Friday, February 8, 2008

Woman, ranting

So tell me, my feminist sisters, do you ever just want to grab other women by the throat and scream, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING? I do. Yesterday I went to see an exhibit of paintings by a local artist--a feminist artist--that was so smug and mindless it actually made me shudder. It was a series of portraits of women, all sitting in gardens holding various fruits of the earth. The paintings were pretty bad, but most paintings are. I wouldn't hold that against anybody. No, the problem was the artist's statement and the captions she wrote for each piece, which kept identifying the women's bodies with nature and talking about how the world would be at peace if men would just ... well, be more like women.

Given my Wiccan sympathies, I suppose it might seem a little surprising that I would be so disgusted by the idea of the uterus as a vessel of peace, but I actually think it's a profoundly woman-hating, anti-feminist notion. It's one thing to embrace a consciousness of the feminine aspects of nature, and to value our place in the endless cycle of birth and death. It's something else entirely to reduce individual women to some kind of faceless femaleness, and to suggest that biology bestows moral purity. That's exactly the kind of thinking that any feminist worthy of the name should reject. There's no difference between saying (as fundamentalists of every stripe still do) that a woman's body is filthy and sinful, and saying that her clit is a sign post to the divine. Both ideas rest on the assumption that women aren't rational and have no moral intelligence.

What I hate most about the Mother Earth brand of faux feminism is the gutless passivity it promotes. Don't get me wrong--I'm all for peace, but we live in a world where peace is despised. Peace is not going to happen because we wish for it. We have to demand it. We'll never get it sitting in the garden with our heads up our cunts.


Perfumeshrine said...

Indeed "to suggest that biology bestows moral purity" has been the cornerstone of any fundamentalism imaginable, right back to the Nazi dictum: therefore, despicable in its implications.

It is undfortunate that some women raised as feminists deteriorated into men-haters. This is what might give a bad name to feminism. One would think that to trully feel independent and as an entity onto oneself, one has to disassociate from the Other (men, in this instance) and view oneself for one's own attributes.
This constant comparing and contrasting only validates the Other and asserts its power.

Love the Sheela-Na-Gig pic!

you might like this article:

Mary said...

Aaah the Faux Feminists. They're bad...but the Faux Feminists who also call themselves artists are particularly puke-worthy.
I feel your rage, my sister, and I know where you're coming from. To suggest that being female somehow makes us more...whatever (peaceful, compassionate, able to fix the world, somehow morally superior to men) is both flagrantly stupid and anti-Feminist bullshit. THAT IS NOT FEMINISM, PEOPLE.

Mary said...

Oops, while I'm in rant mode, let me add this point: there is nothing...NOTHING...peaceful, either symbolically or physically...about a uterus. That diabolical little organ is a a veritable cauldron of blood, change, upheaval, pain, strength, conflict, gain, loss, LABOR FOR CHRISSAKES!! Nothing gentle about that.
Whew. Gracie, you got my dander up today with your post. ;)

Anonymous said...

"We'll never get it sitting in the garden with our heads up our cunts."

I just spit tuna sandwich on my screen.

Why are you not peaceful, giving, nourishing, sheltering, all-absolving, nauseatingly, unceasingly, "womanly" today, Gracie? PMS-ing? Are we taking our medication? :-P

Preach it, sistah woman!

Juvy Santos said...


BitterGrace said...

Ha! Isn't anybody going to tell me I'm full of shit? I'm glad you guys share my disdain for the mushy propaganda of fake feminists.

I love the Sheela-Na-Gig, too, Helg. I've thought about installing one on the title of the blog. BTW, Blogger mangled the link to the article, so I couldn't read it. If you see this, email it to me.

(Actually, Renee, I am post-menstrual. My premenstrual personality is more ... non-verbal.)

Anonymous said...

Like Renee, I fell in love with you all over again cuz of that last line.

I'll always prefer women in protest to women making fruit salad. At least in terms of female identity. Hell, I like fruit salad.

BitterGrace said...

Admit it, Leo, you like mean girls ;-)

I like fruit salad, too. I bet you make a better one than I do.

Anonymous said...

When we realize that balance is what we should strive for?

BitterGrace said...

Hi, Orchidbloom. It's nice to see you here. Balance is the key, you're right. Even I try to have a peaceful, nurturing day occasionally ;-)

chayaruchama said...

I'm all agog at that glorious picture of you wrenching open your fille-fille, my dear...
I've has a few of those days, myself.

Anonymous said...

Damn, you take the bull by the horns! Great post!