Yesterday was the fourth of July. Independence Day. Supposed to be patriotic. I had a hard time because my country tortures people. But the food was good.
I read the paper while I eat breakfast, but sometimes that just means I do the crossword puzzle. But lately I have actually read some, and so I have one piece of good news and one piece of bad news. I’ll start with the bad, always been a save the best for last kind of person.
Bad news: Someone who lives in my city wrote in to our paper that people who aren’t American citizens don’t have rights. With an exclamation point, no less. Problems with this include that it means we have some people, literate ones who live near me and sign their real name, who don’t think human rights for all humans is a good idea; that we have people who think America is the center of the universe and therefore don’t even bother to consider that other countries may have their OWN documents guaranteeing their OWN citizens rights; that we have people stupid enough and working in bad enough faith to come to the conclusion that “all men are…endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights” means “only American men are endowed by their government with certain unalienable rights” (unless he’s the kind of patriot who doesn’t believe in the Declaration of Independence, but I haven’t met one of those yet) (obviously there’s a gender problem there but he was arguing that foreign men don’t have rights so that wasn’t even the issue); and that we have people stupid and overconfident enough not to realize that if other people’s rights don’t count to America, then American people’s rights shouldn’t count to the rest of the world. That’s a lot of problems.
Good news: my paper covered a real feminist issue in a responsible way! It was an issue afflicting a Muslim country and they didn’t even get all hate-mongery; rather, they pointed out that the biggest cause of the problem was something related to men wanting to control female sexuality. They didn’t say it like that, but it was very straightforward with the facts, so anyone who isn’t completely anti-woman would probably see that as the problem if they bothered to think about it at all.
So today I went to work for my first real day of my very part time summer job (yay), and this guy who works with me picked up a Skirt magazine (it’s a free feminist magazine) and started looking through it. I don’t know him very well, although he seems like a lovely person. I asked him if he reads it, and he said he’d never seen it before and figured he’d look through it throughout the day, since it was so slow. Hmm. I couldn’t figure out what he thought about it, but he gets points for being willing to be seen with a magazine called Skirt. At one point I told him I didn’t know how I felt about the magazine (I’ve only seen it one other time, but I feel like it makes feminism look frivolous, but in reality I should just be glad that it uses the F-word and includes some feminist thought in something people I know in real life and didn’t meet at the campus women’s center might actually read) and he asked if I was a feminist. “YEAH!”
“Are you like, a radical feminazi?”
“…I would call myself a feminazi just to spite the people who say ‘feminazi.'”
He found this very funny. We’ll see. I guess I shouldn’t worry about if people think it’s weird that I’m a feminist; it’s clear that I don’t hate men, and I call myself a feminist BECAUSE of it’s negative connotations. Not because I’m that rebel who wants to shock and frighten people (SO not, which is clear from the fact that I was a little concerned), but because I think people need to learn, probably from a real person that they know and consider sane, what feminism ACTUALLY is. Or can be, at any rate.
I keep telling myself that next time someone asks me if I’m a feminist I’ll say, yeah, are you? Maybe someday.