I mentioned that I revealed my Domestic Discipline lifestyle to my sisters. (Post 116. Revealing DD to my Sisters). In further discussions, one of my sisters stated, “I thought you were a feminist, I guess not!”
I found this interesting on a two of levels. One, I never identified as a feminist before, so why did she assume I did? The other is that my thoughts on the equality of women are mutually exclusive from the choices I make for myself.
Just know my rants are not limited to my blog. Nope. I rant in real life and my sister’s statement got me on roll of a rant.
I told her that I never thought of myself as a feminist, but also never disagreed with the basic premise of feminism. I boil it down to simply the difference between right and wrong, just and unjust. I always feel I stood up against ideas that promote social inequality. The empowerment of women is part of that, but no more or less important to me than the empowerment of all individuals. None of us should have any human rights arbitrarily restricted from us because of age, gender, race, religion, economic status, sexual preference, sexual identity, kinks, etc. And I also believe that those categories should not have the right to arbitrarily restrict the rights of those in any other category.
I explained to sis that I have made decisions about how to live my life that are contrary to the meaning of empowerment. I do so knowingly and willingly and for me, it is immensely rewarding and fulfilling in ways I have shared many times. However, my decisions are about my role within our household. I serve Mike, I submit to Mike, but I do not serve mankind and do not feel submissive toward anyone else.
I recognize that people are heavily invested in their discrimination – so much so that they are blind to its’ harm. They believe it is justified. Their investment typically comes from being indoctrinated from birth…”My parents thought that way,” “My community thought that way,” “My schools, religion, country, ancestors, etc., thought that way.” “I taught my children to think that way.” Yep, pretty invested.
And they are so invested in their discrimination that it is not sufficient for them to just accept that their beliefs are right for them. No, they are so insecure about the validity of their thinking that they do all they can do impose their thinking on others. If they truly felt their way of thinking was so “right” and so “self-evident,” then why not allow that thinking to be scrutinized? If they are correct, then that scrutiny would only lead to more people thinking as they do.
Of course the thought of even entertaining scrutiny is very painful for them because they are so heavily invested. “You are saying my parents were wrong?” “You are saying my culture is wrong?” “You are saying my religion is wrong.” You are saying my political affiliation is wrong?” They are so invested that they don’t allow themselves to ever question such things, so how could they possibly entertain questions from others? To question is to doubt, and that doubt is just too painful to consider. Hate is just easier.
This is why over the years the government has had to try to force people to not discriminate. By and large it works, as more people are exposed to other thinking, the “others” become more humanized to them. Unfortunately, as more people divest themselves from the hate, the remaining haters have become desperate to cling on to their dehumanizing thinking. They tend to wrap that thinking in their faith and in the flag. Thus the current political environment in the U.S.
A political history side note – interesting that until the mid-1960’s, the U.S. political party that was socially progressive was the Republican party. Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, etc. If you look at the social platform of the Republican party of the 1950’s, you’d swear you were looking at the Democratic platform from the 80’s through today. Nixon converted the racist Dixiecrats to the GOP as those southern democrats were alienated by Kennedy’s progressive social stances, thus hate found a new home. What didn’t change was that the South continued to vote against its own self-interest. Which is why the South has the highest divorce, murder, STD/HIV/Aids, teen pregnancy, single parent homes, infant mortality, and obesity rates, while having the poorest health care and lowest rates of high school graduation. And don’t think it is the minorities. The food stamp capital of the U.S. is white (Owsley County, Kentucky). Oh, but all of this happens to be the “bible belt” so, at least they believe in the right God and at least they are focused on keeping trans kids in the “right” bathrooms.
So, sis, no, I don’t specifically identify as a feminist, I identify as a humanist. And of course that includes women, and I believe that gender should not grant someone special privilege, nor relegate someone to a lesser status in life.
For me, I look at the choices adults get to make about their lives and if their decisions don’t restrict other people’s freedom, then fine by me. While I have biases (we all do) I try to challenge them (when I recognize them). And while I have a variety of personal beliefs that I promote (such as what DD has done for me), I am in a continued mode of self-reflection and inquiry. This is all in attempt to ensure an honesty about my choices. I welcome questions and doubts and concerns from others.
I also try to divest myself of negative stereotypes that my upbringing reinforced in me and that society continues to reinforce. I think of it more like the color I choose to paint my house (it’s called Carriage House). I like it, it works for me and my situation (works well with the bricks). But I don’t expect other’s to choose it for themselves and I don’t feel offended if they don’t like my choice. I accept that just so long as they don’t act in a way to restrict my choice (homeowner association bylaws excluded, but hey, I made a choice to abide by those bylaws). Unfortunately, in this analogy, there are too many people who, at best, want to keep someone down because of their choices, and at worst, want to kill those people because of their choices.
And sis, while I have found beauty, fulfillment, growth, love, and peace in submitting to Mike, I have no expectations that others will embrace this lifestyle for themselves. And while I find that same beauty, fulfillment, growth, love, and peace in my sexual explorations, again, I have no expectations that others would find the same.
I am proud and excited to say, “I can’t do that without checking with my husband.” I am not okay with me or anyone saying, “You can’t do that without checking with your husband.” So, sis, in simple terms, yes, I am a feminist, but I believe I am much more than that.
Sis: “Wow, Jenny, that was intense. So, tell me, what do you feel about Trump?”
We laughed. The truth is, I probably would not have gone on such a rant if not for our so-called President. The fact that hate has been validated and empowered requires us to resist expose, fight, ridicule, deny, and extinguish it at every opportunity. Such was my opportunity when my sister asked me a simple question.