The Broken Aesthetics of Feminism

The Broken Aesthetics of Feminism January 24, 2017


There is a frail and delicate covering of ice and snow clinging to every single branch and roof outside my window. The snow seems to be still be plunging headlong from the sky. As usual, I ought to be enchanted by the beauty, but I’m not because I know that all cold is essentially evil. This knowledge undermines my personal commitment to beauty wherever possible, my general belief that where there is beauty, there must be following close behind both goodness and truth.

I’ve been thinking about beauty for the last three days (well, that’s not true, I think about it all the time) as I’ve been unable to get away from all the pictures of the Women’s March. No matter where I go on the Internet, I am accosted by those ghastly pink hats, the brash and aesthetically hideous signs, the screeching into microphones, the embracing of that facile word ‘nasty.’ If you thought Trump was unpleasant to look at–his orange sweep of hair and pouting lips–then how upsidedown is it that the answer would be something strangely more ugly.

But really, the entire screed like ‘discussion’ of Rights is ugly. There isn’t anything aesthetically hopeful about a person shouting at other people that they have rights, that they’re going to get what’s theirs. Just like oppression is horrifying to stare in the face–that tragic picture of black veiled women being led along in chains by other black veiled women springs to mind–so also is the free person who insists she is enduring some kind of oppression, mashing an ugly hat on her head and shouting in everybody’s direction.

I’ve been backing away from the word ‘feminist’ for a long time. Every now and then I sidle back up to it and see if there is anything good left, any spark of light, any moment of truth. Women getting to be human? That is a lovely heritage, worthy of turning over and pondering in all it’s various facets. Women getting to exercise their wills, to decide who they want to marry, to decide not to marry, to educate and care for the mind, to pursue the depth of the knowledge and love of God? Absolutely. But whatever happened this weekend in DC and round the world essentially clinches my rejection of that word forever. The darkness of women screaming for rights and freedoms they already possess, of embracing the power of life and death as the ultimate prize worth having, of seizing on anger and unkindness as the best way forward. No.

Of course, lots of women went to these marches who believe in the sanctity of human life, who love and honor their husbands and all people, who just wanted it on the record that they don’t want Trump and aren’t happy about the way things are going. But those voices were swallowed up in the ugliness of Ashley Judd and Madonna and even the Mistress of Death herself, Cecil Richards.

So I’m really glad I didn’t go, even though I’m not delighted about Trump. It’s the ugliness that has turned me away. The bitterness of feminism, the unchristian flavor of a rights based world view that I cannot embrace.

"Great article! Remember Jesus said to be wary when men speak well of you."

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