Radical Feminism: theory vs practice

February 18, 2009 at 9:46 pm (feminism, Giant Babies, idiots, Nigel, personal)

EDITED: for various reasons parts of this post have been removed.  Am happy to discuss in more detail in email communication, but I’m not happy to discuss the reasons on here.

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Everyone has issues, yes? I’m included there, I DEFINITELY have issues. But sometimes when I look at the issues in my life I hit this very confusing wall between what’s happening in my life, what I’m doing, choices I’m making etc, and what I believe, especially in relation to feminism. I know I’ve previously said that we all make compromises, but I still feel like I’m an idiot for ending up with the problems I do. It sometimes gets to the point where I don’t feel comfortable turning to my sisters for support, help and advice, because I know how foolish I’ve been, and I know what the answer according to radical feminism is.

When I have(big) nigel issues, I know the radically feminist answer would be to move on with my life. I also know the p-approved response would be to be a better girlfriend so I don’t cause him to create issues. It appears I’d like to have my cake and eat it too though, because neither answer is the one I want. I want my own damn answer.

And when I find myself in a friendship that is just a ridiculously stupid idea, and I know what my radical feminist sisters would think of me if they knew about it, and I know that none of them would be foolish, or p-brainwashed enough to end up in the same situation. I know what the right thing to do is, but unfortunately, I know how hard it is to freeze the friend out and move on. Almost like breaking an addiction.

At the end of the day, how can I sit here, safe behind my computer, and espouse all this shit about believing in radically feminist ideals, if I’m making no effort in my everyday life to live up to them? If I’m not willing to put entitled arsehats in their place; if I’m going to constantly compromise with my belief systems to justify staying friends with someone, how can I possibly sit here and call myself a radical feminist? I’m not asking because I want lots of pats on the back in comments and lots of remarks on how hard it is in the patriarchy, it’s just something I’m genuinely thinking about.

Occasionally I’m reminded that my radical feminist sisters also struggle with all of this. Recently two of my blamer friends on facebook had long arguments with people who will just never get it. (see future post) I was reading it thinking, why are they still friends with these people? Then I looked at my friends list of 200 people and realised that I do my best to keep the most radical of my opinions to myself because my friends would be the same, if not worse. It’s an extremely hard line to walk, and I’m not sure I’m doing it successfully. But I’m trying.

Oh, and to those following at home, I’ve made significant headway on breaking that addiction and I think I may have a shot at staying clean from here on out. It’s much less fun, but definitely more appropriate.

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3 Comments

  1. Jo said,

    I hear you.

    I’m good at talking on the boards; I’m even good talking with my Nigel. But confront actual friends? Hard. Scary.

    Getting over patriarchal conditioning is no easy matter, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of if it takes time. We all suffered a daily barrage of garbage designed to enculturate us into compliance with the patriarchy, and we have but few voices now to tell us we don’t have to do it that way. Even if the voices include our own, we have been brainwashed into believing that Our Voice Doesn’t Matter; It Doesn’t Know What It’s Talking About.

    We are Sysiphus. This is our struggle: to replace what has been ingrained in us so deeply that we hate ourselves for questioning, that we expect ourselves to perform perfectly or not at all, that we can’t treat ourselves as human when we are.

    Shorter me: Do the best you can. Your sisters are rooting for you, every step.

    • whyimbitter said,

      You are very good at talking on blogs too 🙂 that was awesome. thank you

  2. Jo said,

    Thank you for that. ^_^

    I don’t usually wax so eloquent, but this was something I Had To Say. You know the feeling? It was bigger than me, and needed to be expressed.

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