A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Got a Pedestal?

Pedestal: Noun.  (1) the base or support upon which a statue, obelisk, or column is mounted. (2) A position in which one is greatly or uncritically admired.

So, this article happened this week.  If you weren't an angry feminist before reading it, you might be afterwards.  There have been some good responses (here and here for satire).  My response is simply that I don't want to be on a pedestal as something pretty to be looked at, and I don't want a man who thinks I belong on one.  I have not been raised to think of men as the enemy, but as equals.  There ain't nothing wrong with that.  Sitting at home knitting doilies is not going to attract the kind of men I would find interesting anyway.

The woman who wrote the original article seems to be thinking that life is a zero-sum game - if women gain something, men have lost something.  I refuse to believe that's true.  I think when both genders have equal rights, EVERYONE benefits, not just women.  Children of single mothers have a better shot in life if their mothers are paid equally with men (for just one example).

Perhaps the first definition of pedestal does have something that we all can look to as a goal.  I DO want to be a base of support - for others and for myself.  I want to be a strong, independent woman (and I feel like I need to be, as a Daughter of God) who can bear burdens and help others in her turn.  This doesn't mean I view men as the enemy to be cowed and defeated, but that I view them as Sons of God and co-equals.  When we view each other as having a spark of divinity, we are able to walk together into a better day.

Should we have debate about men and women?  Of course, it's fair game.  Are all men and women the same?  Absolutely not!  Is marriage an important goal?  Definitely.  But let's not use straw (wo)man arguments to tear down an angry feminist stereotype that doesn't exist.  Feminists don't hate all men, just the ones telling us to get back in the kitchen.  Below is one of my favorite feminist songs by Peggy Seeger:

I'll probably never be an engineer, but even if I'm never a mother, I can be a woman of faith, kindness, and courage in a world that needs all of these qualities - and I can seek to bring those characteristics into my career, whatever it is.  If men are intimidated by that, then good riddance.