Tag Archives: Feminism

Empowering Myself

I stopped identifying as a feminist years ago because I was tired of having my lived experiences dismissed by other feminists when said experiences didn’t fit their narrative or ideology.

I was tired of having other women presume to know my mind better than I do, by accusing me of having “internalized misogyny” and setting feminism back “by decades” because I chose to stay home and raise my son.

I was tired of being called an “MRA type”, among other things, for pointing out that letting them dictate how other women should think, speak, act, and live their lives, is not an improvement over men doing it; that feminism is supposed to be, at least in part, about empowering women to choose our own paths in life — not just switching from being controlled by men to being controlled by other feminists.

I was tired of having it made clear to me, in no uncertain terms, that I am not ‘one of them’ and will never be represented by them because, ironically, they could never seem to find the perfect sized box to keep me in.

And I’ve been better off and much happier since I stopped trying to live like a feminist, and just started living. I empowered myself by understanding that, despite what feminists would have me believe, I am not utterly helpless without them.

Advertisements

Feminist Language

Feminists want to control your language; feminists want to tell you how to talk. – George Carlin

I used to proudly identify as a feminist. But that was back when I still believed that feminism was about women empowering themselves as a category of individuals, and women supporting women. In recent years, I have become somewhat disillusioned. In recent weeks, I’ve had my disillusionment validated in a variety of ways. The most recent, and perhaps final blow came when I read this post and subsequent comments at Feministe.

The discussion is about asking why victims of domestic violence stay – a question which many people seem to think of as victim-blaming/shaming. And to some people, intent, context and/or tone are completely irrelevant. If you say the words, you are blaming the victim and enabling abusers. End of story. Get your language right.

That’s not the worst of it: once you get the language wrong, there is no turning back. No explanation or apology is sufficient, and anyone who attempts to reach out to you in an attempt to create an atmosphere of safety and understanding is quickly bullied into silence with implicit threats of also being branded as an abuser-enabling victim-blamer. And who is willing to pay the eternal price for that?

Well, I guess I am. As a survivor of domestic violence myself, I’m here to say, without apology, that asking why victims of domestic violence stay is not an inherently harmful question. Context, tone and intent are completely relevant, and that doesn’t change just because feminists say so.

A few people have suggested rephrasing the question. I say let those people rephrase it. There’s nothing wrong with that, if it’s what they need to do for themselves. But if they can rephrase my question in a way that they find more appropriate or acceptable, without actually changing the question, then apparently they understood my intent to begin with.

So why all the semantics? As you probably guessed, I have a few thoughts on that as well.

Continue reading


Coping After Domestic Abuse

I don’t usually talk about this, but I think it’s time.

I survived more than three decades of abuse at the hands of several different abusers.

Warning: The contents of this post may be disturbing and/or triggering to some readers.

Continue reading


Remembering Jana Mackey

Jana Mackey

“Jana was strongly committed to social justice, and in her memory, we hope to inspire others to share her cause.”
– Gail Agrawal, Law School Dean

LJWorld.com

Jana Mackey, an advocate for victims of domestic violence, was murdered last week. Jana’s ex-boyfriend was arrested as a suspect in the murder and reportedly committed suicide while in police custody.

Mackey was a devoted advocate for women’s rights and worked in the Statehouse as a lobbyist, said Sylvie Rueff, who worked with her in the National Organization for Women, where Mackey was dedicated to reducing violence against women.

[…]

“Advocates are people who are on call 24/7 … they do the front-line work with victims; they’re the ones who have heart. It takes a heart, and it takes being honey on steel, and she had that … she had everything, and above all she had compassion for others,” Russell said.

LJWorld.com

Donations can be sent to:

    Jana Mackey Support for Public Advocacy Fund
    c/o Dean of Law
    Green Hall
    1535 W. 15th St.
    Lawrence, KS 66045

Thanks to Jill at Feministe for the links.


Bits and Bobs

Work is still going well. I’m not sure why, but my bosses seem to think the sun shines out of my arse. Every week when I’m getting ready to leave for the office to turn in work and generally make an appearance, I start to feel anxious like something terrible is going to happen. I know this is completely irrational; everything always goes very well. They always tell me what a wonderful job I’m doing, thank me profusely as if I’m doing them some kind of huge favor, and then hand me a paycheck. I wonder if I’ll ever get over the anxiety.

That reminds me of something else I’m planning to blog about soon:

Continue reading