When I Participate in FemFest: Day Two

Welcome to Day Two of Feminisms Fest! If you missed my first post and are confused about what in the world is going on, click here. (Also, if you’re confused about why I’m not just posting the Day Two post on the actual Day Two of FemFest, it’s because I’ll be participating in Thursday’s Transit Lounge discussion. So, my FemFest posts each have to be moved up a day early.)

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Day Two prompt: “What is at stake in this discussion? Why is feminism important to you? Are you thinking about your children or your sisters or the people that have come before you? Or, why do you not like the term? What are you concerned we’re not focusing on or we’re losing sight of when we talk about feminism?”

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It doesn’t surprise me anymore when I turn on the TV and the majority of the commercials feature seductive women advertising soap or tacos. It shouldn’t surprise me that stereotyped gender roles come through even in commercials, but it does every time – and I make a sour, sour face and start ranting every time too. Why is it that women in “sexy cowgirl” attire are paired up to share a burger on TV in an attempt to gain burger-loving, male patrons? Because burgers are “manly” and men are attracted to seductive women? Why is it that prim-and-proper housewives are used on TV to advertise salads? Because salads are “womanly” and women can primarily identify with wives and mothers? Come on, commercials, we can be better than that. There’s nothing wrong with wives and mothers, but there’s a lot wrong with the reiteration of the gender roles mold. We need feminism in order to cut out this innately flawed messaging from our entertainment.

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It doesn’t surprise me anymore when I go to a Bible study or another Christian venue and hear a man, the main speaker, aligning the gender roles mold with a standard of godliness. Or the man’s wife, the speaker assigned to speak to the women, doing the same. (And that’s not even commenting on the fact that the man is the main speaker but not the woman. Or on the fact that the man gets to be referred to as “the man” but his wife is referred to as “his wife.” Oh wait, I did just comment on that.) We need feminism in order to cut out the innately flawed implications of this behavior.

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We need feminism for many more reasons than just the above two. We need feminism so that girls don’t grow up believing that their main priorities in life are sexual purity and finding someone to affirm them physically. We need feminism so that it doesn’t take the time for girls to grow into women before they understand how to work out the tension of who they are, and so that becomes a higher priority than working out a 40-point list of what’s to be found in a “godly man.” We need feminism so that girls and girls-turned-women don’t feel the need to live life in search of a husband and a family of four – but so that they also know that if their hearts are full of the wishing for that, it’s nothing to blink a judgmental eye at. We need feminism so that we start knowing what to do with girls who heart-sing for the words brave and fierce, not just with girls who think out their twenty-years-later weddings and dream of being named beautiful and gentle. We need feminism so that women stop feeling the need to be quiet and reflective in the classroom, unless they really want to be, and letting men take the lead in discussion. We need feminism so that women understand that their prayers and their commentary and their not-yet-fully-thought-out thoughts are equally as valuable as those of their male counterparts. We need feminism so that we all get a lot more okay with women being quiet because they want to be and women being loud because they want to be and both kinds of women having the potential to be world-changers – because the same holds true for men, doesn’t it?

We need feminism for a whole slew of reasons. Read about some more reasons by clicking here on Wednesday, when the Day Two FemFest link-up will become active. And in the meantime, feel free to comment in response to the Day Two prompt. I’d love to hear your stories and thoughts!


February 26 Joy Dare: 3 Gifts Seen as Reflections
Oy vey, what is with these gift categories that I just can’t do a thing with? Onto general Tuesday gifts! (Sorry, Ann Voskamp.)
1. A good life-rant
2. Tromping on snow bits as if they were leaves
3. FINALLY getting a run in and feeling so good afterwards

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