A few months ago I wrote a post about feminism and how it’s not something I like to associate with because I don’t know what it is and I don’t want to be associated with some of the rather, extreme points of view that I don’t agree with. I think this video helped me clear up some confusions I had. I thought the guy was a little annoying, but whatever, we can’t all be as charming as me. (That was a joke)
There is an excessive amount of negative media about “feminism”. My most recent understanding however, is that feminism is just equal rights and opportunities for men and women. But it has become a polarizing conversation that seems to make both men and women angry. So is feminism really just believing in equal rights and opportunities, or is it all that other wacky stuff there? Because we can say that those wacky people, like writer Rebecca Watson, aren’t typical feminists, but they sure do identify with it and make a name for it. I may want feminism to be something, and maybe by definition that’s what it is, but just because something is defined one way doesn’t mean it isn’t something else in practice. I think it’s a case of semantics, I think it’s a case of whoever shouts the loudest wins, and I think it’s a case of does it really matter what we call it? And as far as the claims by Rebecca Watson, I’m still deciding if I want to even spend the time with another post naming all the reasons I dislike her.
Beyond the semantics and wacky people, what I do think is important is women’s rights, especially in the realm of health care. I’m not even a proponent of free birth control. I will happily continue to pay a co-pay of $5-$15 which is what I pay now. I have the resources to do that. I’d be happy to see it be over the counter, or regulated similarly to how contact lenses are. Certainly I hope that there will be the ability for organizations like Planned Parenthood to offer services on a sliding scale so women who don’t have the income can still be healthy and in control of their bodies and lives. I mean, we can say it’s just about health, but the decision whether or or not to have a baby is huge life decision and about more than health. I do get tired of hearing women who seem to think that Obama’s policy on health care is the only way for women to have rights. There a lot of ways to do it, and we don’t all have to agree on it.
In the end, I feel like access to health services and contraception is an economic issue, and from what I’ve seen in the media and in my social circle, that is largely ignored. The argument stops at “stop governing my vagina!” I have heard that countries that don’t have as much access to contraceptive certainly aren’t flourishing economically. I’d like to read more on this subject actually, so if any one has a good source or article, let me know. But I guess how I feel is that I do care about a lot of issues other than just those relating to my lady parts. And the politics regarding my lady parts are much more economical than they may seem. Among the younger “feminist” crowd I would love to see more discussion about economics and see less statements and pictures “get your government out my vagina” pictures. (Especially if you are in favor of the government paying for and subsidizing your exams and contraception….)
And I’m sure a lot of what I’m saying may be because of the people I’m friends with or the news I read. Obviously I know that there are plenty of women out there discussing politics from head to toe and that these economic realities are heavily researched. I just do not want my place in voting and politics to be resigned to one political party and one platform because I feel, very strongly, that abortion needs to be legal and there needs to be appropriate access to contraception. I in fact do care about a lot of issues. The obsessive focus around women’s rights in politics, and I may make the same point for same-sex marriage, is not the same as civil rights. Focusing so intensely on one issue that is somewhat specific to one segment of the population acts as a container, not as a liberator. I suppose once all this is sorted out we can move on, but I just hope the moving on portion comes soon rather than later.
thoughts always welcome,