Monday, March 17, 2008

Today's Word Is: Peccadilloes

I have no desire to turn this into a political blog - And how. Could. I? - but I do think it's worth noting Kate Zernicke's article in the New York Times yesterday. Basically it asks the question, is postfeminism a reality and if so, how is it possible to maintain this sort of identity in a political climate where women continually get trampled by the media/public opinion/whathaveyou.

This struck me as particularly poignant since it's a topic I used to go over repeatedly in a course (Feminism and Social Change) I took with the exceedingly brilliant Elena Gutiérrez. Elena is one of the single most influential professors I've ever had the privilege of knowing (and drinking at Crew with). The great thing about her is that for all her experience - in life and in academia - she's still not sure if the third wave's come or not.

I tend to be of the opinion that it hasn't since, like this NY Times article explains, we still have a media that is profoundly blind to gender bias; many women, when asked why they're not voting for Hillary cite as their primary reason that they're not obligated to vote for a woman; and media outlets across the globe are still trying to vilify prostitutes while simultaneously claiming how soliciting is a victimless crime. Puh-leeze.

But maybe Noreen Malone puts it best:

"Like lots of other twentysomething women, I've been an unswerving Obama girl from the get-go," wrote Noreen Malone on The XX Factor, the Slate magazine blog written by women. "Oddly enough it's taken Spitzergate — not Hillary's tears, not her scolding — to make me less dismissive of the feminist 'obligation' to vote for a woman."

It reminded her of a depressing bit of wisdom passed on by a friend's father: "The most powerful people in the world are old white men and pretty young women."

"During my supposedly post-feminist lifetime, the women who've created the biggest stir are the young women who've ruined the careers of powerful old men," she wrote. "I'm not saying I'm for Hillary now, and I'm not saying that Hillary's history with sexual peccadilloes is uncomplicated, but it certainly makes me appreciate the fact that she's learned other ways of manipulating power."

It's always kind of amazed me how quick people are to ignore their own repression, and BTDubs, I'm no innocent on this matter either. I could be a lot more impassioned and outspoken about my convictions, but I'd like to think that I'm at least cognizant of the ways in which the man is bringin' us down. Acting like gender/sexual/racial/economic bias is not an issue anymore is beyond foolhardy, 'cause - newsflash! - we're not post anything in this country... except maybe Post cereals.

Of which Raisin Bran is the shit.

1 comment:

lkbom said...

'Post'-anything is a justification for people to act outlandishly without being labeled as the stereotype they're attempting to avoid and/or reject the base theory of an identity that they "are" so as to appear more intellectual and superior to other members of said identity.

Show me how Britney Spears or the Pussycat Dolls are so-called post-feminists as they claim because they are "in control of their sexuality", when in reality they are just exploiting themselves and being used as marketing tools by an industry that cares nada about equality. Post-feminism my foot.

And Honey Bunches of Oats is actually the best.