Last night, I bore witness to a woman getting pissed that people weren’t down with her anti-queer rhetoric and, in a fit of irritation, taking a shot at another woman’s infertility, effectively deeming the childless woman lesser. The attitude was, of course, that this childless woman is flawed or not properly performing her function in the eyes of . . . I dunno. God? Tulips? The Cheetos Cheetah? Because WOMB and BABIES and LACTATION and GIRLY PARTS DOING GIRLY PART STUFF.
(I was informed later that this woman self-identifies as a Christian. What a piss poor example coming in from the God brigade. I wish good Christians could eat the bad ones and grow in power, like Highlanders for Jesus.)
Anyway, when I got A WEE BIT PISSY with Terror Christian and called her out on her tactlessness, she claimed that it was because she was “in a nest of vipers.” Which I guess translates to IF YOU DON’T TOLERATE MY INTOLERANCE, YOU’RE MEAN AND I HATE YOU. The entire exchange was mind-bogglingly stupid. In hindsight, I wish I’d stopped reading far before I did. But it got me thinking about how women were perceived–by other women, by men. By society. And I realized that a whole bunch of folks are operating under a flawed premise of what constitutes Female.
What a woman is:
- An individual who wakes up in the morning and identifies as female.
What a woman isn’t:
- A pre-ordained vessel for life. Some women have children. Some can’t have them. Some choose not to have them. The presence or lack of sproglings is not a gender marker THING. It’s a parent marker and that’s quite different.
- A dress. Or a pair of pants. Or a sexy bra or granny panties. Clothing does not define a woman. Neither does some market-fed idea of femininity. You can wear a trashbag and be all lady, baby.
- Makeup. Because see above. Glossy magazine pages still do not define “woman.”
- A requisite nurturer. If we nurture, you’re fortunate. If we don’t, deal with it.
- Delicacy. I’m as delicate as a roid-raging T-Rex. Still a woman.
- A body shape. We come in small, medium, large, and extra-large. Big boobs, small boobs, round butts, flat butts. You could be shaped like Sputnik and still be a woman.
- Decorum. Again, if we’re polite and you enjoy it, fantastic. But if we aren’t, it isn’t a mark against our Female Cred. We are not required to “behave like ladies.” Because behaving like ladies more often than not means smiling while someone shovels a giant, heaping pile of manure at our faces. No thanks.
This brings me to another point. A gal on Twitter last night said that she “wasn’t a feminist” which hey–you don’t have to slap the label on yourself if you don’t want. Sky Poobah knows that people hear FEMINIST and lava spews from their eye holes. But it does make me cock an eye because–
What a feminist is:
- A person who believes that women are equal to men and thus deserve the same respect/pay/social benefits.
So if that right there ^ is the actual and proper definition of a feminist (and when you boil it down, that’s feminism in its purest form) why NOT be a feminist? The alternative is pretty dire. Amy Poehler had a whole thing on this in her interview with Elle, but my favorite part was: