Friday, April 3, 2009

The F- Word

Is Elizabeth a feminist? Am I a feminist . . . or a Feminist . . . and if so, is that first, second, or third wave feminism? Or a post-Feminist or a never was anything-ist?

These were the questions I found myself struggling with during my brief visit to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green where I met a lot of very nice folks and was treated royally. And where I found myself talking to a class on women's studies and part of a discussion of feminism in detective fiction.

I've been away from academia for so very long -- over forty years -- that I'd forgotten all this stuff. If, indeed, I ever knew it. As I told my hosts, Ms. magazine came out just in time for me to read the first issue while I was in labor with my first child. And somehow, between children and back-to-the-land farm life, Feminism just isn't a word that has played a part in my day to day existence.

Had I remained in the working world; had I gone on and gotten my PhD. and taught at the college level, I have no doubt that the question of gender equality would have played a much larger part in my life. And while I do know that the glass ceiling continues to be a reality, that the struggle for equality isn't over here in the U.S., I'm far more concerned with the truly wretched life women in places like Afghanistan or parts of Africa must endure.

The thing is, that for me . . . and by extension, for Elizabeth . . . the label of feminist seems. . . well, maybe unnecessary. I haven't ever felt held back or discriminated against because of my gender. Maybe I just need my consciousness raised.

But I'll gladly accept the label for myself and for Elizabeth if for no other reason than that the F-word makes Rush Limbaugh twitch and foam at the mouth. I would be proud to be counted in with those fine women!


KarenB said...

I consider myself a feminist for the same reason I consider myself a humanist (or even a masculinist?) women/people should be treated with equal consideration for all. We all have differences - race, gender, religion, income, hair color - and yet we are all deserving of respect and consideration.

And I'm fully in favor of making Rush Limbaugh foam at the mouth!

Susan M. Bell said...

Anything that makes Limbaugh foam at the mouth is a good thing.

Marta McDowell said...

The New York Times reported this morning that, due to the increase in taxes on the wealthy, Rush Limbaugh is moving out of Manhattan and out of the state. New York Governor David Patterson remarked, "If I knew that would be the result I would’ve thought about the taxes earlier.”

You go guv.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Honey! Let me raise my glass to making eejit Rush Limbaugh foam at the mouth.

Here's looking at you.

Vicki Lane said...

Well put, Karen! I'd say that's about my position.

Marta, Hoorah for Gov.Patterson!

And to all of you -- (singing)Give me some Women/ Who are stout-hearted Women/ Who will fight . . .(etc.)

Tess Kincaid said...

If the F-word has that effect on crazies like Limbaugh, then by all means, count me in!

Chris said...

This is a synchronistic post. I just came back from watching "The Heidi Chronicles," a play about a woman who went to school during the bra-burning era, who had to reconcile not having a family because she had a career.

I was about a decade behind her, and I could tell, just watching the play, that my glass ceiling is higher.

It was a high school production, and I watched it with my daughter. To her, it was a period piece. She thought it seemed dated, and said at the end, "This is just not an issue to me."

Wow. How far we've come.

Vicki Lane said...

Ha! Chris's comment reminds me of a time some years ago when I was talking to a young woman about twenty years my junior and I mentioned how in my childhood I wasn't allowed to go to movies or public swimming pools for fear of polio.

"What's polio?" she asked.

M. L. Kiner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bo Parker said...

After I got over the shock that such a question would even be asked about your creation, Elizabeth Goodweather, I liked your comments on the issue of gender-based discrimination. It reminded me of the adage: Life is ten percent what you MAKE it and ninety percent how you TAKE IT.

As to Rush? Reasonable dissent is one of the cornerstones of a democracy. The fact that he falls so short of being reasonable does not bother me nearly as much as the fact that so many people support his ranting.
Bo Parker

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Bo -I think that Elizabeth would love to go after the Limbaugh with a pitchfork.