Posted by: hellonhairylegs | March 29, 2008

Feminism and Insanity


When someone brings up an issue and you present a clearly feminist response, often the first reaction of the person threatened is to ask “Are you crazy?” or something equally stupid. I usually just plough ahead with the argument because answering “Yes” is rather jarring and answering “No” just sounds petulant. I try not to get caught up in answering the question because in effect it is a direct attempt to discredit my argument without refuting my logic or facts. It is merely a thin fig leaf, something the debater in question uses to keep from acknowledging the patriarchy or male privilege.

Next time someone expresses an oh-so-deep concern for my mental health I think I will answer “I wish I was crazy.” Because at some level I really do hope I’m crazy. I hope that the patriarchy is a totally made up concept that there is absolutely no evidence of. I wish that women around the world aren’t getting raped and murdered by their significant others at epidemic rates. I dream that prostitution and pornography are fully consensual activities that have no relation to drugs, abuse or coercion. I want to disbelieve when I read my scrapbook; the one that holds newspaper articles and quotes about the rape in Congo, Burmese women and landmines, rape against prostitutes as theft of services, honour killings, rape threats against bloggers, forced sex and labour trafficking, stoning for adultery and so much more.

Do you think saying all that will make the questioner pause? Maybe help them realise I haven’t made up the patriarchy for shits and giggles? Maybe it would finally make them understand I’m sick and tired of people pretending that I’ve become a feminist just because I’m a selfish bitch who wants to take rights away from teh poor menz?

Sadly for this particular spot in the galaxy, I’m not crazy. Unless my entire life has been a dream, the patriarchy exists. Casting aspirations on my sanity doesn’t change this.



  1. You are not crazy, and the patriarchy does exist. I’ve noticed that people seem to have some pretty warped ideas these days as to what feminism even means. Having been one for 40 years, I’m pretty chagrined that it’s become a dirty word, and seems to bring to mind a humorless, anti-sex, anti-pleasure, unattractive woman. Actually, now that I’m looking at this, I remember that a lot of people thought the same thing back in the day. The more things change…

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