The Raving Theist

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I Am A Feminist

February 22, 2006 | 29 Comments

My post on monogamy and chastity was accepted for inclusion in this week’s Carnival of the Feminists, currently running at Mind The Gap. MTG’s subtitle is “Feminism is a Movement to End Sexism, Sexist Exploitation, and Oppression,” so my credentials are now beyond dispute.

Due to an editing error, both of the block quotes in my post were attributed to The Feminist Mystique. However, only the first was from Friedan’s book. The second was taken from Deus Cartias Est (God is Love), the first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI. So he’s in the club, too.


29 Responses to “I Am A Feminist”

  1. Pixi
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 8:51 am

    Oh yes, Mighty RA, your credentials are FAR beyond the requirements of your readers. How silly it was for us to question you before. If only we knew how QUALIFIED you were.

  2. Viole
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 11:33 am

    Unfortunately, RA, it does not take a feminist to write about one.

  3. Lily
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 11:52 am

    Ah, a prophet has no honor in his hometown, does he?

  4. franky
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    Hey TRA,
    Interesting Article for you:
    Title: Ban on abortion is voted in South Dakota

    Let the rabble rousing being

  5. Shar
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

    Here’s what I’ve never understood about feminists: They always say that they only want the following things:

    To vote
    To be able to work where they wish
    To be financially able to raise a family with or without a male partner
    and, of course, among most (not all, but most) feminists, is the belief that women ought to be able to kill their unborn children.

    Guess what sisters… we’ve already got all that! What’s left of the machine to rage against?

  6. SBW
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

    Congratulations. I thought it was a very thoughtful piece.

  7. PHLAF
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

    The machine is now raging against those women who exercise their freedom of choice and choose to remain chaste until marriage, remain monogamous in that marriage, choose to birth their children, planned or unexpected, choose to stay home to raise them, and choose not to divorce their husbands after the child-rearing is done.

    Because, apparently, it is the duty of every highly intelligent, educated woman to return to the workfoce toute de suite once she has given birth. I’m not sure she’s even allowed to take a shower first. If we don’t (or, in my case, didn’t) we’re letting the sisterhood down and ruining the chances for every female who comes after us to either be allowed the opportunity to earn a degree or get a job.

    Or so says some dreary old hag on GMA this morning. And I love how she kept using the qualifiers “highly intelligent” and “educated” to indicate her opinion of women who choose to stay home. Because actually wanting to be a full time wife and mother means you’re an ignorant, uneducated nobody.

  8. wjt
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 4:59 pm

    I used to come to this site for solace with those whose views mirrored mine regarding god belief and rationality. It was bad enough dealing with the anti-choice posts from a man and from a rationalist who never provided me with an argument that I found convincing, ie, that anyone other than a woman has the right to control her own body. Now, I have to read this drivel about proper sexual behavior from a gay man (I am also gay). I may be in an 8 year long monogamous relationship, but I fins such views of proper sexual behavior absurd. And just because they were supported by a feminist does not give them any more weight (not to mention all the baggage Friedan still had in the 60s regarding sexuality and gender roles). Frankly, I don’t know where RA is going with this, maybe it is as simple as you don’t need god to be monogamous. If so, gee, what a stupid point. Especially since many religions advocate poolygamy FOR THE MAN.

    I guess what bothers me most is how a supposed rational human being who does not rely on superstition for support still spout the fundy’s argument for sexual repression either before, during or after the act.

  9. Mister Swill
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

    This post is a good example of what we like to call “hiding behind irony.”

  10. Choobus
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 6:00 pm

    Can you still be a feminist if you like to fuck chicks in the arse and then jizz up all over the boat race?

  11. Mister Swill
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 7:26 pm

    By the way, Shar and PHLAF, it would not take all that much reading to get a little bit of understanding of Feminism. I am certainly no expert on the subject, but come on! There’s a little more complexity and nuance to the subject than you two imply:

    • No Shar, those are not the universal goals of Feminism. The only real universal goal is that women should be treated as the equals of men. That is interpreted in many different ways by many people who consider themselves feminist.

    • No Shar, not all of those goals have been universally met. Oh sure, there are laws that say hiring decisions must not be based on sex, but are they always followed? Do some people think they are hiring based on ability when their decisions are in fact informed by culturally-based preconceptions of women’s capabilities? That’s just one example.

    • PHLAF, do you have the transcript from Good Morning America? Does your report of weird, exaggerated, totalitarian statements accurately reflect the person’s actual opinions? Do you know who the “dreary old hag” is? Is she recognized as a prominent feminist? Even if she is, are you aware of all the disagreement and varying goals among people who consider themselves feminists? Are you capable of a more nuanced world view than your comment implies? Just askin’.

  12. qedpro
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 7:59 pm

    Its sounds like PHLAF is feeling a little insecure because she’s turned into a 400 lb couch potato after having cranked out several babies and has realized that she’s totally unemployable and completely dependent upon a husband that could never get her off. You may not leave your husband but its just a matter of time before he leaves you.
    Don’t blame the feminists.

  13. Lily
    February 23rd, 2006 @ 9:13 pm

    What an ugly, unnecessary comment, Qedpro. What do any of you know about feminism and its goals? Feminism was supposed to free women to have real choices. Unfortunately, the 2nd wave, now mercifully dying off, didn’t like it when women chose to stay home and raise their children. Even Friedan admitted in the first edition of her book that most careers were open to women but that women by and large wanted to stay home. So what to do???

    Gloria Steinem gladly announced the plan in the early issues of MS magazine: no fault divorce. If women could not count on support from their husbands, they would be forced into the workplace. It was a frankly socialist view that no one who does not do “paid work” is valuable and it has caused untold misery to a whole generation of children and their mothers.

    Maybe you would like to move to Sweden where the feminists are trying to impose a man tax. You pay just for being male… and that is the least objectionable part of their agenda.

  14. qedpro
    February 24th, 2006 @ 12:28 am

    Sounds like you want your cake and eat it too. Its like free speech, both beautiful and ugly, you can’t have one without the other. If you want men to accept you as an equal then stop thinking that they owe you a living.

  15. Lily
    February 24th, 2006 @ 6:16 am

    Qedpro, your comment makes no sense, whatever. Equal what? Human being? We already are. Equal partner in marriage? That is a minimum requirement. Who raises the children, if mom and dad don’t? Some poor, ill paid, lower class woman that the likes of you despise? Yeah, there’s a solution. Everybody gets a paycheck and damn the price.

  16. PHLAF
    February 24th, 2006 @ 6:22 am

    qedpro, I run a couple of marathons a year and spend about three hours a day every other day in the gym, my husband, also a runner, and I have a very rich intimate life, and, well, yeah, I guess I did “crank out” two babies (is two several? I think technically not…) since I was in labor for about six hours with the first and three with the second. I am self-employed and work from home. Together, my husband’s income and mine exceed three hundred thousand dollars a year. Sorry, but your pathetic, childish, jealous little comments only show up your own sorry little insecurities and desperation.

    I was speaking to one particularly officious situation in which a particularly officious woman made some seriously divisive comments, and I mentioned this in my response. Her name was Linda Hirshman, and I have no idea if she’s a prominent feminist or not. She sure does think she’s pretty special in her own mind.

    Don’t know if you can find the whole transcript there, but that’s the segment I was referring to.

    For the record – I don’t believe anyone owes me a living, nor do I think this world owes any man a living, either. Hard work and good priorities will guarantee success, no matter what your chosen life path is.

  17. PHLAF
    February 24th, 2006 @ 8:38 am
  18. PHLAF
    February 24th, 2006 @ 8:44 am

    Hmmm…why didn’t my first post go through?

    Before I posted that link, I addressed q-somethingwhatever’s ridiculous and laughable little hissyfit and then I posted the link to the GMA segment, which I’ll try to post again…

    I don’t know if that includes a full transcript, but this is the piece I was referring to.

    I don’t know what Hirshman’s status is among the feminist crowd.

    I am aware that the word “feminist” doesn’t mean much anymore and that there are women who espouse a wide variety of opinions and beliefs who use that label to describe themselves.

    My original comment was slightly sarcastic in nature and was meant to address this specific person and her comments during this specific segment on GMA.

    My worldview is not that all women should make the choices that I made, but that women should be allowed to make the choices they’ve made without being told by some other woman that she is obligated to society to make a different choice – interesting, since feminism came about in response to men telling women they were obligated to society to make certain choices.

  19. hermesten
    February 24th, 2006 @ 9:44 am

    “…women should be allowed to make the choices they’ve made without being told by some other woman that she is obligated to society to make a different choice…”

    My problem with this statement is that it implicitly accepts the notion that one must have permission of some sort –“be allowed”- to be who they are. To accept that anyone has this power to “allow” is to accept servility. Those who seek to assert such power are transgressors, and should be treated with contempt, not reluctantly honored with authority.

    From Susan B. Anthony:

    “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences”.

  20. PHLAF
    February 24th, 2006 @ 9:59 am

    Well…okay. But you’re arguing semantics now.

    Women in this country have the right to choose among a variety of situations – they can choose to marry, choose to have children, choose to work outside the home, in the home, to sit around and eat Bon-Bons all day long…whatever.

    Bottom line – as long as they’re consenting adults and aren’t soaking off welfare, it ain’t nobody’s business but theirs.

    But you really have to have seen this woman to have gotten the arrogance and smugness and outright elitism underlying her opinion. The best is when she declares that descriptions of homelife she’s read don’t seem interesting to “complicated, intelligent” women. (She stresses words like intelligence and complicated and highly educated aLOT…heh…very telling…) Like, who the hell is she to speak for other women, anyway, and what makes her think anyone else finds her all that complicated or intelligent? Is she so full of herself that she thinks a description of her life would be fascinating to anyone else?

    And if she’s so all about making sure women don’t get shafted in the workplace, or find themselves destitute after a divorce, why does she completely disregard lower middle class, working class, and poor women? Why does she disregard women who only have a secondary level education?

    Her “opinions” really come off like a bunch of sour grapes.

  21. hermesten
    February 24th, 2006 @ 10:28 am

    “But you really have to have seen this woman to have gotten the arrogance and smugness and outright elitism underlying her opinion.”

    Yes, and sometimes semantics are important, most especially when they frame terms for relationship or debate.

    I don’t watch television, and if I did, I wouldn’t watch the power flacks on GMA. Think about why they had this woman on the show. All “debate” on commercial television is tightly framed and never allowed to wander outside the permissible boundaries. I didn’t see the show, but my first instinct is that she was allowed to speak in order to discredit “feminism.” People like the woman you describe are useful strawmen. Whenever any of these shows want to discredit a legitimate, or non-mainstream, idea or position, they bring on the wackiest or most extreme person they can find who ostensibly represents it.

    You’re obviously intelligent, so my suggestion to you is this. Don’t watch anything on TV for at least a month. Just read, think, get whatever news you want off the internet, without the imposition of talking heads. Then turn on GMA with a clear head and note what a bunch of idiotic garbage they’re spewing about absolutely everything. Look at what they talk about: 90% of this stuff is nothing more than advertising and promotion in disguise.

    For the record, my wife stayed home and raised our children. Our children were homeschooled, and she was their teacher. They were reading Thucydides, Dawkins, Darwin, Spengler, and even the Bible, when they were eleven years old, and not the dumbed down conformist propaganda in the school indoctrination program. They don’t watch TV either, and haven’t since they were old enough to read. There is no real “news” in our MSM today anyway. It’s almost entirely dumbed down noise, advertising, promotion, and propaganda.

  22. HappyNat
    February 24th, 2006 @ 10:30 am

    People who brag on the internet are funny . . . and sad.

  23. benjamin
    February 24th, 2006 @ 10:32 am

    PHLAF said:
    “(She stresses words like intelligence and complicated and highly educated aLOT…heh…very telling…)”

    It is telling. People who are really concerned that you find them intelligent, complicated and educated usually aren’t. They’re usually proud of themselves just because they aren’t the very dullest crayon in the box, and because they’ve taken some classes. I’ve never known anyone at the top of their field to use these terms to describe themselves on a regular basis. For instance, be wary of anyone who has the word “Smart” in their moniker. I’f you’re really smart, your posts will show that all on their own.

  24. Viole
    February 24th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    Lily, you sounded almost socialist for a second, when you said, “Who raises the children, if mom and dad don’t? Some poor, ill paid, lower class woman that the likes of you despise? Yeah, there’s a solution. Everybody gets a paycheck and damn the price.”

    Of course, you can’t really think this, because just before that you said, “It was a frankly socialist view that no one who does not do “paid work” is valuable and it has caused untold misery to a whole generation of children and their mothers.”

    Now, here you show your foolishness. The socialist view regards anyone who does not contribute to society as lacking value, and a quick study even the dictatorial soviet bloc shows you as being entirely off base. Poland, for example, gave women a year of paid maternity leave, and free childcare if they didn’t want to take it or when the year was up. Eighteen would be better, but that’s not really maternity leave, is it?

    I personally think familial childcare should be a paid position, with a fixed income for a stay-at-home parent regardless of gender or marital status(only one per couple, though). A smaller income would be substituted if the parents make use of regular daycare or other childcare facilities(schools not included). Add extra income, though not equal to the initial, for each additional child, and you’ve got an excellent system going.

    That, Lily, is a very socialist position.

    Now, let’s take a look at Sweden, shall we? Yes, they have put forth a proposal to tax men. Why? It is, apparently, an attempt to compensate society for the cost of violence against women.

    From the proposal itself: “When the costs of this aspect of socially destructive male behaviour are added up, it becomes clear how much money men’s violence costs society – money which could be used to increase women’s income, for healthcare, better working environments, and so on. It’s then only natural to ask how men collectively should take economic responsibility for men’s violence against women.”

    There you have it. The first part of the proposal–tallying the cost of violence–is quite reasonable. The second is compared by Schyman, the proposal’s author and apparently a former party boss, to a progressive tax scheme, aimed not only at societal recompense, but at eliminating the income gap.

    Next time, Lily, at least tell the whole story. You’re like a crappy right-wing publication, whining about what someone is doing without ever daring to ask why.

  25. PHLAF
    February 24th, 2006 @ 11:07 am

    I don’t usually watch GMA, actually, or any of the other network news/morning shows. I was merely channel-surfing and caught Diane Sawyer’s segue into the “Mommy Wars”, a subject I do find interesting.

    You’re right – we (men or women) don’t have to wait until someone “allows” us to choose something – we don’t even have to wait for society to “allow” us, as long as we’re willing to put up with the consequences that go with ignoring the conventional wisdom.

    I’ve had to put up with comments like that q poster’s all my life.

    But it’s Friday on the island, kiddies, and, looky-there, it’s almost noon, and one of the very dull, uninteresting-to-complicated-people details of my sad little stay at home life is that I get to start my weekends a lot earlier than most people.

    Or, as my husband is fond of saying, every day is vaction for me.


  26. qedpro
    February 24th, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

    The implication that running a marathon is a good thing astounds me. Like its some wonderful gift you’ve given to the world.
    Perhaps if you’d spent that time helping the poor, getting battered women safely to a shelter, or researching a cure for cancer, somehow imprving the human race instead of
    idolizing trivial pursuits, i’d have more respect. You want someone to support you so that you can
    pursue egotistical bullshit of zero relevance.

  27. PHLAF
    February 24th, 2006 @ 4:22 pm


    Dude, you’re an asshole. You just hate everyone and everything, don’t you, and think it makes you soooooo kewl…..

    Either I suck because I’m 400 lbs. or I suck because I’m not and time staying healthy would’ve been better spent helping the poor. /rolleyes

    Because the time you’ve spent here is soooo constructive, eh?

    You have no idea what I do to help those in need. For the record, many of the marthons and all of the shorter races I’ve run in benefit charitable organizations. Which you’d know if you were a runner. But I guess we know who the real couch potato is now…

    I run marathons because I like it, not because my running a marathon is some wonderful gift to the world. I would imagine it means exactly nothing to anyone but me, nor do I expect it to. And why I have to go around spending my leisure time doing things to please people like you, I don’t know.

    Actually, I don’t think raising children is a bullshit, egotistical pursuit, but you apparently do. Well, tell ya what, sweetie, hows about we all stop having children and see where that gets us all. Because once we achieve negative population growth, we’re all just subsistance living until we die. No need for a cure that benefits future generations, no need for further research in any field, no need for new job creation, etc. No need to end poverty or find ways to make health care affordable. Just make enough money to feed your face until you collapse and that’s it. As for the poor and the downtrodden, well, they’ll all die, as will their oppressors, so they can just suck it up ’til it’s over. They probably don’t have very high life expectancy anyway.

    My, but you’re a negative, angry, bitter little person? Could this be the result of all that philanthropic work you spend much of your time doing? All that working with the poor and the battered and the downtrodden? Or is your charming and pleasant nature the product of a rewarding and fulfilling job?

    You’re not making either look like very good choices, you know.

    Why don’t you calm down and have a beer? Oops! No, why don ‘t you calm down and buy a poor person or a battered woman a beer…

  28. Michael Bains
    February 25th, 2006 @ 5:34 pm


    ISMs reek. They’re only good as reference points and for people who are too lazy and/or unintelligent to try thinking originally for any length of time.

    Of course you’re a Feminist RA. And a thoughtful and creative one at that.

    You’ve just got an emotionalistic opinion on other folks rights over their own bodies.

    Congrats on the Carnivalia man. It’s a decent post and will likely garner lots more comments.

  29. Lucy Muff
    February 26th, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

    To be feminist is good thing, but must to be second to being Christian and obey Jesus and Husband. This be not incompatible with feminism because marry be partnership and in all partnership there should and then must be one person what is the one what says what it is.
    Jesus is Lord and all mans and lady must obey Jesus and enjoy His supreme Love.

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