Posted by: hellonhairylegs | November 26, 2008

Needed, Not Wanted

Out of all the annoying cultural narratives in the world, I find the idea that sexism is over to be the worst. The best women can hope for is “Sure we oppressed you for thousands of years. Our bad,” and what we usually get is “We gave you the vote. Whatcha complaining about?”

You didn’t give us the vote. We took it. Never pretend to have given us our rights graciously. You may have grudgingly conceded them, but only over the bodies of those who fought hard for centuries.

Women are being raped, beaten and killed in overwhelming numbers. Thousands die because contraception and abortion is seen as a luxury or simply depravity. Poverty is feminised and men occupy almost every position of power. This is not ammunition for a pissing contest. This is reality.

If I had to lie, cheat and steal to overthrow patriarchy, I would do it with a smile on my face. I don’t lie, because one misstep and credibility is tattered. I don’t cheat, because this is not a game and women are not playing pieces. As for stealing, well that’s traditionally a manly habit. You’ve stolen our voices, our culture and our potential for far too long. We cannot steal that which we rightfully own. We can and will take it back.

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Responses

  1. Speak it sister!

    I hate it when white men say that ‘we gave women the vote’. Or ‘we ended slavery’. Fucking bullshit. I don’t know if you saw Al Gore’s climate change film but he basically said that in the course of the film, proving how wonderful white male amerikkka is. But by saying that: ‘we’ only means white men. So the speaker sets himself up us the default human. ‘We gave women the vote’. We (meaning humans in general) gave women (meaning those peculiar non-humans that we like to stick our penis’s into) the vote.

    And yeah, such a gift. Like women didn’t get imprisoned, went of hunger strikes, endured forced feeding, worked for decades until they forced men to give them voting rights. Blah. Men suck.

  2. Really powerful and well said. No matter how often we tell them, it seems like they don’t listen. So we’ll keep saying it, louder and louder, until we’re all heard. (Okay, I was being all serious and then as I typed those words I felt like I was talking about Horton Hears A Who.)
    Great post, Hellon.

  3. Well said!

  4. Allecto, nice analysis. I find most people these days can’t name a single suffragette and have no idea of the struggles they went through. Very disheartening.

    Lemur, it didn’t read like Horton Hears A Who 🙂

    Thanks Rachel.

  5. Another excellent post. Right on!

  6. The fact that most of us can’t name a single suffragette is no coincidence I don’t think.
    As women, we are not taught our social history, we’re not told that men had to be dragged kicking and screaming for decades in order to as you said grudgingly give the vote to mature married women who’s husbands only supported it because they saw it as an extra vote for themselves as women were still legally their chattels. Had they known that the no-fault divorce would be soon to come they would never have even conceded us that much.
    We don’t get told about all the brave women who fought for us to have the rights we do have, we get taught at school to honour all the brave men who Died For Our Country, but nothing about women.
    So we have no tools to help us locate our personal experiences within a broader social context, and no shared history or icons to rally around and foster unity and strength with.
    Not teaching us our history is not just a simple oversight, just as our centuries of no rights at all was not a mistake, it’s deliberate.

    Very very good post.

  7. Great read on this topic:

    “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf

    Eye opening & thought provoking, even if you think you know a lot. It will drop your jaw.

    ~A


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