Today I turned in my Feminist card. Figuratively. Before we start printing my label, know that I am male, heterosexual, happily married and yep, you guessed it…..Liberal.
The reason for my shift is that the movement is disingenuous. It seems to be interested in a narrow class of women, mostly privileged and White, who feign concern for the plight of all women especially the poor, the dark and oppressed.
Now, again, before you think I’ve given up my consciousness and advocacy, I acknowledge that my own growth was nurtured and shaped by the incredible amount of scholarly research done on women’s issues since Mary Wollstonecraft, and certainly agree that their issue is mine and our children’s. But I want truth and a bigger tent. One that includes male progressives who do not have to always explain or demonstrate that we “get it”. I want to have heroes like Leymah Gbowee and Malala (without her having to be shot), Sigourney Weaver, Mellisa Harris-Perry, Aung San Suu Kyi and Wangari Maathai. These women put skin in the game. Their concern is not the “glass ceiling”, their issue is not ‘leaning in’ or whether women can “have it all”. For heaven sake, who can? For most women the issue is unforgivingly immediate, very narrow choices and lives harder as they grow older.
If you are more concerned about social trivia, than the fact that little girls are in constant danger; that there has been an explosion of young women in prison populations in recent years, particularly in Brazil and these United States of America, then I’d like to know exactly what Feminism stands for.
The ground is shifting to respect for human rights, freedom to choose and dignity for ALL. Each and every woman on earth, near or far, be recognized, protected and enjoy the rights of self-determination as so eloquently explained by 12 year-old Madison Kimrey.
I want to see rage from the female and male CEO, when a woman is arrested on felony charges at her job for having left her two young children at home because she could not afford daycare. (the absent father has no accountability). This is more common than you think. She’ll be “plea bargained”, “recorded” and unlikely to get a bank teller’s job as she had.
I want to see women of all colours in the street expressing indignation and protecting jailed Marissa Alexander, facing 30 years in prison for firing a warning shot while being assailed in her own home. For the college student who cannot be assured that people she trusted on campus won’t brutalize her.
I want to see public disapprobation when a seven-figure woman, hires live-in domestic help for $300. per week with one day off. Let’s scorn the six million dollar a year female CEO who laughed at the mostly female Wal-Mart protestors asking for fairness.
My male heroes are Danny Glover, Sean Penn, George Clooney (no disrespect to his other accomplishments, but look at how far he pushed the Darfur contrived catastrophe. Women running daily with their children from rape and murder.
I need a bigger tent! A big colourful tent where even Governor Nikki Haley, Janice Brewer and others like Red State Women’s PAC could make the connection between the core of Wollstonecraft’s arguments; of equal education and equitable pay; the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. So, thanks for the time I was with you, but I am about grassroots movements.
Grateful for your help in raising awareness….and yes, this is an edited version of my first Blog.(reposted)I’ve Out-Grown My Feminist Pants