Tuesday, January 16, 2007

footnote wrt "fun" (feminism, or anything else)

In the comments to the last post, my pal bimbo (! and here we are on topic already...) notes,

I've gotta disagree with Ren on her last statement. Feminism is fun when you get to read posts like these. It's exactly this sort of thinking that defined feminism to start with. Without it: capitulation, oppression, subjugation. Ok, so maybe it's me, but I just love giving the finger. To me "oh, hell, no!" can be a whole lotta fun.

to which, i sez,

well, this is what happens when "fun" gets defined as "gratuitous" and "shallow" and "the antonym of 'work'" by all the neo-Calvinists disguised as progressives and radicals.

someone needs to remind some of these assclowns that besides everything else, also? just because you're -not- fun" doesn't automatically mean you get to be taken more seriously. That you aren't a lightweight. It may just mean you're really unpleasant.

oh, and addendum: and if you're specifically sneering at dressing up pretty/femmey and (uh oh) certain kinds of sex, or rather that people who indulge freely and unapologetically in such things and defend themselves from sneerage from their supposed allies, must needs not be serious activists, fluffy little "sparkle ponies" and "fuckbots" and so forth, guess what? You're also a sexist. Quite possibly an actual misogynist. And a homophobe, and "sex-negative" (oh, shit), and just an overall patriarchal reactionary. Yep, you heard me. Listen up, because I'm as tired of going over this particular bullshit as you, but it needs to be said again, it seems:

So you don't want to wear makeup, shave, wear high heels, have sex with boys or maybe any sort of sex at all. No feminist is telling you you have to. In fact, some of us believe that the whole fucking point of feminism is that you shouldn't have to dress or have sex in any way that doesn't make you happy, simply to please the Monolith, on account of your body belongs to you. And will fight, have fought rather hard for that basic principle in many ways. 'K?

So how 'bout doing your sisters (and femmey brothers for that matter; yeah, one of these days, we really are going to have to talk about that some more) the respect of returning the favor, hm? How about giving up just that one pleasure of regressing to junior high and "uh mah god, LOOK what SHE'S wearing." For -one- day.

"Not that I'm telling you what to do." Christ, no.


super des said...

this spurred my own rant.

Kai said...

Interesting point, belledame, about this Calvinist streak in a lot of our discourse, and not just among feminists or "the left", but also it seems to me just in "grown-up" life generally, like at the office and such. I like how you put it, that simply being unpleasant doesn't mean you're any more serious or right, and that being "fun" (whatever form that takes...fashion, tone, word choice...) doesn't mean you're unserious and wrong. I hadn't connected this to Calvinism before, but that makes sense to me. It's especially odd because personally, I think I do my best, most creative and most serious work when I'm having fun with it, so in a way you'd think that having fun would actually be desirable rather than a sign of a lack of seriousness...

Vanessa said...

*waves lighter*

Anonymous said...

Here's an enthusiastic vote for more femmieness across the board, and anything else that leads to a prettier world full of prettier people!

Anonymous said...

"people who indulge freely and unapologetically in such things and defend themselves from sneerage from their supposed allies, must needs not be serious activists, fluffy little "sparkle ponies" and "fuckbots" and so forth, guess what? You're also a sexist."


Anonymous said...

"Here's an enthusiastic vote for more femmieness across the board"

Woop woop.

And more butchness-because-it's-just-hot, too, IMO. :)

Anonymous said...

Just put's me in mind of the day twenty odd years ago when the university I was attending decided to deny a permit to an anti-apartheid demonstration and arrest anyone who showed up. There wer about 50 of us, and as I was about to coerce the cops into dragging me away, they walked off a young women carrying her Gucci bag. Now Gucci is more staid than femme, I know, but it made me laugh, because that's the movmement I wanted to belong to, where everyone of all stripes turns out against racism and for democracy and is even willing to pay some small price.

Dan L-K said...

In a perfectly just cosmos, the fate of anyone who uses "fun feminism" as a sneer would be to share a No Exit room with an MRA and one of those fuckwits from What Not to Wear.

belledame222 said...


hey, Happy New Year Dan. btw, i still am meaning to read your NaNo novel--soon.

Cassandra Says said...

A point worth making, to be sure. There is this idea out there amongst lefty activists that anything that one does because it's "fun" is and should be suspect. I find it thoroughly absurd how often I've been shouted down for being into some subcultural phenomenon, and at this point I really question whether the instinct that leads people to put the smackdown on BSDM people, or women who look femmey,or any of the other things that produce the smackdown response, has anything to do with BSDM, or looking femmey, or whatever. I'm beginning to suspect that the real reason for the smackdown is the idea that one is supposed to be 100% dedicated to the "cause" and that any other interests are shallow and a sign of one's lack of dedication to the cause. There seems to be a idea out there that if one if a feminist that should be one's only identifier, or that if one is a Marxist then that should be one's only identity, and so on and so forth. In other words, to be a good whatever-ist one must abandon all other interests and cultural or sub-cultural signifiers.
I think this idea is incredibly dumb. People are complicated. Lots of us percive our identities as multi-layered things. I'm not getting why that's a bad thing. Havaing one's entire identity wrapped up in one concept and one concept alone doesn't sound like a very enjoyable way to live to me, and I don't see why it's necessary to limit ourselves in that way.
One point though - I don't think Ginmar means what you think she means by sparklepony. I think she's talking about a very specific sort of person who shows up on her LJ from time to time.
And another thought - I would actually be very much in favour of reaching out to our femmey brothers a little more often. There seems to be a tendency recently to overlook the fact that many of them are actually on very much the same side as we are.