Recently, feminists– those well-intentioned champions of all that is socially just, who advance their left-wing agenda without the support of powerful and well financed lobbies, and a complicit media superstructure– yes, their back is really against the wall– got a really hardfought column published in the Washington Post, documenting what they want to see for feminism in 2015. I imagine the fight to find page space in the Washington Post resulted in nearly Pyrrhic casualties, with many women made into martyr waffles beneath the tank treads of sexism.
Verily, a mushroom cloud of sexism rains down across all of the mainstream media and public life. Sexism weaves itself amid all things; it is like the force in Star Wars, or that bonding agent that adheres barcodes to household products for eternity. It animates all the things, and it is so weaved into the fabric of discourse and civilization, that all the things can literally never be denuded of it.
Even when women comprise exactly 50% of the workforce in every discipline, sexism will still be our operating bias, for it literally is tenacious at both the atomic, and the spiritual, levels, and all the other levels that there are. These brave women suffer no small degree of woe in really going against the grain of the cultural zeitgeist to remind people that women are people… too.
I took the time to sit down, and to really reflect on:
“What do these women really mean, when they prescribe their visions for society, and for women everywhere?”
After an appropriately long period of reverent seclusion wherein I contemplated the truth they were speaking to power and the political that they were making personal, I interviewed some even braver heroines to find our their visions for 2015.
A Cartoon Panel of Imaginary Feminists Who Actually Seem Smarter Than Real Feminists, Or Might Be Having a Moment of Clarity They Swiftly Have to Rationalize Away
Medea Bloom: I’d love to see mainstream publications make a greater effort to include the voices of women who couldn’t be described as: progressive, leftist, to the left, left of center, far left, feminist, ultra-uber feminist, or turbojustice feminist. We’re always complaining about ideological echo chambers, confirmation bias and groupthink, so why are we so confident that we’re above the laws of human frailty? Don’t tell me it’s because we’re all narcissists.
Bellatrix Monroe: It seems like everytime an anti-feminist expresses a view that challenges ours, we call her anti-woman. Maybe next year we should actually read her arguments instead of immediately calling her brainwashed, a sock puppet, suffering from internalized misogyny, denying her agency, or accusing her of making a devil’s bargain with the patriarchy in order to secure her status and further her own dominance. So many women writers face this kind of dehumanization from us. But who am I kidding, they deserve it.
Lianna Spacecadet: Next year, I want to continue to push the narrative that women in STEM and videogames are underrepresented and discriminated against, because I need a legitimate sounding excuse to rage at people. Because of some arcane childhood complex or plain old human power hunger, I have a pathological need to control other people and to support narratives that define me as a victim so that I have the moral authority. I am going to stick to this one no matter how many women in STEM and the gaming community speak out against my authoritarian agitating and silencing of their voices. #NotYourShield can go rot. I will never stop enjoying marginalizing other women’s voices with my hob-nailed boots– or shaming men for wildly imaginary or overblown offenses, like preferring curvy videogame characters. Intolerable– and I never tolerate the intolerable.
Zerlina Clinton: I’d love to see people who claim to be intersectional realize that “racial justice” is bad for everyone, and that justice is only justice because everyone is equal before the law– not more or less equal because they are black, female or whatever. I would like to see people learn basic, foundational facts pertaining to, and philosophical traditions underpinning, law and order, to articulate the dangers of nomocracy, and to understand that equality of rights does not necessitate or logically entail equality in terms of material acquisition or individual aptitudes or gumption. This real appreciation of human diversity would disabuse a lot of people of their outlandish notions about making us all identical to each other. It would even be really great if people could understand the tension between liberty and equality– but alas, I’m really starting to sound like a right winger.
Genie Lahmph: I would like to create jobs out of thin air for women because some feminists think it’s a good idea, but unfortunately, I’ve read too much about economics to think supply, demand and the innumerable actions of human agents work in totally disjointed ways. I’m not crazy enough yet to totally separate cause and effect– but I want to be. Next year, it is my goal to unlearn everything that stands in the way of equality—may economic logic combust on the altar of progress!
Isabella Zapata: It’s time that we fabricate a new study about the wage gap. It’s become too debunked over the past year— people are really catching on that because women tend to dedicate more time to their duties at home, they tend to spend less time making headway in careers that men can dedicate more time to; to prefer more part-time work and greater flexibility over greater pay; and tend to rate quality of life and work-life balance more highly than monetary incentive alone. But if I’m going to be more open here, we don’t really even need a new study, if we can just wipe the option to stay at home off the table.
We need a model like the Soviet Union had, where children were raised by the state. Hillary Clinton’s Village, which we hope to realize through Her Presidency (bless you, Hillz!), will be the final nail in the coffin of the right of American families to make their own childcare decisions. Like my girl Simone de Beauvoir always said, “If staying at home is an option, too many women will choose it.” It’s time to stop these women from not realizing their potential, and to rein them into being servants of the market that we routinely rail against in our other brouhahas about how bad capitalism is. Seriously, their contentment and joy make me burn with the hatred of a thousand suns and I cannot permit their happy home lives.
Luli Devereux: I would like us to come up with less really embarrassing campaign slogans. Like, “He for She.” Awkward, anyone? And “one half of humanity, joining with the other half of humanity, to enforce women everywhere to believe there is a grand conspiracy against them?” Can you say, serious schmaltz? I mean not only does this reinforce heteronormativity, and other normativities, too, but it’s just corny. We are the witty vanguard of high culture, so why can’t we have better slogans?
Calvina Notcoolbro: I want to see a mass realization that police brutality isn’t actually a cherished policy of police departments. I mean, I’m as hair-trigger indignant as the next person, but it seems to me most cops aren’t racist, authoritarian blood-letters trawling the streets for innocent people to persecute. Correct me if I’m wrong, though. I don’t want to perpetuate problematic apologist tropes that benefit those at the top of the current unjust power paradigm.
Allura Belle: I really just don’t think that the media, academic institutions, private businesses and entrepreneurs, major TV networks and passerbys capitulate to us fast enough. The media is basically at our beck and call to promote intersectional feminism, the perspectives of people of color, LGBT groups and feminist social justice warriors, but we have yet to replace geopolitical analysis with the latest from the advocacy front. Russia, Smussia. Ukraine, boo, lame. Why isn’t everything about me? It’s not that much to ask.
Alicia MacGvyer: We’re always trying to get justice for victims of campus-based gender violence (unless they’re men), so I’m wondering why so many feminists are pushing for “more options” outside of the criminal justice system in order to obtain it. It seems like the criminal justice system might be a pretty good way to put rapists in jail. Next year, I’d like to see more people reconsider the criminal justice system as a promising option. I’m also just the teeniest bit disturbed at the erosion of due process rights for the accused and the move for campus guidance counselors to handle criminal offenses– unless that makes me a bad feminist, in which case, I blame my momentary indiscretion on social pressures to support the status quo. But seriously, maybe we should stop telling women that persecuting their rapist is re-traumatizing and that everyone is systemically brainwashed to blame them for their rape if we want more women to go to court. Telling women that, actually, seems re-traumatizing, unhealthy, even abusive, to someone who is vulnerable and relying on you to help them. Right guys? Guys?
Amanda Meaufaux: My hope is that code words like “reproductive rights,” which deliberately occlude the fact that women are already reproductively free, will continue to reign unquestioned and be entrenched further into popular vernacular. While it would be great to start to restore some sanity to young women’s dating lives by promoting careful partner selectivity and higher standards so that they didn’t find themselves seeking abortions after their casual sex encounters or accidents with cohabitating boyfriends they’re not serious about, well, that would mean my grip on public demagoguery weakening. I don’t care how many young women I pollute and mislead– call it, Collateral Damage 2015. We’re in this for the long haul—and we can’t lose sight of our fortunes in all of our fighting for a better world for women who have repeatedly rejected our “help.”