equality

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PATRIARCHAL FAMILY TOTEMS


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Hiiiii!

So… I was scrolling through IG the other day (living my best life, minding my own biz 😜) when I came across an innocent post that a friend of mines husband had put up of a makeshift family totem.

The wall arrangement depicted the the father at the top, followed by the mother, the child and then of course the family pet. Cute right?

On most days I would think so too and just leave it at that.

However, this time my typical response was accompanied by annoyance stemming from a single question…

Obviously their placement of the totem figures was based on traditional western interpretation of hierarchical order (top down, with the top being a position of authority and dominance).

Now before you get your nickers in a twist. I am not trying to paint this as a horrific act against feminism or undermining their family/personal expression. I respect it. Which is why I didn’t make it my business to evoke this specific conversation with them directly or leave any remarks regarding my thoughts on their post. By all means do you as long as you aren’t going out of your way to hurt people.

I am sure they probably weren’t even remotely thinking about their post in terms of patriarchy vs. feminism. To them it was probably just a cute way to depict their family. And it is. Adorable even. I am simply using this as an example of how patriarchy has been so normalized in our culture. In fact it has been so normalized that I actually feel like I have to defend myself to point something like this out to avoid being painted as a crazed feminist (I’m not, just a raging one at times lol) #ridiculous

Most of us wouldn’t even think twice about this totem formation. Most probably would set it up the same way by default and maybe even do it with a quizzical look on their face when asked to do it differently: wondering why it’s even a question. They would place the male figure (in a hetero-sexual house hold) on the top; explaining it’s perfectly normal and follows tradition (this is usually accompanied by a look of pride that I never really understood). All the while this tradition is based on the dated belief that the man is the head of the homestead and the woman his subordinate.

However, by no means is that an accurate or even acceptable assumption anymore. It may seem harmless enough but maybe we need to start considering implications of mindlessness such as this. The underlying message carries a lot of weight. The message that it sends to girls and boys equally as they grow up and form their sense of self. Clearly I’m not saying a simple wall totem goes up and a little girl will be enslaved to the patriarchy as a result or that a little boy will become a sexist entitled pig (extreme I know). But the society that SHE grows up in, that mindlessly depicts such a hierarchy through a million other constructs aimed at her, makes it a hell of a lot harder for her to be equal to her brother (in her mind as well as others).

I think it’s a conversation worth having. I don’t think I’m being petty or the “politically correct” police. All I’m asking is that we start being a bit more aware, at the least, of the implications of the not so obvious and maybe even be open to having a convo like this.

Peace and Love,

Elysianish

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LET’S DEFINE FEMINISM


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In light of recent political developments and the rise of various political figures the feminist movement is on a bold rise again. However, feminism isn’t a new concept. The roots of the movement can be traced back to 1895 in the UK and the US. Originally it focused on equal contract and property rights for women. We even had to fight for the equal right to our own babies…that we carry….inside of us…using up our life source like aliens…for nine months… but I digress. By the end of the nineteenth century activists primarily focused on political mobility, particularly the right of women suffrage. Even back then feminists such as Voltairine de Cleyre and Margaret Sanger were still active in campaigning for women’s sexual, reproductive, and economic rights at this time. (History facts from this page)
Basically we feminist, and I say feminist because it is unwise to use women and feminist interchangeable (sadly not all women subscribe to the idea of feminism, and men can be feminist too 🙂 ), have been fighting for this ish a loooong frikin time!
Often times when it comes to politically charged verbiage the meaning and definition of terms gets misconstrued and warped into all kinds of ideas and meanings; to the extent that nobody knows what the hell they are really talking about. So I thought I would take a moment and sit right here and explain what feminism is and who a feminist is.
What it is:
noun
noun: feminism
  1. the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.
    synonyms: the women’s movement, the feminist movement, women’s liberation, female emancipation, women’s rights;

    informal women’s lib
    “a longtime advocate of feminism”

     

Feminist:

noun
noun: feminist; plural noun: feminists
  1. 1.
    a person who supports feminism.
adjective
adjective: feminist
  1. 1.
    relating to or supporting feminism.
    “feminist literature”

     

Who and What it is not:

  • ONLY Women that hate men.
  • The belief that women are superior to men.
  • ONLY women that are lesbians.
  • Someone that hates bananas and Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” song.
  • Someone that ONLY likes to dress “masculine”.
  • Someone that ONLY likes to dress “feminine”.
  • The belief that circular shapes are superior to triangle shapes.
  • Someone that views being “feminine” negatively.
  • Someone that views being “masculine” negatively.
  • Someone that hates the color pink.
  • Someone that believes everyone should be just like them.
  • Women that are ugly and single. And probably will be until the day they die.

The list can go on and on but hopefully you get the idea. And the idea (in case you missed it) is that these alternative opinions and beliefs about feminism and feminist are ridiculous and completely misinformed. Clearly some of these ideas are much easier to identify as absurd than the others, but none the less they are all absurd. These negative notions circling the movement are nothing but false accusations made by individuals with overcompensating egos (poor little things). Now do some of those variations exist. Yes. But they do not construct the definition of feminism. Furthermore, if someone does perpetuate these sort of negative beliefs whilst calling themselves a feminist then they are severely dissociated from the movement. Unfortunately, yes there are dum dum’s peddling these ideas and stereotypes out there. But do you really want to join them in their dum dum-ness? I didn’t think so. So don’t be a dum dum. Be informed.