Sunday, December 01, 2002

A Woman Blogger and Proud of It

Sharon writes about not wanting to be put in a separate category as a woman blogger. Dorothea has a good analysis of the larger issue. But I want to bring some thoughts that probably come mostly from 1970s feminism to the question of being identified as women. (I'm speaking here as more of a difference feminist; equal rights feminists wouldn't agree.)

I don't want to be accepted as just a person, because then the standing I have is what the men (who still have the weight of numbers and aggressiveness in most subcommunities) will give me. I would like a community where we will stand up for our interests as women, help each other and insist together on being heard. I don't feel we are past the point where that is needed, and am not sure I want to be. Our particular concerns are still seen as trivial or silly--today people make jokes about knitting and tomorrow the jokes will be about the acceptability of breastfeeding in work-related contexts. "The personal is the political" felt so crucial to us in the 1970s because women's interests were so often trivialized. I would stand up for those interests, not ask them to be ignored so that we can be accepted into a sex-blind society. I care more about acceptance by women than by men.

I did a google search on "the personal is the political" to try to find some quick background to provide, and what came up was a lot of weird stuff. The phrase was not about selfishness but rather was a way of fighting back against a system that said that war is important and childraising is not. Our experiences and our concerns need to count, in political discourse and in the classroom.

addition 12/3: Don't miss the thoughts of Sheila Lennon

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