeaning in my eyes. Sure, as commenters on your blog noted, push-up bras can be nice...But, if your identity rests on how others assess you in that push-up bra, you're kidding yourself that you're some sort of liberated women.Just the way I see it.

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