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Old 10-26-2012, 03:27 PM   #19
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I think what is different about the oppression of women in the fifties and now is that it was sold to us as the norm, as the way to be a real woman, and we believed it. When we didn't believe it, there were sanctions to enforce it, including violence. There are many women still who lack power in their relationships and who suffer because of that. When patriarchal ideology is is used to justify these conditions, as it sometimes is among conservative religious folk, it becomes that much harder for women to realize that they are being ill-treated, to find allies, and to get out.

The conservative women who live these lives and love it -- and there are a lot of them -- I say you are lucky. Lucky that it worked out for you. If you had gotten the wrong husband or perhaps had been very poor, what hell might it have been for you? I hope they think about that the next time they teach in Sunday School that women should obey their husbands.

Women really lacking power and being oppressed -- that's nothing I support in any way. Pretending to lack power in that and even more sickening scenarios -- I am up for that. I like much more twisted shit than that. (not sharing).

As for people who live something that LOOKS like a traditional hierarchical arrangement but isn't, good for you. Have at it. I mean, who cares? I don't see any group of lesbians or feminists criticizing women for choosing whatever kind of arrangements. I think for most, the operative word would be "choose." There may be a few, but it's no one's public agenda to tell folks how to relate to their partners. Feminists are too busy trying to make sure unfunded battered women's shelters stay open and busy trying to protect abortion rights.

The Martha Stewart phenomenon is, I think, bad and good. Seventies feminism was about claiming the public sphere for women. The eighties conservative reaction -- Izod and proms and Martha Stewart -- was, in part, a backlash, but in part a reclaiming of the things we liked about the world before feminism, including homemaking. Martha is more popular among working class women who don't have the time or resources to do what she does or live as she does than she ever was with upper middle class women. It's a fantasy. It's not a bad one if you don't take it too seriously. It's not just about being all things to all people, knowing everything, doing everything well. It's about pleasure and self-care. It's also about one's relationship to consumerism. Do you make it yourself or buy it? If you buy it, what are you buying? Where are you getting it from? For some people, it's a political issue, for some it's about the quality of the experience. More and more, it's about both.

The recession has resulted in more focus on the home. It's cheaper to be home than go out. And so many people have lost their homes that I think we appreciate them more. Figuring out one's relationship to the home and homemaking is not easy.

Re June Cleaver, I would do her. I would lift that shirt dress over her head and . . . .
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