Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"my inner feminist weeps"

I like to peruse the PostSecret blog every Sunday. This is one of the postcards I found this week, and it made me wonder, Why?

Why should this feminist feel bad when her boyfriend does something to her that she clearly enjoys? If it was consensual, I say her feminist should just enjoy the experience without any hidden guilt.

I have heard people say, "I believe in women's rights, but I like to wear dresses, so I'm not really a feminist," or "I like guys and I want to get married, so I'm not a feminist."

The problem with these all-too-common (false) assumptions about feminists is that they assume that feminism only includes one type of woman, and that woman is a nonsexual, androgynous lesbian. Is that description true of some feminists? Absolutely. But that by no means implies that is the only kind of feminist. Feminism includes so many different women, all with different feminist concentrations, looks, and personal tastes that it is wrong to assume that someone is not a feminist because of one aspect of their life. The picture is much bigger than that.

In short, you can be a feminist even if you like being spanked, as long as you CHOOSE to be spanked. This person's secret makes it seem like she feels un-feminist because she enjoys being spanked, and I would have to heartily disagree with that idea.


lindabeth said...

I don't know the context of the postcard, but I have seen this kind of comment before...when I see things like this that "juxtapose" feminist values with "good fun," it makes me cringe because the idea seems to be that feminism "hold you back" from doing what you "naturally" want to do, due to silly feminism and equality! As if what we "really" want isn't all this feminism and equal rights, but to be the sex kittens we're supposed to and deep down really want to be. I wish I could find another example right now, but I can't...but I've seen this kind of thing before.

And your analysis is absolutely right-she likes it, and agrees, so it's fine! But for the card, I don't think it's enough that she likes it-that it feels good-I think it's important to the message-it's the punchline, per se- that it goes against her feminist values (even though I agree with you, that here it doesn't at all).

Lindsay said...

I saw a study a few months ago that self-identified feminists have more enjoyable sex than non identified people.

It's sad some people don't embrace that whole choice aspect of feminism when it come to sexual matters. I feel like sending that poor postcard author over to Violet Blue.

Martha said...

Great post Amelia