Thursday, June 18, 2009

Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day (for a Feminist)

Sometimes, I'm quite hopeful about the future of feminism. And other times I feel such despair that, despite more than 30 years of fighting for equality, we've made seemingly little progress.

Case in point: today. Everywhere I looked I saw yet another example of how far we are from being truly liberated.

First, my husband says, "Honey, please change your name on all your grocery store club cards. I'm so tired of them calling me Mr. MaidenName." My response was, "How do you think I feel?! I've got to deal with people calling me by a name I was not born with all day long!"

Later on, we went to the mall to shop for a Father's Day gift for my father-in-law. As we're walking through Harry & David, I saw this:

Really? For fuck's sake. It's 2009, and yet relationships between women are still portrayed as frivolous, shallow, tenuous connections based solely on an assumed gender-wide obsession with shoes, purses and a squawking cell phone.

And then, to top it off, I saw this gem while skimming Google News:

Men-only Train Cars Sought in Groping Fears.

If you don't feel like reading, the gist of the article is that to avoid the (incredibly common) phenomenon of women and girls being groped on crowded Japanese commuter trains, the Seiku railway has established Female-only train cars during rush hour. The article goes on to say that men need similar protections against false charges of groping.

In a statement, the railway's shareholders say, "While measures against groping, such as setting women-only carriages, have been effective to a certain extent, no measures have been taken against false charges of groping... In the spirit of gender-equality, a male-only carriage must be introduced."

How about, "In the spirit of gender equality, let's work to eradicate the societal norms that make it okay to grope women in the first place." How about that? Or maybe something like, "In the spirit of gender-equality, let's stop the objectification of women completely so that the thought of any inappropriate touching would be so appalling that men who did so would commit hari-kari."

My absolute favorite part of this statement is when the shareholders say the measures against groping "have been effective to a certain extent." So, instead of taking steps to educate, to promote equality and to ensure that the measures are one hundred percent successful, they turn their attention to the issue of ... men falsely accused of groping.

Sick, sad world.

No comments:

Post a Comment