Friday, May 26, 2017

What is MisBehaving?

I want to say something about MisBehaving Women, that perhaps I should have said from the beginning… I have posted a lot of political stuff here, there and everywhere and I think that people have gotten the wrong idea as to what I think that feminism really is…

The stay at home mom who advocates for her child is a MisBehaving woman.

The waitress who serves you at your favorite eatery is a MisBehaving woman.

The women who serve in the state houses and in Congress, regardless of political party, are MisBehaving women.

Women who follow their religious and cultural beliefs and wear a hijab, are MisBehaved women.

We are ALL MisBehaved women.

Why? Because we all enjoy the freedoms that have been won for us by the women that have come before us. The women who were force feed to gain us the right to vote, the women who stood silently outside of the White House, day after day, in early 1900’s, dressed in white. The women who went to jail trying to pass on information about family planning, because it was deemed to be pornographic information. Women who helped to organize unions, after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, in 1911. The women who worked on the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, and then backed down when it was deemed too controversial to include women’s suffrage in the 15th Amendment.

We women are our own worst enemies, you know. We are taught from an early age to be ashamed. Ashamed of our bodies and how they work. Ashamed of how our bodies look. Ashamed to speak up and to speak out. Ashamed of asking for help, and when we do, of getting that help. Ashamed of our sexuality or lack thereof. Ashamed wanting to succeed. Ashamed of wanting to stay home or of going back to work after having children.

And we are taught to police ourselves and each other. To judge each other in the harshest of terms. We are terrified that when we look at another woman, we may be reflected in what we see.
There is no privilege in being a woman. I hear all about the “privilege of white women”, and I have yet to see it. Other than white women making a few pennies more, a single white woman with kids is still working 50+ hours a week trying to make it in this world, still being denied food stamps, still being denied AFDC and medical assistance. The highest incidence of poverty is in the white population. So… where is that privilege again?

As a group, we need to stick together. Quit letting them split us apart. Black, white, Asian, Latina, Christian, Muslim, Pagan or Jew, Gay, Straight or Multi, peach, purple or deep, right brown…. Why should we let them define our rights for us? Why should we let them define our children’s rights? Our rights are clearly defined by the Constitution. Everyone should read it, at least once in their lives. Personally, I have a copy on my e-reader, and a soft bound copy on my desk. I also have a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers (this was the “message boards” [editorials], how the Founding Fathers literally debated the Constitution, in the newspapers).

We NEED to know these things. We NEED to know where we came from to understand where we are going. We need more MisBehaved Women to understand that they are truly MisBehaved and stand up and be counted. To shout from the roof tops that they are not going to take it anymore, that they are no longer going to let a room full of men tell them that their bodies are up for grabs (literally and figuratively). That the health of their children Is more important than whether or not the Navy gets another aircraft carrier that they keep telling Congress that they don’t want. (They want money to spend on their people and training…) That funding for the Center for Disease Control is more important than the “Southern White House” and golfing trips every weekend at a million dollars a pop. That clean water and air is more important than any oil pipeline that gives only temporary jobs.
This is what feminism and MisBehaving is all about. This is what we do, collectively. This is being pro-life and pro-choice and Democrat and Republican. It does not matter. What matters is that we, as women are working together, as a group. Because this is how change is made.

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