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22 October 2006 @ 07:20 pm
A Radical Feminist's Perspective....  
There was a ridiculous article in Lesley College's The Riveter, which is a publication put out by Student's for Social Justice (Formerly women for social justice before...much to my chagrin Lesley went co-ed in Jan. 2005). Anyway the article basically listed with boldfaced headings myths about feminists so folks wouldn't worry...we weren't too radical. Now granted the young woman writing the article did not identify herself as a radical feminist, nor would I presume she is one. But I wrote a letter/article to the Riveter which will hopefully be published in retaliation to her poorly executed claims about what feminism is and isn't. SUCH AS: many feminists are pro-life and "I can honestly say I have NEVER met a female feminist who didn't shave" and Lesley is not a feminist school because not that many people come to Third Wave Meetings (the feminist group on campus)...anyway this is the article I wrote in response...I was mad I am getting tired of so-called-feminists making excuses and apologizing for the feminist stereotype, by assuring the patriarchal system which oppresses us that most feminists are in fact not hairy, bra burning, lesbians. In actuality, when you make these assertions you accept the status quo/oppressive system, and agree to take part in the further exploitation of women and all oppressed peoples. You say "I am not one of those feminists with hairy legs and armpits…I shave". Well good for you for being a slave to the patriarchy because there is no rational reason for shaving, no hygienic value…you are only feeding into the androcentric beauty ideal and making your body more appealing to the majority of men. I respect your personal decision to do whatever you want with your body as a woman but please do not preach or make excuses for those of us who do not buy into that.
I accept that we are all hypocrites and it is important to recognize this in ourselves if we ever want to be able to accept other people and their different beliefs. I believe that anyone can be a feminist, after all one only has to believe that men and women share an inherent equal worth as human beings, and that there should be equitable treatment of men and women, especially in the eyes of the law. I EVEN believe you can still be a feminist when your actions contradict this set of beliefs. For example when you chose to shave, sleep with you oppressor, wear makeup and diet. I can accept a woman who is a feminist with all these contradictions but what I have trouble understanding is woman who does not identify as a feminist. Even the very mediocre feminist, Gloria Steinem said: "In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: either she's a feminist or a masochist."
Dianne Brown's, "An Article on…FEMINISM!?" in The Riveter 3(2), asserts that Lesley is not a "feminist school". I understand the disconnect many feminists may feel in the seemingly apathetic environment. Many of us came to a women's college expecting much more radical campus activity, but were met with alarming disengage. I would argue that the values and worldviews with which many professors teach are from a feminist perspective. I think Lesley is less progressive than some but much more progressive than many other schools. As a graduate of Lesley College I have experienced some professors who were not feminists, or never mentioned the feminist perspective, but met many more who did. If you are feeling like there is a lack of feminist voice try a course with Arlene Dallalfar, Katherine Barone, Michaela Kirby, Larry Watson, Nancy Heims, Robin Roth, Amy Rutstein-Riley or Lori Grace but avoid Paul Fideler, Kathy Linnane, and Marjorie Wechsler. Additionally, you can bring a feminist voice to the curriculum by speaking up in class and asking questions about feminism and the feminist perspective. You do not have to be a radical feminist to be a feminist but I hope that you would consider it.
 
 
 
Bethchibibluebird on October 23rd, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)
Yeah! I can't stand that sort of article!

If you want to get this published (assuming they only publish "nice" letters to the editor) you should probably concentrate less on finger-pointing at the author of the article (don't call her a slave/zombie/etc.), and more on the general trend of "No, feminists really aren't threatening! really!" articles and why they are counter-productive. Because these articles really are a widespread trend. Also, I personally wouldn't name the anti-feminist profs...what if anti-feminists go and purposely enrol in their courses?;)

-B., who doesn't shave, and who doesn't consider this fact newsworthy.
Feminister of the peopleapathyislame on October 24th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC)
ha ha, I mentioned the peoples names in hopes that people would get really mad and respond...currently the Riveter has about 3 authors who write all the articles and I want people to get so mad that they can't help but write nasty responses, I agree that less apathy and more action is needed on Lesley's campus. (incidentally, thats also why i said the slave to the patriarchy and sleep with your oppressor comment)