Gah! I cringe now at my glib little blurb. (click to make larger if you must) It is condescending and overly simplistic. Having said that, I am proud of my young self for taking a very radical and brave stand in Iowa in 1970. I had to start somewhere and I am thrilled that I did what I did, when I did and where I did. If someone seriously wants to know what a feminist is, I love this Feminism 101 from Shakesville. You won't regret reading this - even if you think of yourself as an educated feminist there are so many illustrations of current itereations and nuances of misogyny.
One of the deep issues I am more interested in thinking about is how my feminism informs my desire to live in a sustainable way. When the above article was written I sounded dismissive about my being a housewife and mother. Yet, I remember my joy in gardening, my learning to make bread from the Tassajara cookbook - now with my son. I learned this method so well, it freed me from needing to use any recipe with bread thereafter. I loved learning how to fix Middle Eastern food from my mother-in-law and I reveled in learning how to sew better with the help of my sisters-in-law, with one of them sewing my wedding gown and veil. I remember I chastised my mother back then for never teaching me how to clean properly, like it's best to use lemon oil on wood rather than Pledge TM.
It's funny I just now remembered how relentlessly and passionately we had to argue about bra wearing or a man opening a door for us - rather than the real issues of violence against women, low wages, job discrimination, lack of affordable daycare, safe /affordable birth control /family planning and lack of respect. In regard to distractions and deflections, nothing has changed. The corporate powers that control our country can direct the narrative in the press, in all media, movies, ads and books to distract rather than to inform. Regarding the children's book at the beginning, Feministing has this to say:
Binary gender systems are constructed. They rely on the repetition of dominant narratives via psychology, music, popular culture, film and of course children's books. This gem comes from a children's book called, "I'm Glad I'm a Boy! I'm Glad I'm a Girl! It is from the 1950's and I almost appreciate how blatantly obvious it is, since there is no question what it is trying to do. Gender-based messaging is much more subtle and nuanced these days.Nibbling around the edge of my consciousness is nature of capitalism itself being a hierarchal structure wherein all energy and production and service is ultimately directed towards supporting the pinnacle of material comfort for the top few - as illustrated by this turn of the century cartoon for the Industrial Worker. At the pinnacle is the capital - the wealth in currency - with the next tiers saying:
- We Rule You
- We Fool You
- We Shoot At You
- We Eat For You
- We Work For All
- We Feed All
The Patriarchal System is deeply embedded in Capitalism. If we use capital and power over others as the model to strive for, we will not only be unsustainable - but may misinterperate what equality for women really means. I shudder too at reading the bulleted list as a template for the global economy with Western Nations as the first part and the Global South as the latter. I think I have traversed many decades and a host of subjects in one tiny post. Let it merely be the beginning for some contemplative posts to come.