I identified as a (pro-)feminist for a good part of my life. In Switzerland, where I grew up, in most parts women got the right to vote only in 1971, shortly before my 8th birthday. The last region actually had to be forced to implement it by federal law no earlier than late 1990, almost a decade after non-discrimination on grounds of race, sex, religion (to name but a few) had been written into the constitution in 1981.
So guess the notion women not being treated equally and this not being ok kinda came naturally.
On the other hand, frankly was pretty ill-suited for virtually all of the obligatory he-man-men type stuff anyway, both physically and mentally. My size was at no point above average, and don't get me started on build. Till I began working out at 30, was actually merely skin and bones, to the extent that I'm still glad having grown up before 'anorexic' and 'bulimia' became such buzzwords. (Well, at least no fat either -- before cortisone, that was.)
Also simply failed getting the point. I mean, what's the use, feeling good from making others feel bad? Since I've been a kid, most people always said I've got 'way too misantropic views'. However, always got plenty ideas of activities making me at least much happier than the average 'social' person always in need of putting someone else down first. A concept just beyond me.
Guess I was the perfect victim. Not actually offering the other cheek, but never hitting back. Which kinda results in the same. And of course in getting beaten up or worse every once in a while.
Took me literally decades to realise, plenty people are just cowards, going for people like me for some freebie kicks and punches, and the only way of getting rid of such is looking them straight into the eye, thinking, 'Ok, that's it, go on and I'll hit you as hard as I can.' That's the one funny part about it: Don't even have to say it. And the other: Of course suddenly there isn't any need of actually doing so anymore, but that's another story.
Rather had a knack at skills usually attributed to girls anyway, like languages and other 'soft' disciplines, while definitely not being a star at math and the likes. At seven even learned knitting, out of curiousity, but soon learned better than to talk about it to other boys. (Same as for plenty other things to most people in general, that is, especially 'grown ups'.)
Actually, when it came down to relationships, and there to e.g. adressing emotional issues on both sides, or commitment, mutual responsibilities, and plenty other behaviours usually attributed to women, turned out me being more female than most of my girlfriends.
Of course there were other traits where I'm no exception, on the downside I'm e.g. much, much better at nagging others into sex than keeping up with household chores. (While most of my girlfriends weren't so bad at some also exactly glorious 'female' routines either.)
So, during my twenties digged easily into feminist critique of male behaviour and gender roles in general, and plenty too. Feeling that in a social environment based on equality and without the typical patriarch games, life would definitely be more fun, despite the male priviledges I'd lose.
As said, self-identified as a (pro-)feminist for a good part of my life. Funny enough, took some 'feminists' to eventually change that. And though I still uphold the idea and the notion of making it true, had to realise that what's going down in its name in the real world being quite something else, with which I'd rather not associate myself, nor would want to be associated with either.
(to be continued)
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Neither pro-feminist nor MRA (Pt. 1)
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