Not Anti-War? Not Non-Violent? Must Not Be A Feminist!

by Sidra Vitale

This isn't a response to any particular news article. More an aggregate.

There's this connection between American feminism and rampant liberalism, pardon my French, that is an artifact of the movement's growth and placement during the 1960's. In order to be feminist, at one point in time, you pretty much had to be at loggerheads with, oh, everything else. Which in turn means your compatriots were other anti-establishment groups and individuals.

So, feminism in the 60's (remember I wasn't there, so I don't really know) was intimately linked to ideas of capitalism being bad and socialism being preferrable, non-violence, and anti-whatever-the-government-is-doing.

Here we are 40, count 'em, 40 years later, and capitalist power-hungry money-grabbing moi gets spam -- because I identify as a feminist -- about anti-war conferences and demonstrations, because as a 60's-feminist-legacy-type I must automatically be against the use of violence to solve a problem.

Well, I'm not. And I'm still a feminist. Remember feminism? Equal rights and opportunities regardless of gender. That's it. I want to serve in the military? More power to me. I want to be a missionary in Africa? More power to me. I want to be a homemaker and concentrate on raising strong, intelligent, self-reliant children? More power to me!

And if I think war with Iraq is not such a bad idea?

Oh, I must not really be a feminist. Because feminists are women, y'know. And women are non-violent.

Really? Well, I'm all for giving every battered spouse a gun and the training to use it. I'm all for martial arts training in Junior High instead of Home Ec. I was all for removing the Taliban from their rule of Afghanistan. In 1996. And I'm all for responding to Saddam's decades-long flouting of international agreements in an appropriate manner, and if that includes invasion, let's do it.

My problems with Iraq involve US policies, strategy, and unilateralism. Not the use of violence.

Having my own opinion on the subject does not question my feminist street cred, thank you SO much.

Copyright © 2003 by Sidra Vitale

02/10/07 at 5:15