Friday, October 9, 2015

Recommended Reading

Sigh. I sigh the sigh of a thousand very tired women who have heard the same shit over and over.

Why does this shit have to be coming from Meryl Streep?

I'm a mother, you know? And I am the mother of a son and I'm married to a man. I love men. And it's not what feminism has meant historically, it's what it has come to mean to young women that makes them feel it alienates them from the people that they love in their lives. That disturbs me. I'm – of course, of course – but the actions of my life prove who I am, what I am, what I do, where you put your money, where you put your mouth, so I live by these principles.

This, my friends, is the rambling of a famous woman too terrified of assholes who would call her a man hater to call herself a feminist. She's calling herself a "humanist," also known as the most useless title in the history of the universe. "I'm pro-human!" Good for you?

Anyway, Melissa McEwen of Shakesville has once again eloquently explained something that I could never quite get out of my head and onto the screen.

Streep is concerned that feminism alienates young women "from the people that they love in their lives," and insomuch as feminism has empowered me to draw boundaries with people who refuse to respect my autonomy, agency, consent, and equal womanhood, that may seem true. Except those people always have the choice to respect those boundaries and make themselves trustworthy and safe. It isn't feminism that isolates me from people I love; it is their disinterest in feminist tenets.

Feminism does not alienate me from men. It has taught me that I'm allowed to set strict boundaries with men, and men hate that shit, so men alienate themselves from me in response. That is not my problem. Strong boundaries are an essential part of good emotional and mental health. If any person is repelled by these boundaries, it means that they are a toxic person who is not good for said health and therefore it's fantastic that they have voluntarily removed themselves from my life.

Actually, what typically happens is that men, upon discovering boundaries, attempt to stomp all over them in response, and it falls on me to kick them the fuck out of my life. And I should be proud of myself every time that I do, because I'm taking care of myself and creating a healthy life space. Thumbs up all around.

So Meryl, maybe you should engage a bit more with feminism, because clearly you're not yet in a space where you can create healthy boundaries for yourself. You're letting boring anti-feminist rhetoric control your life. You've bought into the lie that men being sad = you did something wrong. If a man has a big sad that you're creating and enforcing boundaries, you're not a bad person because you gave a man a sad by taking care of yourself. That man is shit. Stay away from him. If he's a family member or old friend and you think it's worth it, challenge him to have respect for your boundaries! I'm sure he can do it. Human beings are all capable of basic respect.

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