I am confused. Admittedly, this might be a surprise. I suppose for many of you I seem pretty confident in what I think, not easily swayed by others, a bit resistant to flimsy ideas or fads.
Despite this confident exterior, I don’t really know what I want if I’m to believe the authors of a brand new book on the right kind of feminism.
Instead of relishing my faded blue jeans with holes (always) in the right knee, or my well-worn sneakers I wear without socks just as long as summer will allow, what I really prefer, according to them, is a dress and high-heels, to spend hours coifing my hair and learning how to dab mascara on my eye-lashes. Because, of course, all women want to be feminine.
And beyond my preference for not-so-feminine clothing my career choice has probably been wrong. Instead of university teaching and writing I probably wanted to stay home, thoughtfully caring for my husband’s every need because he, apparently, cannot take care of himself. But because I was swayed by angry feminists (most likely college professors) who convinced me that I did not want a real man (whatever that means, although it strangely has something to do with lots of hair) and that I shouldn’t have children, I find myself lost; no longer knowing what I really want.
My dilemma is perplexing because I have been misled all these years. Maybe I don’t really want what I have thought I wanted. Evil feminists have clearly brain-washed me.
You can imagine my relief when I learned What Women (Really) Want by Ann-Marie Murrell, Morgan Brittany, and Gina Loudon can solve my feminist problem.
Because it is a problem: feminism. But these women are ready to sort out the difficulties beginning with setting me straight that feminism has been only about politicizing women’s bodies. According to Murrell, Brittany, and Loudon, feminists say they do not want to be objectified (wink, wink) but at the same time they support those who dress in such a way as to encourage objectification. Beyonce’s video with her silhouette set against a backdrop with the word “feminist” informed their argument, her statement apparently the first and last for all feminists of all times.
Forget that a few days earlier, Fox News aired a discussion of why women should embrace “cat calls,” including the “stand and applaud” kind (you can see the video here when it was shown on The Daily Show as part of a larger segment about sexism). Like Jessica Williams of The Daily Show, I can easily see how wonderfully refreshing women would find such scenarios. Women don’t want to feel like they are walking across a stage naked; they want confirmation. Regularly.
Also what women really want now that we can vote and have equality in the workplace (and if you don’t, then just get it, you know, on a case-by-case basis) is government out of our lives. Right. I have been baffled by this argument before, but now it makes perfect sense. Women should have the right to make their own decisions about health and reproductive care without being coerced by others. Wendy Davis, a candidate for Texas Governor recently admitted in her new book (Forgetting to be Afraid) she had two abortions. In each case she made a decision based upon the viability of the fetus she carried and in each case, her decision was not easy but she had the freedom to do what was best in each grave situation, a freedom women are now at risk of losing in many states, including Texas.
I guess this is the kind of non-governmental interference Murrell, Brittany, and Loudon say we want. I mean, it would only be big-government wonks who would argue for Washington to make reproductive decisions for millions of women.
Besides Murell, Brittany, and Loudon also point out that women want to be able to protest things like the new common core in our schools but often people do not complain as loudly as they could because they fear being “shouted down” for wanting less government oversight in public schools. There are good reasons we don’t want to ensure people are learning similar things in preparation for college or post-secondary educations. Why would a functioning society give up personal freedoms for such pie-in-the-sky nonsense?
Essentially women want to be what God wants them to be: unshackled from feminists. You know, those evil people whose lives made it possible for women to have an education, to have a public voice, to own land or even a bank account.
I’m so glad there is now a book to tell me what I want.