jus me of chubby toes and i have been having a wee discussion in her comments about feminism and i've got to admit it's got my dander up. i mean no derision and i hope we can still talk about things in the future, but i think i should explain why i feel so passionately about it. i took this class in college with a new professor fresh from kansas. the class was called simply "racism" and there was no topic we weren't free to discuss.
the day rusty (his mom wanted a son his dad wanted a golden retriever...ha) started this particular class we were discussing sexism as related to racism. in the course of the class he asked which of us would call ourselves a feminist. three people raised their hands in a classroom of 25, me, him and an exchange student from spain. i honestly thought the man was going to fall over. here he took a job at a liberal women's college back east and he was standing in a room of women talking about the evils of sexism and only two of them would cop to being feminists. one european and the other queer. and then he started asking us questions.
he said he had a daughter and he had a son and he thought they were both valuable people. he said they both worked hard and they were both honest and smart. and then he said when they go out into the world one of them will earn a dollar and one of them will earn .77 cents for no other reason than what's between their legs. and he asked us if we agreed with that. and there was a chorus of uproar.
most of these girls grew up in single parent homes in baltimore. they know how hard their moms worked to get them to college. where they wore their "I don't go to a girl's school without men I go to a women's college without boys" t-shirts but wouldn't let the word feminist cross their lips. and he asked us why no one raised their hands. and they stammered. they didn't know why. they just know that they aren't supposed to want to be feminists. he asked us if we liked being able to vote, liked being able to own property, the right to our children if we bear them, the right not to be the property of our husbands. because feminism is not solely the bra burning construction of the seventies. if anything that should have been the culmination of the efforts of women since the year 500.
but it wasn't. the ERA didn't pass. legally, a man and a women do not have equal rights in this country. the same class that fought for two sessions over the iconic validity of aunt jemima had not a word to say about their own status as citizens. i've never been more ashamed. anyone who thinks that feminism is something of the past, or was taken too far, why? explain to me why a woman's rights aren't worth fighting for. why it's wrong to say women and men are equal. why should we be ashamed to say that every person on this earth is valuable and worthy? because i just don't understand.