Sunday, October 15, 2006

Boris: Five things feminism has done for me

So the outstanding blog Woman in Comfy Shoes has tagged each of us here at TGB to name five things feminism has done for us. I had to think about this for a couple days because I've never been asked that. Here's what I've come up with:

1. Worldview.
In my endless quest to comprehend and explain the world I live in, feminism has given me the broad concept of gender analysis. I cannot think of a human activity or structure where gender does not play a role. Without feminism, beginning with those early Suffragettes, Hildegards and Joan of Arcs (seems to be a religious theme to early feminist inspiration...interesting) making their mark on history and spawning a movement, we would be a much poorer world.

2. Enlightenment.
Back in the day, I held some childish and stupid assumptions about gender roles, and the way things “should” be. I also actively took part in some pretty cowardly, degrading and objectifying conversations about women with males, and said/did little when I witnessed gender based discrimination because I did not fully appreciate the absurd wrongness of it. Had the feminist movement not occurred, my perspective might not have matured because I would live in a society where women would not have been able to advance to the point where I eventually saw, in contrast, the error of my assumptions and behaviours. I’d have been a lifelong patriarchal asshole.

3. Relationships
The aforementioned enlightenment has enhanced the quality of my friendships, personal relationships, and sex life beyond measure.

4. Work and Life
Without feminism, I also would not have the opportunity to work with, live with and learn from some simply outstanding and capable people because they would not have been able to attain education and position.

5. Health
Without feminism, I likely would not have been able to recognise and accept the masculine and feminine binary that I see existing in the thing we call human. Without understanding this, I would have a very flawed understanding about what it means to be human. This of course would also likely have lead to all sorts of repressive psychological issues as I tried mask and compensate for anything not notionally masculine. This in turn would have created a mess of stress related health problems and turned me into a bitter, fearful Harper voting wingnut - I guess I could say the same about any of the other things listed too.

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