BEEP! BEEP! IT'S ME.

"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Five Things Feminism Has Done For Me

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I've been tagged by Procrastinatrix to do a 5 things meme. I was kind of excited when I found out I was tagged for this as I think that many women younger than myself have quite a distorted view of the feminist movement. Some of them seem embarrassed or hestitant to be associated with a movement which provided women with so many opportunities for personal development.

Perhaps some modern women are a little afraid to identify with feminism as they wrongly perceive that it will detract from their femininity, but then, this suggests to me how strongly the idea of the female stereotype is still entrenched in our cultures.

This is all a little sad for me, as I am one who is old enough to have lived pre-feminism and post-feminism. Yes, you heard it straight from the dingo's tonsils, I am an old broad. My teenage years were the 70's so I lived a lot of this firsthand.

Feminism and the civil rights movement had a lot in common. Basically what these two movements meant to me and to many people, was that for all the people who were NOT born male and white, these people had hope that the opportunities that were available to white males simply because they were born male and white; might be afforded to all people regardless of race or gender.

The men of my father's generation could never quite understand what all the fuss was about. And how could they? They had little idea of what the rest of the population was concerned about as their race and gender guaranteed that they competed only among themselves for political, social and economic power. They didn't have to compete with other males and virtually no women.

It was a time when only single or widowed women were part of the workforce as women had to leave their employment when they married. And they certainly had to leave in a cloud of shame if they were single and became pregnant. This ensured a cycle of poverty for many women and the only way to avoid it was to be either independently wealthy through the family, or to marry and hope that the man you married would have economically sound employment. Women if they had to work, were paid about 2/3 of what a man was paid for the same work, thus once again ensuring a cycle of female poverty for many women which was generational.

There was very little opportunity for women to be financially independent of the "male wallet." Banks wouldn't lend single women money to buy a home unless a male relative would go guarantor. That is, unless he agreed to pay the loan if she defaulted. This excluded most women from property ownership.

Single women, who were allowed to work, as they had no male economic provider, were traditionally sacked over their holiday period and reinstated when their annual leave finished so as to avoid paying them holiday pay.

Women who worked and who took out superannuation policies could not pass the proceeds of their policy to their children or a family member if they died while in the act of being employed. As the women working during this time were either single or widowed, it meant that widows' children did not benefit from any superannuation payout upon the death of their parent.

Rape in marriage was only criminalised as recently as 1982 in Scotland and 1991 in England. Before these dates a woman had no legal protection for the crime of rape if perpetrated against her by her husband. So rape was not recognised in marriage, as a husband was only taking what was his by law.

Educational opportunities were few for women past the compulsory age of school attendence. Girls at high school level could study almost any subject except metal work, woodwork or technical drawing, but they were encouraged to study "Home Economics" which was basically learning to sew, cook, and clean house.

A university education was unheard of for most young women as it was considered a waste of money to send a girl to university if she was only going to get married and not work. The primary reason that some parents would afford to send their daughter to university was so she might be able to shop for marriage material with a better economic prospect. It was rarely for an education in her own right.

So, how did I benefit from the cultural changes which arrived with feminism?

1. I received a university education.
2. I got a loan from a bank to buy a house.
3. I am paid the same as a man for the same work.
4. My superannuation is mine.
5. I can have a career.

One of the myths surrounding the feminist movement was that feminists were demanding that all women work and be financially independent. That somehow they looked down on women who chose a more traditional lifestyle for themselves. I never saw this in reality. The feminist movement allowed women choice, and for that it should be congratulated, not maligned.

So, I tag:

1.
Atheist Girl
2. Hellbound Alleee
3. Letters From A Broad
4.
Mental Excrements
5.
Majikthise

6. Morning Martini

7. Silly Humans

8. Stardust Musings and Thoughts for the Freethinker





"A feminist is a woman who does not allow anyone to think in her place." - Michele Le Doeuff


Link

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The feminist movement allowed women choice, and for that it should be congratulated, not maligned.

And that, my friend, is the truth! The rest is slanted rhetoric that has a goal of setting women back 200 years.

Nice post. Thank you.

Peace.

8/10/06 6:51 am  
Blogger Daniel said...

There are some that might argue (not me, of course) that the rise and rise of women has led to a corresponding fall and fall of men, that men these days are little valued by many women.

In all things, humans never seem to get the balance right and all too frequently lurch from one extreme to the other to the detriment of everyone.

That's life I guess!

P.S. An old broad indeed. Spring chicken I'd reckon.

8/10/06 8:13 am  
Anonymous meijusa said...

wonderful blog post! We have to keep teaching history, it seems, so that the contributions of the feminist movement don't get lost in ignorance.

3. I am paid the same as a man for the same work.

Number 3 is unfortunately not true for all women yet, though. We'll have to keep working at that.

8/10/06 3:51 pm  
Anonymous meijusa said...

P.S. I'll be celebrating with a few pangalactic gargle blasters the day we lurch too far into the direction of treating both men and women as human beings.

8/10/06 4:12 pm  
Anonymous meijusa said...

P.S. I'll be celebrating with a few pangalactic gargle blasters the day we lurch too much into the extreme of treating both men and women as human beings.

8/10/06 4:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the problem women have with identifying with "feminism" nowadays has nothing to do with femininity. Personally, I am a traditional feminist. I can't tell you how many companies I have refused to deal with because they have asked for my husband to be present for a work quotation. I abhor inequality and one only need look at Sharia law to understand what other women still face today.

However, the problem I have with feminism today is the "victim" mentality. The movement that requires percentages of women to be hired and special tests to ensure this (ie: relaxed requirements in fire departments etc) does women a disservice. I know if I went to work in a situation like that, I wouldn't get the respect as an equal . "Special" status does not create equality.

8/10/06 6:26 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: anonymous

RE: "The movement that requires percentages of women to be hired and special tests to ensure this (ie: relaxed requirements in fire departments etc) does women a disservice."

I am not aware of a quota system which attempts to negotiate the % of women hired in comparison to the % of men.

Also, I am not sure if reassessing the physical requirements of any occupation has a great deal to do with trying to create more job opportunities for women in what might have been "traditional male jobs."

The physical requirements of many jobs are different to what they were 20 or 30 years ago due to changes in technology which may not demand the same level of strength as they once did.

For example: I have a huge difficulty in being able to hold, steady and aim a 303 rifle without being able to prop it, but holding, steadying and aiming an M16 is a piece of cake.

The 303 was the mainstay of the british and australian army for at leats 50 years. It weighs about 10lb. (roughly 5kg), so you need strong arms and good upper body strength to use it effectively.

The modern M16 is about 3kg with a loaded magazine of about 30 rounds. It's clear that strength becomes less of an issue with improved technology.

8/10/06 9:02 pm  
Blogger nevo said...

Feminism has been an utter disaster for women and families alike.
They have made men to loose all respect for them by becoming just another competitor.
Feminism will eventually self-defeat.

NEVO

9/10/06 6:21 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Way to go Beep...:)

Many years ago (1980 - 81) I did my time in the Navy. Back then, although there were women "sailors", they weren't allowed to fire a weapon (it was the SLR 307.62 which I don't think you'd have had a problem with either Beep) and they most definately were NOT allowed to go to sea.

We've come leaps and bounds since the 70's, but as Meijusa says, no. 3 still needs work. It's a shame when you look at it that way, that after 100 and more years (the Suffragettes were founded in 1903 after all), we still have work to do and that there's still resistance to the idea...

9/10/06 8:55 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE nevo:

We may be arguing about entirely different things here. Feminism wasn't supposed to solve the world's problems, it was meant to alleviate some of women's problems.

One of the major problems that women faced was almost a total financial dependence upon a male/males.

Contrary to popular myth, not all nuclear families were these happy little places of idyllic paradise during the 40's and 50's.

Many women were trapped in abusive marriages, psychological and or physically abusive marriages, where they were treated abysmally and so were their children.

The excuse offered to wives and women by the churches at the time was that their husbands couldn't have been doing anything wrong as the man was selected by god to be the head of the family. Thus ensuring that the cycles of abuse continued.

Essentially, the solutions offered by the churches was to pray harder for a nicer husband, or to submit to all his demands in hope that he wouldn't bash the living crap out of them.

Now, I am not suggesting that ALL marriages were like this, but enough were. And the children raised in marriages like this grew up in many instances to perpetuate the same misery upon the family that they created.

Feminism offered some of these women a way out. I don't blame any of these women for taking the opportunity with both hands and running for the hills.

Especially as, at that time in modern history, a woman could find employment, and could provide a home for her children thanks to the feminist movement and the push for equal opportunity for women.

I am also aware that the family unit, as a social structure, has been under considerable strain.

Firstly, I think the intention of governments by providing single mother's with financial help hasn't been entirely successful.

Secondly, feminists were given the opportunity to be financially independent, if they had the need or if they had the want.

A feminist does not change financial dependencies from a singular male, only to replace it with a semi-permanent/permanent financial dependency upon government cheques.

In my opinion, the major contributory factor in the "breakdown of the family" was and still is, the ability of men and women to act irresponsibly with their sex lives and their procreation abilities.

Many young women and young men quickly caught on that they didn't need to be responsible for their sex lives as someone else would help pay financially for their bad judgement.

Personally, I have always been of the opinion that young women who fall pregnant should be helped financially the first time it happens, and after that, no more.

Money should not be seen by men or women as an inducement to breed.

The young men who get these girls pregnant, should be made aware that they will be paying financially for the life they helped to create.

It was not the feminist movement that encouraged women and men to breed irresponsibily and indescriminately. The feminist movement encouraged women to be self-determining adults.

Self- determining adults, those who make their own decisions and who are responsible for those decisions don't impact negatively upon the structure of the family, rather, they enhance it.

9/10/06 9:26 am  
Blogger MichaelBains said...


In my opinion, the major contributory factor in the "breakdown of the family" was and still is, the ability of men and women to act irresponsibly with their sex lives and their procreation abilities.


I'd go farther and state that such is an observable - and thus empirical - fact; not just opinion. Your comments are, as usual, equally as wonderful and intelligent as your original post. Brilliant!

Everyone who believes that women and men, despite our many obvious and desirable differences, deserve equal opportunities in the economic world, is a feminist. They don't have to like the term or latch onto any other part of an organized "Feminist" political platform.

As far as the Tag goes, Beep, I promise to get to it. I am not feeling up to it right away as I would normally be though.

Promise! (And Thanks! Cuz it feels good to be included on such a thing. lol!)

10/10/06 12:37 am  
Blogger nevo said...

beepbeepitsme
I do appreciate the good intentions of early feminists.
I am talking about present feminists which have gone beyond of what's is reasonable.
Today, there are more than ever, children without their biological father.
Relations between a man and a woman has become an imposibility. The consecuences are there for all to see. Women, as they are the ones who petition divorces (over 75%)have destroyed the sanctity of marriage.
For many women, marriage is nothing more than a quick way to riches, which by themselves would have never attain.
Many girls get pregnant and the man, when and if found, is made to pay for it whether he wants it or not.
Before feminism appears onto the world, teenage pregnancy was unheard of happening to well establish families.
All the early benefits, sadly, are heavyly outweighed by the corruption of the principles of marriage and family life. Mainly by a promiscuous sex life.

NEVO

10/10/06 8:31 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE MB:

Thanks for your comments, and when you are feeling better, please post something about feminism, it will be interesting to have a male perspective.

10/10/06 9:34 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: nevo
RE: "I am talking about present feminists which have gone beyond of what's is reasonable."

In what way have feminists gone "beyond what is reasonable"?

RE: "Today, there are more than ever, children without their biological father."

And how is this evidence that feminism has anything to do with sexual irresponsibility?

RE: "Relations between a man and a woman has become an imposibility. The consecuences are there for all to see. Women, as they are the ones who petition divorces (over 75%)have destroyed the sanctity of marriage. "

How is feminsim to blame for marriage breakdown? Specifically, I want to see in logical argument, how feminism is responsible. And there is no "sanctity of marriage" in the mind of all those god believers who get married and divorced a few times.

RE: "For many women, marriage is nothing more than a quick way to riches, which by themselves would have never attain."

I think the major problem with marriage is people's perception of it. The majority of the people who marry, promise before god (if you believe in gods) to honor, obey etc etc until death. They are just people who cannot keep their word. They obviously have a caveat attached in their mind which says, "until death or until I get bored, or "until he beats the crap out of me."

Personally, I wouldn't enter a contract that had "all the days of your lives," or "until death" in it. But the fact that the majority of people, who happen to claim to be religious, do just this.

So, I don't see how this is the fault of feminism, but the fault of people who go into contracts knowing that they have no intention of fulfilling the contract.

RE: "Many girls get pregnant and the man, when and if found, is made to pay for it whether he wants it or not."

If she deliberately gets pregnant, and some women do, this should be a lesson to all men that they have to take responsibility for their sex life. This involves not only asking her if she has protection, but ensuring that HE also wears protection.

Any man out there who does not want children, and he doesn't want to catch a communicable disease, should be wearing protection always. If he does not, he should be aware that he is taking the risk of getting someone pregnant, or of contracting or spreading disease.

RE: "Before feminism appears onto the world, teenage pregnancy was unheard of happening to well establish families."

Nah.. " Well established families", whatever that means, just hid the girl's pregnancy. She either went on "holiday" to stay with relatives who lived in another state, or country for the duration of her pregnancy and came home minus baby, or the baby was claimed as the parent's child.

Many instances of this happened. The daughter got pregnant, gave birth somewhere else, and mom claimed the baby as hers.

The fact is, people have always been driven to act in sexually irresponsible ways. It is our little trick of biology. This is why the sexual biological impulse is so strong. It wants to win out in favour of procreation, rather than responsible action.

RE: "All the early benefits, sadly, are heavyly outweighed by the corruption of the principles of marriage and family life. Mainly by a promiscuous sex life."

A promiscuous sex life doesn't automatically mean an irresponsible one and a monogomous sex life doesn't automatically mean a responsible one. But I will leave that with you to ponder upon.

10/10/06 10:11 am  
Blogger Lindsay Beyerstein said...

Thanks for tagging me, Beep! Beep!

This is a fascinating discussion.

10/10/06 1:54 pm  
Blogger C.L. Hanson said...

Great post!!! Thanks for tagging me!!!

I shouldn't even know I was tagged because I'm breaking my "cold turkey hiatus" by reading a non-Java blog such as yours before December, but I was tempted... ;-)

I was a little kid in the '70's -- born in '71 -- and I am forever grateful for the fact that I was educated by women of your generation and, say, about ten to fifteen years older, who taught me to reach for the stars!!! From talking to people, I've gotten the strong impression that they'd been telling little girls for decades that "a woman can do anything with her education" but with my generation it was the first time they really meant it!!! ;-)

p.s. Sorry if I posted this twice -- I think the first time I closed the comment window before typing the nonsense characters correctly... If I accidentally posted two comments here, please just delete the earlier one.

10/10/06 2:29 pm  
Anonymous Simon said...

Excellent post Beep.It's so important to remember how far women have come, so we can fire ourselves up for the work that still has to be done to achieve full equality. As for Nevo (deep breath) I'll try not to be as rude as I usually am, but I find his views absurdly old fashioned and patriarchal. Oh what the hell....I find them neanderthal and reactionary!!! Nevo should stop blaming women for the state the world is in. Understand that women aren't about to go back to pattering around barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Those days are over Nevo. Sorry. The world is changing.... slowly thanks to people like you. But it's still a better place than the brutish place it once was. But it's also it's still all about power. Too many men have it. Too many women don't. A world run by men, where women have been excluded or marginalized has been an absolute frigging disaster of crazed competition and violence. If this planet is to be saved women need to have more power to control their own lives and affect our future. And feminism was, is, and will always be the way...

PS Dingo tonsils? Yes!!! First smoko now this? I love it. Just like I luuuuuuuv older women!!! :>)

11/10/06 11:19 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE simon:

Thanks for your post and yeah, ahrd for an aussie speak without a few bits of slang thrown in there ;)

11/10/06 5:50 pm  
Blogger Procrastinatrix said...

Great post Beep Beep. I have been out of blogging commission for a while.

cheers!

22/10/06 1:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is very insightful. I guess I'm just impatient and want to see more change. lol. But after reading your post, I realized how far we have come recently. And compared to the overall, it's moving rather quickly. I am starting to see it outside my lifetime (and generation) and realize its only getting better.

Chaning the perception of how the world sees a "feminist" is key.

2/11/06 8:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a comment on how insighful you article was and then seemed to have not gone through.

Thanks. I guess I'm impatient and want to see more change. Yet, when I think about where we are, it's actually not too bad.

Changing the way the world views "feminist" is key.

2/11/06 8:59 am  
Blogger byrdeye said...

Feminism and the civil rights movement had a lot in common. Basically what these two movements meant to me and to many people, was that for all the people who were NOT born male and white, these people had hope that the opportunities that were available to white males simply because they were born male and white; might be afforded to all people regardless of race or gender.

That's what it appeared like simply at face value. But actually, Blacks & women were both tooled by the Jews - who were the BIGGEST gainers from their 60s activism. And the biggest losers? All the rest of us (especially kids) living now in the social meltdown in their shadows...divided and conquered.

A championship team can only win when each player knows his role, pulls his weight and puts the team first. As soon as you start riling up intrateam competition, a house divided cannot stand - and all will lose in the end. In short, WE GOT PWNED.

8/11/06 4:49 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE byrdeye

Por didumms. You want to blame the "joos" for you being a loser?

Look at your own actions first.

You want to blame women for you not being worshipped?

Look at your own actions first.

And talking about "hos", the biggest hos on the planet are men, so I think you need to stop projecting your own flaws onto others.

Keep whining about the "joos", that way you will always have an excuse for your own inadequacies.

13/11/06 12:23 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

byrdeye:
That's what it appeared like simply at face value. But actually, Blacks & women were both tooled by the Jews - who were the BIGGEST gainers from their 60s activism. And the biggest losers? All the rest of us (especially kids) living now in the social meltdown in their shadows...divided and conquered.
LMAO! Wow, that's the most twisted baroque meritocracy yet.
I suggest, that if you're serious, you get into rehab - FAST!
Your 'bird's eye' needs glasses & a white cane to boot, I might add.
It's blind.
You any relation to David Irving, by any chance? Any swastika tattoos? Shave your head?
Get help.

NEVO:
Many girls get pregnant and the man, when and if found, is made to pay for it whether he wants it or not.
Wait: if he wants to pay, or have the baby?
The man is just as culpable as the woman.
Before feminism appears onto the world, teenage pregnancy was unheard of happening to well establish families.
No, it wasn't talked about. It happened, all right.
All the early benefits, sadly, are heavyly outweighed by the corruption of the principles of marriage and family life. Mainly by a promiscuous sex life.
Here we go: it's the feminists fault.
This sorta thing has been going on since time immemorial. We're only just finding out about it now because
A. The world has become a big blabbing tell-all dynamic, &
B. The population has increased.
You may want to look up the statistics: secular countries don't have these problems - RELIGIOUS ones do.
Yeesh, do any of you boneheads do any research before you open your mouths, or is it all hearsay?

13/11/06 1:36 pm  

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