14 марта 2012 г.

About feminism

Germaine Greer, at 1960s
        To begin with I’ve never thought about feminism seriously. Moreover, I don’t remember that any male oppressed or humiliated me somehow because of my gender. And even if it happened I don’t think I noticed that at all. This issue simply didn’t feature on my list of problems, and maybe that’s why all I ever heard about feminist movement seemed ridiculous to me. Do you remember those anecdotes about women who cause a scandal if a man gives up a bus seat for them or suggests paying in a cafe? Isn’t it clear that all feminists are nothing but aggressive lesbians who just were not lucky to find a proper man? And yes, they all are from USA, just because all evil comes from there.
Gloria Steinem, at 1960s
            A few days ago I came across an interesting article in a local magazine. It was about Germaine Greer, who is coming to New Zealand this month. Greer is seventy-three years old and she is a university professor in Australia. She used to be extremely popular in 60s-70s and is known as one of the pioneering feminists. In short, the article is about the impact on New Zealand females that Greer had years ago. There were also some pictures of her in younger days. And to my surprise, there was nothing in common with an aggressive lesbian in her appearance. She is a beautiful and well-dressed woman with intelligence, confidence and courage in her face, the kind of woman I’ve always admired and wanted to be. That was enough to inspire me to learn more about her.
Germaine Greer, nowadays
      I found and watched several interviews with Germaine Greer and one of her public lectures. I also got information about another famous feminist of that time Gloria Steinem, from USA. Finally, I took up this theme with Pat, who is always interested and enthusiastic about discussing any kind of 'ism' all over the world. As a result, not surprisingly my attitude towards that issue has totally changed.     
       There are those who say that if a woman wants equality between male and female why doesn’t she go to the army or work in the mining industry. Others are protesting: who is going to raise children or do housework? Lastly, some people enjoy giving examples of successful business women who are very unhappy, lonely and long for nothing else but a simple life with a man who would love them and take care of them. That, undoubtedly, sounds very persuasive but has nothing to do with what I like about feminism.  
Gloria Steinem, nowadays
         My personal view is that in the end all feminism is about choice. Everything that Greer, Steinem and all those feminists were fighting for was a free choice that any woman had to be able to make herself. And it doesn’t matter at all if she wants to become a housewife, follow a career or combine both. Actually, it’s much more important to get rid of stereotypes. Learn to listen to yourself, and not only to society around you. Finally, have confidence that your government and country will support you anyway. Do we achieve that nowadays? Are the ideas of feminism not important for us anymore?  
         Talking about Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem said what she valued in her was her daring – ‘so rare in women because we’re so trained to be concerned about approval’. It is hard not to agree, especially in relation to females in general. However, as long as there are such examples around us as these beautiful women there is always inspiration and hope for change.   

7 комментариев:

  1. Maria as I cited in one of my blog's post "Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition". ~Timothy Leary.
    And it's certainly true, sometimes I feel an strange embarassment when I see feminists on tv trying to front up for our rights when they are really desperate for fighting in a senseless competition against men for "power", some women think that doing what men do or behaving as they do are getting some kind of social approval and acknowledgment somehow. personaly, I have different opinions about it, i think every one has a role to play in society and there's no sense on trying to change or alter the social equilibrium. However, there are people just like me, who owing to some odd circunstances, are not keen on being the perfect wife (I mean, cooking ironing, cleaning, you know what I mean), and don't find any pleasure in pleasing men with their behaviour, but of course there are many who find it enjoyable and fulfilling.
    Finally I think feminism is just a concept which everyone use to their own convenience just like the horoscope.

    1. Well, Jhennie, you say you are not keen on cooking, ironing, and cleaning. Neither am I. Neither is Pat. So there are at least three of us who 'owing to some odd circumstances' don't match this stereotype of an ideal wife. And do you think that we are just an exception to the rule? That all the rest are sincerely happy and satisfied with their lives? As Pat said, there was no problem with us - there was a problem with them. You know Pat:)

      I agree with you that some feminist actions look too aggressive or even silly and senseless. But I still like their idea of free choice and especially their desire to fight with stereotypes. I’ll give you a simple example. I'm 25 and I am married. Do you know how often people I meet and even my own relatives, who are aware of my viewpoints and beliefs, ask me why I don't have children?

      I remember very well our first discussion on this issue at Edson class and how different our opinions were at that time. You're absolutely right that we usually take what suits us most of all from any concept or theory. And who knows maybe our opinions are going to change again one day.

  2. Маш, я тоже никогда не задумывалась о том, что такое феминизм. Может потому, что в нашей с Лешей семье мы делим наши обязанности пополам?
    В обществе гендерные различия закладывались веками, если не тысячелетиями, разве могут что-либо изменить 40 лет? Какая бы ты не была самостоятельная, решимая и неэмоциональная, мужчины се равно будут видеть в тебе женщину, в первую очередь.

    1. Галя, ты права, что сорок лет это конечно мало. Однако веками ведь закладывается не только хорошее и правильное, но и плохое. Рабское сознание у русских, например, тоже закладывалось веками, но это же не значит, что его следует принять как должное. И знаешь, мне бы не хотелось, чтобы всегда и везде мужчины видели во мне одну лишь женщину. Пусть женщиной я буду для своего мужа, для остальных - человеком. Опять-таки не следует воспринимать мой пост и попытки подумать на эту тему как заявления новоявленной феминистки:) Нет конечно, просто мне вдруг попалась эта тема и какие-то отдельные моменты в ней показались правильными и достойными внимания.

  3. Ooh, looks like I'm not the only one thinking about where evil comes from :)Nice posts, can't keep up now. Good job, Masha!

    1. Thanks, Jana. You're definitely not the only one in that case;) Just a few months ago one of our English teachers told me that as a New Zealander he preferred Russian immigrants in his country rather than Americans. I couldn't help but thought how lucky he was not to know Russians;)