JOHN, I’M ONLY DANCING
Ever since the craven Nazi fuckheads in the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, I’ve been thinking about feminism. I was expecting a lot more of a production, frankly, from the feminists of my country. Where were the thousands of bra-burning, barricade-mooning teams of badass valkyries on motorcycles with shaved heads, pussy hats, ski masks and combat boots, brawling in the streets and in the halls of justice? Where are the rock star voices? Who is our Gloria Steinem right now? I guess I thought I could call 1-800-WYMMINS and hook up with my local chapter of riot-gear harridans, which was stupidly optimistic.
In my auto-didactic education, I’ve almost completely ignored feminism, as a topic. I have always held feminist truths to be basically self-evident civil rights issues. I never imagined that I lived in an allegedly civilized country that would commit such unspeakably retrograde crimes against my sex and/or gender (I have gotten a little bit confused, by reading feminism, about which is which.)
So I got interested in feminism, because America has decided that women are inferior again, and I’ve been wanting to educate myself in the schools of thought that contradict this infuriating bullshit.
I have come to learn that there are almost as many flavors of feminism as there are fish in the sea (and to my untrained eye, it seems like they all kind of hate each other.) There are numerous unanswered questions about what makes men and women different (nature vs. nurture) and some very impassioned ways to view sex vs. gender (such as the popular “coat rack theory,” which states that sex is the physical structure of the coat rack, and gender is what you hang on the coat rack. ) I don’t really understand any of this (let alone all of the bells and whistles of intersectional feminism, which has taken a very hard line about transsexual women being women, period…which I kind of agree with, but I also think gender is a spectrum and trans women are definitely on the female side of things but not biologically female, at least not without serious medical interference. This is probably enough to get me labeled a TERF (a transgender-exclusionary radical feminist), even though I am an avid proponent of trans women and their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of comfortable yet feminine shoes. Use my restroom! Yes! Tutor my child in French. We’re all good. If you have estrogen in you, I do not fear you. I just really do not understand the many-pointed argument these feminists are trying to make about transwomen, and therefore, I do not connect with them, when I think we should be natural allies. I think. They’ve become so intellectually obsessed with obscuranta, I have no idea what they’re doing, and now I want them to pay attention to me, an actual woman who is looking for their guidance through this perilous night, and they’re…..not around.
Feminists famously have no sense of humor about anything, and have done little to disprove this stereotype. In fact, they are downright attacky, and they have no patience for ignorant people like me. And the trans- thing? That mess has become a veritable minefield now, where as far as I can understand it, unless you’re 100% on board with the notion that trans women are actual women, you’re pretty much as helpful as a rapey uncle? I think? What’s your message these days, Ladies?
I fear you, and I fear this conversation. I’m afraid you’re going to out and denounce me for being largely ignorant of your many sliver-factions, their micro-politicking, and your other importances of academic fetishism. I find feminism to be confusing and unhelpful at this time, a time which I feel to be a socio-political feminist emergency when all women should be joining as one voice to slam on the chastity belts and denounce the patriarchy until it shrivels.
Where do I sign up for Feminist Basic? You know, the big WALMART-looking one where we all want equal wages and abortion and to be treated like real human beings? Can’t I just push a big pink button at the DMV?
You bishes can have your theoretical “how many angels can fit on the head of a penis” conversations any time you please, but, to bastardize Sojourner Truth…..AIN’T I A WOMAN?
Can’t we all just get along?
What’s it going to take to get a little solidarity moving on the female front? Why are we moving so backwards so quickly? The G-Force alone of this erosion of rights causes nausea. Where are you, women? Why aren’t we better at this?
There is nothing more toxic than the notion that even in the halls of feminism itself, women are still competing with each other, just like we’re not supposed to do anymore once we’re hip to the patriarchy.
I keep hoping this isn’t the case, but it walks like a duck.
I’m sure it’s all very existentially thrilling, over there in academia, but in the meantime, Clarence Thomas has been a problem since 1992.
I found this nugget of history on Wikipedia:
Feminist Rebecca Walker wrote this in Ms. Magazine, on the occasion of Clarence Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 1992 (amid the allegations that he had sexually harassed Anita Hill):
So I write this as a plea to all women, especially women of my generation: Let Thomas' confirmation serve to remind you, as it did me, that the fight is far from over. Let this dismissal of a woman's experience move you to anger. Turn that outrage into political power. Do not vote for them unless they work for us. Do not have sex with them, do not break bread with them, do not nurture them if they don't prioritize our freedom to control our bodies and our lives. I am not a post-feminism feminist. I am the Third Wave.
Now, Third Wave Feminism was pretty badass. There were big, clear signs. We had Riot Grrls. We had bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Maxine Hong Kingston. Even the fucking Spice Girls got to pretend to be feminists for a while.
Now, I don’t really know who the fourth-wave feminists are, I just know that I need them, they’re really mean, they probably hate me and I am afraid of them, and being a feminist now means that you are feverishly pro-handicapped as well as being aware that you are unconsciously racist and transphobic due to patriarchal structures and matrices beyond your control. (Which I basically agree with, but that’s a lot to lard onto women’s solidarity.)
All I know is, in a world where male fantasy drives a woman to look like this, below, I need a strong, simple alternative narrative for living, and I’m not getting that from feminism, right now. (This is a woman practicing Bimboism, from the excellent YouTube channel Soft White Underbelly. I respect her right to Bimbosim, but the sight of her tells me that the patriarchy has gotten out of hand. Her message, at least, is clear.)
It’s OK to yell at me in the comments, just remember, Ladies, that I’m on your side.
Artwork: “Callas/Turandot,” oil on linen, Cintra Wilson, 2021