Feminists versus femininity

Posted on August 14, 2014
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Feminism versus femininity

There is a current todo about a website,
http://womenagainstfeminism.tumblr.com on which women post photos of themselves holding signs saying they are not feminists or don’t need feminism and listing reasons why.
In my opinion this is just another wave in the continual misunderstanding of what feminism is. Much of it is deliberately created by people who want to make feminists look bad. Some of it is a result of radicals who want to use feminism as an anti-masculinity weapon.
Anti-feminists promote the idea that feminism is anti femininity. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Feminism is purely about women having the same rights as men. My mother was an ardent feminist and one of the most joyously feminine women I ever knew. She believed in and fought for women’s right to vote, own property, have their own bank accounts, mail and credit. She believed women had the same right to their personal, political, financial and sexual independence as men.
She also loved courtly manners, flirting and using feminine wiles to achieve her objectives. As a court reporter, she used cookies for the judge, prosecution and defence to encourage them to take the time to help her get the story right. If she noticed a judge fighting a cough, she would make sure there were lozenges on his bench after break or lunch. Male reporters could have done that too but they didn’t. I wonder if she would have done that for female judges, prosecutors or defence attorneys. There were hardly any of those in those days.
Frankly I find it ridiculous that any woman or any man would not be a feminist.
Femininity and masculinity are biological traits. Men are programmed to notice and appreciate healthy looking women. Getting angry at them for that is to be angry at nature. Women are also programmed to notice and appreciate certain things about men that would make them good sires for their children although, traditionally, they were more circumspect about it. That may be changing.
Biological femininity and masculinity are not without their dangers and threats to personal happiness.
Our genes do not care if we are happily married or not. Men’s genes want to spread themselves as far and wide as they can to improve their likelihood of survival. Women’s genes are constantly on the lookout for new chromosomes to improve and increase their survival. Genes don’t give a damn about marriage or the golden rule.
The comforts, joys and securities of a happy relationship require management of one’s own genes and a constant effort to maintain excitement.
Even so, it is hard to predict the future of relationships. It used to be that many women put up with the double standard to preserve the home and family while they raised their children. All that is changing now as women gain their financial and sexual independence. One woman I know says that serial monogamy is the probable future. As life experience and career development change individuals, relationships will wax and wane and often extinguish completely.
When a couple can maintain a happy relationship, their children seem to be more emotionally successful so there must be some current biological advantage to monogamy if only for mutual security.
All of that, in my opinion, is an argument for feminism. I cannot imagine any argument for a system where women are property or second class and not equal partners in politics, finance and sex. Just as children need two parents to balance the task of child rearing, a healthy society needs both male and female and, we are learning, gay and trans sexual participation in politics, business and social life.
There is an old Hungarian aphorism that a treaty is an equality of inequalities. US President, Lyndon Johnson, was, I believe, the first to say that politics is the art of the possible.
Neither men nor women are going to be absolutely happy with the compromises necessary to male and female equality. All religions have, at their root, the golden rule requiring us to treat others as we would be treated. That doesn’t always make us happy either but it does represent the closest to heaven we can get.
If you believe in equality and the golden rule, you have to be a feminist. You must also manage your femininity and masculinity to provide the maximum amount of fulfilment and joy for yourself and your partner. Sex is a such a powerful part of life that one of Cadogan’s laws is that there are only two things going on in the world. One is sex. The other is foreplay.
Like fire, sex is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. To be happy and successful, we have to work hard to find and maintain the line that makes us happy captains of our fates.
It will not happen if we are not all feminists. We have to all be masculinists too. To me that means working together to raise boys who want to and will work to be good and attractive partners for women. Failure to do that leads to the insecurity and misogyny that leads loser men to massacre women.
I have seen major progress and some wrong trails in my lifetime. I don’t know where the freedom feminism brings will take us. I am confident it will be a far better place that we have been and where much of the world still is. If you believe women should be allowed to drive and go to school, you are and need to be a feminist. If you believe women should not be imprisoned for surviving rape and don’t believe in killing your daughters or sisters for some perverted sense of family honour, you are and need to be a feminist.
Don’t confuse feminism with femininity. They do not conflict.
On we go. DAC

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