Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm Not Bad-Ass ENOUGH

Ordinarily, I enjoy me a little Huffington Post readage.. But when I read Peg Aloi's article, Tough Gals: Do They Still Exist?, I felt my inner bad-ass ready to throw down.  In Peg's article, she equates feminism (which she considers to be bad-ass women only, apparently) with fictitious vampire slayers and Joan Jett.  She goes on to, in some length, berate women who engage in such non-bad-ass activities as cupcake blogging, knitting blogging, and Hello-Kitty-pajama-wearing gardeners who grow heirloom tomatoes.

Oh, Peg.  Have you learned nothing from Gloria Steinem?  Feminism isn't about slaying vampires or screaming into a microphone.  Feminism is about women having the choice to be who we want to be.  Women didn't have many choices when the feminist movement hit.  We were forced into roles deemed appropriate.  The whole point was that women should be able to decide for themselves what role they want to fill.

And personally, I feel there is nothing tougher than single moms who are trying to make a living and provide a loving home for their children while fulfilling their dreams.  There is nothing more feminist than women who can choose to be whatever they want.  Some women are knock outs in the boardroom.  Some women are life-changing researchers.  Some women are SAHMs.  Some women are politicians.  Some women are knitting bloggers.  But the common factor is that all of these women get to choose who they want to be.  Now that's bad-ass!

And on a personal note: I don't know anything about you, Peg.  Don't assume to know me.  I was a single mother who worked 3 part time jobs to care for my child while going back to school to give my son a better life.  I endured taking my child to doctor after doctor.  My son had 16 surgeries, was diagnosed on the autism spectrum and with numerous learning disabilities, and has bilateral hearing impairment.  (Mind you, after going through a horrendous pregnancy complete with preterm labor.  And I was the picture of perfection as a pregnant mom.  I ate extremely healthy foods, did not take any medicine at all, and followed every rule of pregnancy.)  I fought with schools for his needs.  My husband and I moved us out of state to provide appropriate health care for him.  I quit my job, the one that I'd received so many professional accolades for, to put him first.  Now that's BAD-ASS.

Go give Peg a piece of your mind and let her know that choosing to be who we want to be is not shameful or wimpy!

Now please excuse me while I go eat a cupcake and check on my heirloom tomatoes in my Hello Kitty PJs.



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24 comments:

  1. Not only am I loving your Rustic Autumn Shawl but I am loving this post. I totally agree with you.
    Meredith

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  2. Couldn't have said it better myself! :). You are perfectly BAD-ass!

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  3. Oops, I mentioned your Rustic Autumn Shawl on my blog today, Hope you get lots and lots of people in your knit along.
    XO,
    Meredith

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  4. Fantastic blog post! The women's rights movement was to allow women to do anything they wanted. There is nothing un-feminist about being a knitter, a mother, or a baker; such accusations divide and hurt us as women. The simple fact that we are knitting for pleasure -- not as something that's prescribed by society -- is certainly worth celebrating.

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  5. You make an excellent point! And you better believe I told her I disagree, thanks for standing up for us makers/crafters/feminists!

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  6. Well said, my fellow bad ass blogger. Doesn't sound like Peg has a clue.

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  7. I want to bow to your bad-ass greatness. Seriously and truly. You have it absolutely RIGHT ON. It's too bad Peg was a little short-sited on what real feminism is. Giving you a knitted fingerless glove fist bump in solidarity!

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  8. I wonder what she would think of my Hello Kitty wearing, mental health blogging, knitter, reader and I would like cupcakes and heirloom tomatoes.

    Naw, I could do without her misquided views.

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  9. Wooohoo! You go girl! Wooohooo! Very well said!

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  10. You inspired me to add a comment. I don't see much there in support of the author.

    My suspicious mind wonders if the editors approved this post just to raise the ire of knitters, cupcake makers, and Hello Kitty fans. It has received a lot of attention, tweeting, sharing, etc. Of course none of that makes the author's argument more cogent.

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  11. Oh, this made me draft a blog article as well, because my comment got too long here. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  12. Peg is seriously talking about a certain sect of radical feminism that is just not for everyone, and highly problematic because it builds more barriers that knocks them down, and by extension also insults and alienates women who may not believe in such extremisms.

    I agree, the whole point of feminism and fighting for equality was so we could in essence do what we wanted and not be seen as inferior simply because of our gender. The other point is to try and do away with "pink collar jobs" and try to make women's work equally as valuable in society than men's work, and this is where the problem of that radical feminism kicks in, because if to be seen as a "kick ass feminist" we have to do away with everything feminine and embrace masculine things, than we're not really fighting for equality, we're simply placing more value in men and what they do and taking away women's value.

    In other words, this article just set back the feminist movement about 40 years.

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  13. So.... Basically she's saying that all women should look like bull dykes? That women have to look tough and act tough just to prove that they are tough? What a load!

    Ugh, I just get so angry when I here things like this. I think every woman is a bad ass for putting up with so much crap from most of the men in this world. You are all wonderful, amazing, strong, smart, and impressive people, even if you do bake cupcakes or knit the while day long.

    The last time I checked, the women's rights movement was a fight for women to do what they want, and to protect themselves, not to be told by some other broad how to behave. Eesh.

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  14. I knit, spin, grow heirloom tomatoes and have a motorcycle license. I also have traveled to China 20 or so times to work on trade with the U.S.
    Now, sorry, which category do I fit into? ;o)

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  15. You know what? Being bad-ass is knowing that you don't have to tell the world you are bad-ass! Great post!

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  16. Sounds like Peg is defining feminism too narrowly. In order to be a bad ass woman you must meet certain criteria? But to me one of the most important aspects of being a "bad ass" woman is recognizing your individuality and knowing you possess the freedom to embrace it. Sometimes that individuality is distinctly feminine; sometimes it has masculine qualities. Her antithetical view is too bigoted and only works to set us back a few decades...

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  17. So yeah, I totally agree with Lisette (above), who I now see pretty much wrote the same thing I did. :o)

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  18. Way to go, great blog piece. Feminist is a label, and as you know so well from supporting your son, labels are limiting. I'm so tired of labels for people. I'm beginning to think we should just use one label: earthling. It describes all of us with no limiting behaviors.

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  19. Well-said. I think feminism is just as much about celebrating women in general despite our different interests, as it is about seeking equality with and respect from men. We're not all the same, and we shouldn't all have to be the same. And if she doesn't like that, then fine, more cupcakes for the rest of us!

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