(Italiani perdonatemi non ho tempo usate Google Translate se volete :))
I am very aware of how many people will actually read this. Not many, because most will leave off at some point, irritated by the simplicity and apparent naiveté of my affirmations. As usual there is a lot of tongue in cheek in what I say but I’m used to be taken way too seriously so if you don’t see the tongue in cheek then sorry but get a life.
You have no idea what it’s like to live surrounded by sceptics. I struggled there to find the word. Sceptic is wrong and hyper-realist is also wrong, but right now I cannot find the right word.
In any case, to give you an example, the other night my husband was telling me about a study that two two generations of scientists of different nations brought forward that came to the conclusion that happy, productive adults are not determined by social status, money, single parenting or family, geographical location, opportunity etc. They are determined by how much they are loved and cherished and appreciated. When I commented ah what a surprise but hell I’ve been saying that for ages I didn’t need a study, he of course got impatient and we left it at that.
The point is: not only have I been saying this since always, but when I decided to have a child, back in college, without a job, without a partner, I decided to have a child for two reasons: a) I had done enough partying to last me a lifetime (I was around 24 at the time) and b) I wanted to set out to prove to the world that my method, my theory, worked. That despite my obvious failings in many departments, I could bring up some happy people just by loving them and living my approach to parenthood based on that single tenet: I will love them and appreciate and respect them as individuals, and teaching them to do the same to others.
So far, I’ve been proved right. As always, something might go awfully wrong and I may discover one of them is a secret drug dealer, or one of them will become a mass murderer. I cannot say. But right now, they are the most excellent human beings, all three of them.
We are individuals, with different traits: the secret is to love and encourage the traits that are great, and try and come to terms with and understand and gently tweak those that aren’t so … well, advisable in the current society.
But hey, I didn’t have the backup of the data found by this super-duper study to support me for many years, and I still don’t because I will never learn it by heart and quote it at the next discussion: all I had was the conflict, every time, of listening to someone who would tell what was best to be done, my devastating insecurity and sense of inadequacy, and then stubbornly in the end deciding to do what I believed was best, no matter how crazy it might have sounded at the time.
This is also why the best advice I can give anybody who asks me about parenthood when they first have children is: be yourself, be what you believe in, and let them be who they are, follow each individual character, adapt to them singularly, and cherish what they are, and love them as if there were no tomorrow, and teach them to respect and cherish others in the same way.
That wasn’t my point.
My point was that I am really and truly fed up with feminism. Feminism is old-fashioned, anachronistic and counter-productive.
It not only made sense, but I will be forever grateful to the fighters, the women who made such a fuss and kicked up a nightmare for the men of their time. But now it is time to move on.
If you look at it, if you look at it closely, you will find that feminism is still about telling the world that “hey, we can do everything men can do, and we deserve the respect that any man could get”.
The point is, women (I’ll use this term for ease, but I would rather use “feminines, people with a prevalence of feminine skills”) can do a hell of a lot of things that men (masculines: people with a prevalence of masculine skills) are not very good at doing, and most men are NOT respected at all!
Think of all the men who are either gay or have a very strong feminine side: are they respected generally and throughout the world?
Think of the men who have a strong parenting/caring/nurturing/MOTHERING instinct: are they respected cherished and encouraged throughout the world? We are starting to accept male nurses only relatively recently, and there are still way fewer than women nurses. How many male babysitters do you know? I am a mum, and I can tell you, there are very few out there. And yet, there are soooo many men I have met that would be amazing babysitters.
There are men who are ever so pretty. So what if they want to use that to bring themselves forward in their carrier? With all the feminists’ immediate hatred towards all those women who want to be sexy and pretty and maybe a little giggly, how does a man who would like to be more like that stand a chance?
Many feminists are not much better than male chauvinists. It can be in fact a very strong form of chauvinism, albeit a feminist chauvinism (because it fights for feminists’ rights not necessarily women’s rights). It is still about deciding what is right and what is wrong, and deciding what can be respected and what does not deserve respect.
The same thing goes for parenting. As I mentioned before, all this emphasis on a male-dominated society, a male way of doing things. And what feminists seem to want, is for women to be able to be just as part of this male-created society as men. Well hurray for that. It is a crap society, mainly, where many principles that are usually associated with womanhood (like the above mentioned nurturing and caring and cherishing… mothering and fathering (not with the valence of just planting a seed, but being a father-like figure)) is seen as a waste of time: why you should you stay home and care and nurture and love your child? Get a babysitter and go to work!!! As though looking after the children were some sort of second class activity, a waste of space, a waste of time.
Now, finally, a study or two comes out, and proves me right, but of course I won’t be able to quote it, so I’m talking air as usual.
But if I had any say, I’d scrap bloody feminism and consider it old and outdated. I’d fight for humanism. I’d fight to get it recognised that we are made of more feminine and more masculine parts, and that society should help us find a place depending on which attribute and what skill we excel in, and society appreciates and considers all skills. I am crap at maths and reading maps, I am great at loving. Let me do the loving. How is that an inferior skill? Why is that reduced to no government support, and no respect from my peers unless it’s a little condescending and a great pat pat on the head (until they need it)? My loving skill has taken years of training and fighting to assert it. Why do I not deserve the same respect my husband gets for assertion his talent in drawing? The same chances for a job?
Some men are so intrinsically and barbarically male that many feminists would sneer at them. I think they’re great and even essential in some areas!
In any case, yes, I would fight for humanism. I would fight for the government to pay those among us, be us single or double parents, of any gender, to do what we do best.
There should be laws and there should be funding for anyone to be encouraged to do what they do best.
Job sites should be less selective: “Insert what job you’re looking for, because you need to have a definition before we even show you what jobs there are”.
How about a job site that first assess what you’re good at (a bit like the new and very nice skills assessment job, only a little wider as a spectrum) and then points you towards jobs that actually really exploit your natural talents and passions? And backs you up with the new employer, showing the employer what a great opportunity he or she’d be missing for that particular job?
Perhaps only the employer could say: only send me applications from those who have scored at least 70 in maths cause maths is really important to me. There, done! No need for selections and thousands of CVs and weeks of waiting for nothing.
I am confident we will get there, eventually. It will take many many years, but eventually, we will stop with the crap of dividing man and woman, gay and lesbian and transgender, and we will see we are all people, we all deserve respect and all our qualities are brilliant and should be channelled towards making a living, or bringing up those who will make a healthy living, our of our own true skills.
We will understand that we are made up of masculine and feminine traits, and it just so happens that very very generally men have more masculine traits and women have more feminine traits, but in many cases these overlap or are equally balanced. It is great that we are so varied. When we understand that, we will also understand that we are to various degrees bisexual. Some will usually be more attracted to the opposite gender, but there is bound to be one individual of the same gender in all heterosexuals’ life that they are attracted to, and there is no need to panic or feel weird about it! Sexuality can finally become part of our private lives, that nobody need be concerned with unless it’s relevant to them for dating purposes, and we are called men or women purely on the basis of our genetic make-up, but no implications, associations, expectations or judgements on what we may or may not do will be associated with those words.
And finally, men will understand that not only women can do what they do, but men can do what women too. They have in them. They CAN do it. Even they can grab the new bathroom mat, and put it in the bathroom when it’s missing, and not be less “manly” because of that.