My vision for the future of women:

lizwarrenforpresident

 

The alt right’s vision for the future of women:

backtothekitchen

I know we’ve been talking a lot about finding common ground…but I’m also pretty sure there’s no common ground here.

For The Women’s March

I confirmed all of his worst fears.  Because even though he was an atheist, he still believed women came from the devil.  My unwillingness to sacrifice my life on the altar of our relationship was the first hint that something was horribly wrong.

And something was wrong.  I committed one mortal sin after another.  Laughing too loudly.  Going out too often.  Writing too much.  Refusing to hide my weirdness.  Refusing to live like the saintly women I knew–starving themselves until they fainted, inspiring their men with their very presence, full of gratitude and grace.

Never satisfied, angry and opinionated.  The serpent from hell had once come to chat with a woman just like me, or so I’ve been told.

Well, you can have your devil.  He crumbles before my Kali–She who can destroy the universe you’ve built with one touch.  Fear of Her is the reason you’ve tied us down and locked us away for all these centuries.

But even when we’ve been tied down with velvet ribbons and smothered in lace, She never really goes away.  At night, when I’m curled up next to him, breathing into his ear, She’s there.  Silent, but breathing with me.

Are You still asleep, my love?

 

It looks like my native country of Poland is just as politically divided right now as my adopted home country of the United States.  In last week’s EU parliamentary elections, the two main rival parties received the exact same number of seats–19.

The party which is the “winner” of the election–with only 32.8% of the popular vote–is Platforma Obywatelska (PO) or Civic Platform, a center right party.  And this may be the one time that I will be excited about the right winning an election.  Because PO is–there is no other way to put it–the sane party.  They are right wing in a very moderate sense–perhaps this is what the Republicans in America used to be like, or wish they could be like again.  They are interested in free markets, open to Poland being a part of the European community and the economic benefits that can bring to the country.  They have previously come out in favor of privatization and deregulation, but have been in charge for the last few years and privatization has only happened on a small scale.  They don’t seem to be interested in dismantling society.

On the other hand, there is the opposition.  Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc (PiS)–the Law and Justice party.  It’s a bit unclear to me if they would be considered left or right by American standards.  What they are, more than anything else, is religious.  PiS followers are fervent Catholics.  They are nostalgic people of the sort which wants to wind the clock back to a better time in the past, in this case possibly back to the Middle Ages, when the Church was safely in charge and the priest was the ultimate authority figure.  Hence their opposition to Poland’s involvement in the EU–they don’t want Polish culture to be influenced by all that Western moral decadence, with its pesky feminism and pride parades.  This would also be why some Catholic right talking heads have actually expressed support for Putin’s expanding influence.  Sure, Russia may endanger Polish sovereignty, but at least it doesn’t have gay rights.  The spiritual scene in Poland has become a lot more diverse since the fall of the Iron Curtain, with Buddhists and pagans popping up, and PiS followers are not big fans of that.  While we’re at it, they would also prefer it if women would step back into the kitchen where they belong, thank you very much.  This would mean no rights to abortion or contraceptives, and a proposed tax rebate for each successive child, to encourage Poles to continue following the Catholic big family model.  There is definitely a populist streak to the PiS platform–they are in favor of welfare programs and at one point made promises of a large-scale guaranteed housing project for Polish families.  This is where your average American observer might get confused.  PiS essentially combines social conservative values with some progressive safety net ideas.

Funny thing is, the Civic Platform party isn’t that terribly liberal about social issues either.  But they are closer to the middle, which has caused them to be accused by Law and Justice of being depraved and sinful heathens, ready to take Poland over the brink into heresy, which is enough to recommend PO to me.  And I guess there’s the similarity–whether in Poland or America, elections aren’t about voting for the party you love, they’re about picking the less crazy option of the two.

I should give fair warning that I wrote this at the confluence of a full moon and my PMS.  But hey, if I can’t vent about this on my blog, where else, right?

This post is simply here to say that after all this time, after having been raised with feminist ideals of equality, I have learned that the people who say that men and women are different from each other are right.  I know that there is indeed a feminine part of me which is naturally wired to be gentle, nurturing and caring to others.  And I absolutely despise that part of myself.

I have spent years trying to train myself to be selfish, to pursue my own dreams and my own happiness, but the female part of me always trips me up.  This is the part of me which worries about everybody else and wants to make sure that everybody around me is happy.  The part of me which is too nice and says yes to too many things.  And when I get angry later about agreeing too much, the part which prevents me from speaking harsh words.  Because, unfortunately, I have the ability to empathize with how the other person would feel.

I was hoping that it was possible to use willpower to change myself.  To become just a little more indifferent, a little more ruthless, better at taking what I want.  But I am beginning to think that we are trapped by our biological programming, to a far greater degree than we believe we are. 

So in spite of myself, I am a woman.  I lose myself in relationships with other people until my identity blurs and I’m no longer sure of who I am.  I suppose this should be a comfort to conservatives everywhere–I have been broken down and forced to submit to the qualities of my own gender.

 

 

Lou Dobbs loves good old American individualism.  He loves it so much that he recently spent time on his show singing the praises of the 3D printed gun, which can pass unnoticed through metal detectors.  What a wonderful way to stand up against those pro-gun restriction folks who want to control our lives, right?  The guy who produced the gun is a self-proclaimed anarchist, and Lou hurried to note that “In that view, which is to assert really individual freedom … it’s not entirely, well, dissident with American exaltation of self-reliance and independence.”

So, yay libertarian anarchy!  Except for that one…very *special* group of people.  You know the one I’m talking about.

Yep, now Lou Dobbs is discussing the Pew Research study which shows that the number of women in the United States who are the sole or primary breadwinner of their household is increasing, and he is singing a very different song.  After all, women’s traditional role is to stay at home and take care of the kids, so…these results are “troubling” and “concerning”.  Lou even thinks that “we’re watching society dissolve around us”.

But Lou, I thought society dissolving was kinda cool as far as you’re concerned?  Or is it only cool for the guys to exercise all that individual freedom, while women have to stay in their prescribed roles?  Wouldn’t it be exciting to see the ladies shrug off those aprons and step out of the kitchen, maybe while toting some of those 3D printed guns?  No…?  Okay, I guess the fear of teh vagina!! continues.

Interesting quote from David French, director of “How to Survive a Plague”, commenting on why today’s LGBT generation might be less radical about their political fight:  “Hasn’t all identity politics hit a wall?  Feminism as identity politics is nothing like it was in the ’70s and ’80s, the way we talk about race is all kind of blurred now.  I don’t know how to describe the period we’re in, but it’s post-identity politics.”

Post-identity politics.  As a woman, I would agree with this statement, especially the part referring to feminism.  My question is, would this be a positive development–a sign that there is less discrimination for these various groups to worry about?  Or does it simply mean that people are not speaking out as much about the problems which are still in existence?  After all, these days when you draw attention to racist innuendo against the President you’re playing the “race card”.  If you argue too loudly for women’s rights, you are an angry feminist requesting special birth control perks from the government.

I think it’s obvious that the undercurrent of bigotry is still there.  Witness the 2012 election, with its food stamps race-baiting and the male politicians fixating on women’s health, the angry red staters arming themselves to the teeth because that African guy got re-elected.  Perhaps the real issue is that the way talk about all this is, as French said, “blurred”.  Maybe we shouldn’t be afraid of playing our cards and stating our identities, and shouldn’t be in such a hurry to be post-everything.

Don’t mean to harp on this subject, but it feels like I’m having a new WTF moment every day:

 

*Republicans still divided on the Violence Against Women Act.  It looks like the re-authorization will just barely squeak by in the Senate, but with a lot of opposition from the Rs…because it’s going to extend protections to Indian tribes and same sex couples.  Really??  Mitt is now trying to send an anxious message out to his party:  “Please support this bill.  I want to have a chance in the general election…”

*Women’s wages are still about 77% of men’s wages, and this gap has not budged at all since 2001. 

*The Vatican is reprimanding American nuns for making statements which “disagree with or challenge the bishops”.  Oh noes!  The nuns in question are members of the Leadership Conference, an organization which supported the President’s health care law.  The Vatican has also criticized this group for focusing too much on poverty and economic injustice, and not enough on abortion and gay marriage. (The issues we all really care about…) 

*We now get to read lovely opinion columns like the one from SE Cupp in the New York Daily News (and she’s a Glenn Beck minion, so I should know better, but still) lecturing us about how the best choice Ann Romney ever made was marrying well.  According to SE, if we’re smart enough to find a good, rich husband, we’ll be able to afford health care and won’t have to go on welfare!  Now I know for sure that I’ve been teleported into the 1950’s.  (Or is it the 1850’s?)

*And to finish on a depressing note, a quote from one of the women in Colombia who allegedly had a good time with our Secret Service agents, arguing that she is an escort and not a prostitute:  “It’s the same, but it’s different…It’s like when you buy a fine rum or a BlackBerry or an iPhone.  They have a different price.”  Please, ladies, don’t think of yourselves as a phone or a bottle of alcohol.  We already get objectified.  Let’s not objectify ourselves.

But hey, I’m hallucinating this imaginary “war on women”, right?  Just another hysterical feminist.  Silver lining time:  I know there are other women out there getting as pissed off about this onslaught as I am.  Let’s see how far the misogynists can get without our votes…