Old Feminists Never Die………

……..they just become an embarrassment.

It is a good thing that those First Wave Feminists are all dead now.  You know, those women who, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,  put everything on the line, including their lives, to get women the vote?  They would be an embarrassment, and obsolete, to boot, in today’s feminism.

Why do I say this?  Because, apparently, the Second Wave Feminists, those from 1960’s to the mid-1980’s are an embarrassment to both Third Wave Feminists and what, I suppose are the current Fourth Wave Feminists.  

Second Wave tends to be feminists of a *certain age*,  and they know who they are.  They came of age during anti-war protests, the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement and women, not only coming out of their 1950’s homes, but coming out of the closet in truth and in force, to protest.   They wanted sexual equality, they wanted sovereignty over their own bodies and lives, not much different from what feminists, in theory, want now.  The marched in protest; they burned their bras; NOW (National Organization of Women) and Ms. Magazine were started.  They fought hard from the Equal Rights Amendment, an amendment that we still do not have.  They were the ones who brought the Goddess back into our consciousness.  They were the ones who realized that feminism was more than just equal rights for women; they understood that the way women were treated is the way the planet and ALL of its’ creatures were treated.  They knew, deep within them, that the “personal was political” and began to get involved with politics on a national stage to bring about the change they felt should be coming.  The patriarchal system in which we all lived needed to be changed.  Women, such as Gloria Steinem and Shirley Chisolm, rose to the forefront.  They fought and they fought hard.

Now, it appears that it is THESE feminists who hate men, who have no sense of humor, who are always angry , who don’t understand that things “are different now”.  It is these women, who fought so hard, who have become jokes within the current feminist ideology.   Do they understand why some Third Wave and current feminists hesitate to even identify as feminists?  No, I don’t think so, because they were and are damn proud of what was done and is continuing to be done.  Most of them, all these years later, are still fighting the same fight, albeit maybe in smaller ways.   Yes, some may actually hate men, for whatever reason, but younger women have not lived their lives or walked in their shoes of 50-60 years ago.  In my experience, though, it is not men that they hate, but the patriarchal culture that abounds in this country and around the world.  Younger women do not understand what was closed to women due to the simple fact that they were women, but if this country continues in the way it is going, they may learn soon enough.

One of the things that they hear now is that patriarchy doesn’t just hurt women, it also hurts men.  I don’t think anyone would disagree with that statement; however, while they may agree that yes, it does, they would counter with, “but you don’t see any of them fighting it because they benefit from it enormously and want to continue to benefit from it”.  In my personal experience, I have met a handful of men (this includes online) who would bring down the patriarchy if they could.  In the scheme of things, that’s not much.  

There is also the fact that most older feminists have difficulty embracing intersectionality.  I have spoken to many to get their opinions as to why this is; the majority felt the same way, that the plight of a small number of people is erasing the plight of women, the same women who have been erased their entire lives, the same women who have been erased, ignored and degraded for centuries.  The rights of one should not come at the expense of the rights of others and that goes for ANY human/civil rights movement.  

Most Second Wavers do not see prostitution and porn as a choice and a way to empowerment.  They see it as another way the patriarchy keeps women in their place and on their knees.  

In the long view, these disagreements are minor.  The long view is equal rights for all, regardless of gender, sex, color, religion, as well as caring for the environment, animal rights and our Mother Earth.  THESE are what is important in that long view, and this is what should not be forgotten.

In the current atmosphere, equal rights for all is now further away that it has been in a long time. We have a narcissistic, bullying, hate-filled dictator wanna-be as a presidential candidate.  We have police officers murdering young black men.  Women are on the verge of losing their sovereign right to make choices for their own bodies.  Terrorists, taking a Goddess’s name in vain is wreaking fear, havoc and death around the world with impunity.   These are the things that should be important, not disagreements between women on how to best accomplish goals that will be good for all.

This country and world, are on a slippery, downward slope.  Maybe the older feminists have something they can teach the younger ones; and maybe, the younger ones should listen, because they have already been where you are headed. *******

 

********DISCLAIMER — NOT ALL SECOND WAVE FEMINISTS THINK THE SAME WAY; NOR,      DO ALL THIRD WAVE FEMINISTS THINK THE SAME WAY.  THESE ARE GENERALITIES ONLY, BECAUSE, REALLY, NOT EVERYONE IN ANY PARTICULAR GROUP HAS THE SAME THOUGHTS, EVER. THANK YOU.

 

 

The Consequences of Feminist Activism

It is no secret that I have been a feminist for the bulk of my life.  While I have always believed in the cause, it wasn’t until later in my life that I began to *fight* for the cause.  Life gets in the way, sometimes, of the things you really wish to do.  Marriage, work, children (whom I adore) were roadblocks in the journey that brought me to where I am today.  While medical issues may conspire against my getting out there and marching and protesting, things I would love to do, I fight in other ways.  My feminist page on Facebook, called Shakti Warrior Goddess, is my best present weapon.  It has a mix of feminism and Goddess Spirituality.  I try for a balance between the two, but invariably the feminism wins out.

Why might this be, one might ask.  It’s because this world has always been a time bomb for women.  The harder we fight, the tighter patriarchy tries to grip.  I believe patriarchy is dying a (very) slow death.  I will most likely not be here to see the end of it, unfortunately, but I know, in my heart, that it is coming.

What many people fail to understand is that feminism is not just about equal rights for women, it is about equal rights for EVERYONE, men included, as they are damaged by patriarchy as much as anyone.

The world, and the country of the US, where I live is becoming scarier by the day.  Fighting against injustice, not just against women, but against injustice everywhere and against  everyone is exhausting.  Ask any feminist who not only believes in the cause, but fights for it, and you will find one very tired woman; a woman who is tired of the rhetoric, the hatred, the intolerance, and name-calling, the harassment, the assaults, and who gets tired of fighting the good fight every……single…..day.

I look around and see a new Hitler-in-the-making in a so-called presidential candidate, daily terrorism by the actual terrorists and by the police in the street.  I see young men of color being shot down and then the inevitable retaliation.  We have guns, guns to easy to get, guns everywhere, being used to shoot innocent people, shot by those whose minds and hearts are filled with anger, fear and hate.  This is all part of feminism, whether you realize it or not.

The online harassment of feminists is a consequence we pay.  We are attacked verbally, technologically, and yes, sometimes those attacks become personal as personal information is learned and precautions have to be taken against those angry, hate-filled people.  Most of us know this is a possibility going in.

For me, I find the consequence that is hardest for me to deal with, is the burn-out.  Every so often, I get tired.  I want to give up this fight.  The things I see, hear and read hurt me emotionally, spiritually and psychically.  I get to that point where I cannot stand turning on the news, opening a newspaper, as each article, each new story, is another hit that sends me down for the count.  This has happened numerous times through the years, and I know that I am not alone in these feelings.  My feminist friends report the same.

This is where I am now.  The shooting at Pulse, the barrage of police shooting young men, the acts of Daesh (I refuse to call them the name of a Goddess), a hate-filled man running for president and his angry, nasty followers have brought me to a place where I do not like, nor wish to  be.  I know how this feels; I have felt it before, and I’m sure I will feel it again in the future.  But, for now, it is time to take a temporary step back, to find myself again and remember why I choose to fight this fight.

The writing, the blog, will continue, as it always has, but the focus will most likely temporarily change as I take this step back.   Burnout is a consequence of being a feminist activist; a consequence one must recover from.  I’m going to go recover to come back stronger.

In the meantime, I would recommend these books:

*Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak

*Jesus, Mohammed and The Goddess

She Rises, Volume 1, Why Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality?

*She Rises, Volume 2, How Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality?

 

*Disclaimer: I am included in these Anthologies

 

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