I go back and forth . . .

about whether to consider myself a feminist.  Then I read something like this, and I think to myself, no way, Jose.  Someone else is gonna have to rehabilitate that word.  I’m not getting within 100 yards of anyone so insanely prickly.  How do they even function when they’re bristling with rage all the time?  How do they even manage to get enough oxygen circulating through their wizened little hearts, when every breath they take is saturated with toxic levels of imaginary sexism?  What a cold, hard world it is for people who . . . really get off on thinking it’s a cold hard world.  My stars.


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  • julia hrysenko

    Love a comment on the Slate screed: “Finally, proof that gravity is a tool of the patriarchy.”

  • And I bet whoever built the railing was a man. 😛

    Meanwhile my hubby said, whoever put in the railing must feel awful. He installs railings (but really well I should note).

    I had a hard time even understanding what the feminist was talking about. Honestly.

    • Or rather, seething over.

  • Julie

    She sounds like the pastors who think everything is satanic.

  • Wow. There are a lot of reasons I won’t call myself a feminist, and yeah … this would be one of them.

  • I have the same issue. I want to call myself a feminist but I don’t want to be associated with the crazies. But neither do I want to be associated with the anti-feminists, because they can just be as crazy too. However, saying, “I am a human being who happens to be female and believes we should all be treated equally and with respect but does believe that females have special qualities that are different but not better than male qualities” is rather a mouthful and is likely to make me appear crazier than either camp.

  • Jordan

    The only thing that gets me seething on that entire page is that stupid subtitle under the XXFactor that says “What Women Really Think”. Hell. Freakin. No.

  • Jana Nichols

    Wow, it feels really weird to say this given the comments you already have, but — I get what the Slate writer was complaining about. Maybe I skimmed through the article too quickly, but I didn’t pick up on the prickly rage you felt/heard. And I don’t even consider myself a feminist!

    • Dan F.

      I think i get the complaint as well (and I’m not even a woman). I wouldn’t have noticed the issue but I do like the re-written lede better for being more newsy and less salacious. Whether or not the original lede was chauvanistic so much as gossipy i’m not so sure.

      Makes me wonder (chauvanistic pig that I am) how it would have read had a male writer written it.,

    • Fiddlesticks

      I agree with the slate writer. It was kind of weird to include that this was her first date, as if this piece of information was at all relevant to the balcony collapsing. I mean, we all go on first dates, right? And quite a lot of people smoke, despite all the health warnings, and it’s actually much better manners to do it on the balcony than to expect other people to breathe in your second-hand smoke.

      Still, I think Dan’s right. It’s probably more gossipy than sexist.

  • Christina Poynter

    For goodness’s sake, Simcha, don’t become a feminist! The word is nearly meaningless, and no one can claim it without a lifestyle of angry ranting. I myself have started thinking myself a feminist and merely embracing the term has wreaked havoc on my thought life. Also, reading articles through the lens of feminist theory apparently produces laughable results.

  • I’m proud to call myself a feminist; I won’t let the crazies (or the pro-choicers) keep me from using that term, just as I don’t let the crazies who think women shouldn’t wear pants or have jobs keep me from calling myself a Catholic.

    I do think this particular article is an over-reaction and she is ascribing a subtext I don’t think is there. On the other hand, I read the AP article in question when it came out, and I do remember that my third thought was “why are they discussing her date?” (My first thought was “how awful!”; my second was “there’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.” So I guess that makes me a human first, a lawyer second, and a feminist third.)

  • $1028912

    I’m a feminist, I’m definitely “insanely prickly,” and I also happen to be a journalist (at a different news agency — not AP). I read the original story right after this happened, and I remember wondering why the reporter mentioned that the victim was on a first date. I didn’t see anything nefarious in either the intent or the result — I would guess the reporter just wanted to add as many interesting background details about the tragedy as she could. But I thought it was a bad set-up for some “worst first date EVER” jokes.
    (Not all feminists are angry, by the way. Some of us simply don’t have the energy to bristle with rage all the time.)

    • $1028912

      Oh, and more on feminists — not that I would ever join this group in a million years, but I think its existence clearly shows that there are all kinds of feminists out here: http://www.feministsforlife.org/

      • simchafisher

        Thanks for the link. I love FFL. Of course most of the early feminists were against abortion – -in fact, they thought of it as one of the evils that feminism would liberate women from. By all rights, pro-choice people shouldn’t get to use the word “feminist,” but language is weird.

        • $1028912

          Your last sentence reminds me of what I continuously heard when I was a stay-at-home mom: “By all rights, women who choose to stay at home shouldn’t get to use the word ‘feminist.'”
          It’s not about “rights.” It’s about personal beliefs.

  • emd04

    Oh I love this. A true LOL that I needed today.