It’s the middle of Women’s History Month and we’re facing some of the most aggressive attacks on women ever in this country, while people are overwhelmed by the terrible tragedies in Japan and the desperate battles for autonomy in the Gulf as people fight against dictators who have traditionally been propped up with help from our government. So you may find this week’s column reflects some of that bitterness.
A Series of WTFs for Women’s History Month
It’s Women’s History Month and I have to say it depresses the hell out of me this year. I’m old enough to remember the second wave feminists, and all too well the backlash and splinter groups and the endless, endless “You’ve come a long way, baby!” smug pats on the back or behind. All of which tried to give the impression that we’d had enough already, missy.
Third wave feminists have re-energized the key issues, trying to keep the momentum going and forging bonds beyond class and beyond the borders of the privileged West. On many days, I can be hopeful, I can see the progress, I can admire all the men who do not see a woman’s strength as a threat to his masculinity, all the parents who don’t park their daughters in front of the Disney channel to brainwash them into Princesses, and I revel in being surrounded on a daily basis by charming, energetic, creative and awesomely smart women.
And then there’s today, where I feel overwhelmed by the virulent attempts to shut women down in all possible ways. This is only a small part, but I’ve got a little list:
I also received the most sublime negative criticism from an academic peer: “the anti-academic tone is off-putting in the extreme” and “The author’s desire to drug the audience seems self-aggrandizing.” Seems?! Well, yeah! I’d like to think I am a Dalí-esque drug. I should explain that this was the paper I gave last year at the Alan Moore conference in Northampton. It was never meant to be a traditional scholarly paper: it was a performance about Moore’s performances. The editors had intended to publish the proceedings and thought it fortunate that a newish journal expressed interest, though now that the journal has nixed several of the presentations, the editors are regretting that decision. C’est la guerre. Unless I can think of another place for it, I may just record it and make a video from the Powerpoint pres when I have a spare moment (which looks to be about July now).
With a little luck, I will get some pictures from Rome up tomorrow and tell a little more of my adventures. Promise! With the usual caveat that unexpected things keep arising…