OBERLIN, OH—According to a study released Monday, women—once empowered primarily via the assertion of reproductive rights or workplace equality with men—are now empowered by virtually everything the typical woman does.
"From what she eats for breakfast to the way she cleans her home, today's woman lives in a state of near-constant empowerment," said Barbara Klein, professor of women's studies at Oberlin College and director of the study. "As recently as 15 years ago, a woman could only feel empowered by advancing in a male-dominated work world, asserting her own sexual wants and needs, or pushing for a stronger voice in politics. Today, a woman can empower herself through actions as seemingly inconsequential as driving her children to soccer practice or watching the Oxygen network."
Klein said that clothes-shopping, once considered a mundane act with few sociopolitical implications, is now a bold feminist statement.
"Shopping for shoes has emerged as a powerful means by which women assert their autonomy," Klein said. "Owning and wearing dozens of pairs of shoes is a compelling way for a woman to announce that she is strong and independent, and can shoe herself without the help of a man. She's saying, 'Look out, male-dominated world, here comes me and my shoes.'"
...Whereas early feminists campaigned tirelessly for improved health care and safe, legal access to abortion, often against a backdrop of public indifference or hostility, today's feminist asserts control over her biological destiny by wearing a baby-doll T-shirt with the word "Hoochie" spelled in glitter.
"Don't tell this bitch what to do," said Kari Eastley, 24, a participant in the Oberlin study and, according to one of her T-shirts, a "Slut Goddess." "I wear what I want when I want, and no man is going to tell me otherwise. We're talking Pussy Power, baby."
..."It is great to be a female athlete, senator, or physician. But we must not overlook the homemaker who uses a mop equipped with convenient, throwaway towelettes, the college co-ed who chooses to abstain from sex, and the college co-ed who chooses to have a lot of sex. Only by lauding every single thing a woman does, no matter how ordinary, can you truly go, girls."
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The new heights of feminism
I have to admit I have fallen behind on my Onion reading recently, so Danya scooped me on this, but I can't agree more. Feminism has been sucked up by the all-absorbent power of consumerist America and Madonna inspired faux-feminism (that is, the ridiculous belief that doing exactly what the status quo tells you you should do to turn yourself into an object is somehow empowering).