Wednesday, February 8, 2012
If You're Not a Feminist, Then You're a Bigot by Gloria Allred
I happened upon the funny video "Sh*t White Feminists Say" and after it finished, saw the Gloria Allred video come up in the feed on the side and clicked on it. She is basically saying that feminism is about human rights and social justice and if you're not for those issues, then you are against human rights and social justice, making you a bigot.
I really like her comment dismissing "we've come a long way" in that we need to be looking at a vision to where we should be rather than what we have accomplished. But what is amazing to me about this video are the comments below it. My first question is, if you were anti-feminist, why would you even spend time watching a video about feminism? Why is there such vile hatred for someone working for social justice? The descriptors below her include comments like "cunt" and "I don't think she swallows."
What does someone's sexual acts in bed have to do with their politics? Who are these people cruising You Tube and making random comments on these videos? Furthermore, the comments about humanism are also frustrating. If one is to look up the definition of humanism, it is "an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns, attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters." It is more about being an atheist than being someone for equal rights.
I guess I shouldn't be so astonished, in this day when a backlash against women seems to be clearer than the one Susan Faludi wrote about in 1992. A new documentary that is sweeping Women's Studies Programs and Women's Centers, Miss Representation demonstrates how little women are represented in the news, in the mainstream media, in children's books and in movies. And when they are represented, they are depicted as female bombshells with no brains, characterized only by their supposed beauty. This film is also promoting DOING something about the lack of women. Their tagline "You can't be what you can't see" makes sense.
For this year's Superbowl their blog promoted a #NotBuyingIt campaign where people could tweet their dislike of commercials that were sexist. The biggest offender so far is GoDaddy. I'm glad something is finally being done about this in a pro-active way, but those few followers of my blog know I've been harping on this representation piece for years.
Maybe I'm just starting to become old and jaded a week before my 43rd birthday. Maybe I'm becoming tired of feeling like it's always three steps forward and two steps back. Maybe working at university means I'm always educating the same group of students year after year who come to me with the same cultural biases and brainwashing. Maybe change isn't happening fast enough for my lifetime and I don't want to die wondering if we'll ever get an ERA.
But I promise to try to keep writing, even though once a week is clearly a challenge for this blogger. And for today, I'm with Gloria Allred.