Thursday, August 25, 2011

the whole ‘strong woman’ thing is a kind of decoy...

a conversation that keeps us busy but doesn’t actually achieve anything.

The conversation is framed in a way that underscores and reinforces the idea that men are men and women are….not.
It also denies the fact that women have always been strong, birthed babies and held dying children and endured oppression and fought for the rights of others (and sometimes even themselves) and waited for husbands and sons to come back from wars and managed households and worked in factories and lived in the streets and nursed the sick and dying and worked the fields and kept families together and survived domestic violence and sexual violence and started businesses and reinvented themselves and carried water for miles and so on and so on: they saw work that needed to be done and they did it, and they continue to do it.
But that kind of female strength isn’t glamorous or even all that visible or acknowledged. These are not the tasks that win prizes or promotions or partnerships. Meanwhile, slaying vampires and kicking werewolf ass — while wearing tight leather pants – is supposed to be ‘empowering’, in the same way that the strong stoic bare-chested pirate confessing his innermost feelings to some virginal thing who has changed his nature forever is supposed to be ‘romantic’. It’s a very pretty story but it’s a sidestep of reality. It’s a play at feeling powerful without the work and risk and cost involved.

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