Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tell It Slant: Or Why Feminisms Should Not Be Blunt Instruments #7

Currently I am a turtle, being washed ashore. I can hardly breathe.
One of the disappearing Salmon trying to hide my tracks.
Difficult in water.
I do not want such risky energy developments.
The new Feminisms are not the old, though the issues may be similar, even identical.
There are reasons to be cloaked and uncloaked.
There are moments to be direct and indirect.
I do not want so much distance between consumer and product.
Being counted is extremely important but in a society that is becoming dependent on ever sharper abilities to pool opinion and either a/ court it or b/ ignore it this feminist finds it a very important time to be an even more intense feminist even more intensely cloaked.
I do not want to be an ineffectual orange boom trotted out uselessly as a front line defense against twenty foot waves and an unstoppable flow of raw energy.
I don't care how well-funded the orange boom is.
I will not be obvious for you.
I will not react in a way you have anticipated.
I will not go gently, or easily.
I will not be compliant in the way you want.
My imagination is not for conducting corporate research.
Nor is my time best used compiling statistical data for your market research.
I can't be outsourced.
I do vote. I do agitate. I will continue to love fashion.
I don't think design is only for the rich.
My future includes rain forests and downtowns.
I'm not the label you want to affix.
I will, yes, continue to have fun.
The minute you think you've figured me out I will transform.
I am at your dinner table, thank you very much.
I may even be you.

Vanessa Place has been busy with her interventions. You can find quite a few of them over here.

“Equal Rights for Men.”

May 5th, 2010 by Vanessa Place § 0
of New York
In the House of Representatives, May 21, 1969
Mr. CHISHOLM. Mr. Speaker, when a young man graduates from college and starts looking for a job, he is likely to have a frustrating and even demeaning experience ahead of him. If he walks into an office for an interview, the first question he will be asked is, “Do you type?”
There is a calculated system of prejudice that lies unspoken behind that question. Why is it acceptable for men to be secretaries, librarians, and teachers, but totally unacceptable for them to be managers, administrators, doctors, lawyers, and Members of Congress.
The unspoken assumption is that men are different. They do not have executive ability orderly minds, stability, leadership skills, and they are too emotional.
It has been observed before, that society for a long time, discriminated against another minority, the blacks, on the same basis – that they were different and inferior. The happy little husband and the contented “old darkey” on the plantation were both produced by prejudice.
As a black person, I am no stranger to race prejudice. But the truth is that in the political world I have been far oftener discriminated against because I am a man than because I am black.
Prejudice against blacks is becoming unacceptable although it will take years to eliminate it. But it is doomed because, slowly, white America is beginning to admit that it exists. Prejudice against men is still acceptable. There is very little understanding yet of the immorality involved in double pay scales and the classification of most of the better jobs as “for men only.”
More than half of the population of the United States is male. But men occupy only 2 percent of the managerial positions. They have not even reached the level of tokenism yet. No men sit on the AFL-CIO council or Supreme Court. There have been only two men who have held Cabinet rank, and at present there are none. Only two men now hold ambassadorial rank in the diplomatic corps. In Congress, we are down to one Senator and 10 Representatives.
Considering that there are about 3 1/2 million more men in the United States than men, this situation is outrageous.

1 comment:

Old 333 said...

Thanks for the reads (project complete until I get stuck into a new one, I can just write poems and relax and actually READ the occasional thing more than three minute's worth).

I understand feminism as a consciousness of unbalance, that must remain awake until we all sleep easier with each other (not like that! i mean more generally like).

I remember my ex reading me bits of a sci-fi piece in which all the women were like Navy S.E.A.L.S. and firemen and stuff, and the men went through this great humiliating manhood ritual, where a powerful female figure ceremoniously ripped off their ludicrously huge penis sheath and made free with them to celebrate the beginning of their terrified adulthood. Inversion's a pretty old trick, but it's a good one. Most revealing of supremacist madness. What have we done to ourselves in the West? All those women killed and tortured just to alter the power structures. Was it worth it? What a loss of knowledge. How dumb. Just think how different weapons tech would be alone. Truk Nutz would still exist, though. They are a permanent, ugly scar upon the Mind of Creation. (I guess their counterpart would exist as well, in this postulated world of proper balance - mind shrieking at the possible spellings)

You know, this whole piece for some reason has made me decide to go and read the other half of that 'Wasps' play - the Sophocles or Aristo-whatever one, I got sent a copy before I started this appalling project (333 poems in 1/3 of a year - i ended up allowing notebook mining, though). Now I am going to go over to the old house and find that book and bring it home to my horrid trailer (actually, it's plaidly comforting, where it isn't woodgrain splendid or houndstooth [insert adjective]). God, I love brackets. And asterisks. (didn't use a footnote for no reason - 10 psychiatrist bonus points, gain 1 pill or 2 counsellings, add video game effects here)

Thanx again - and for links. Found a few amusing paths thru the net from here. Canadiaings. Always so good at things. (hey, does that rhyme? i think i am overtired....

ta an' g'night -