We are approaching that dreaded, eye twitching anniversary of December 6, 1989 when 14 young women were murdered and thirteen wounded at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal by a woman hating young man who thought the female students must be feminists, else why would they be taking engineering? Why indeed? What does feminism mean, anyway, except the push for equality on this earth? And certainly Marc Lepine was dead set against that. To the point of mass murder and suicide. But while women in professions do broaden the potential for equality just by the nature of going into what has traditionally been men’s fields, it certainly doesn’t mean they all, or most, or any, for that matter, had, or have, a feminist consciousness. Because in order to get into traditionally men’s fields, women must accept male paradigms. I’ve certainly learned all about this in court and in prison. This is not to say women professionals don’t try to skirt around the dictates of male constructs from time to time and in the process bring about a change or two. But it’s not enough. We need an all out feminist revolution.
The world is crying out for a feminist consciousness. Nothing less will do. We have reached the tipping point of everything. Anybody alive now besides me who remembers the second wave of feminism of the late 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s? After the exhilarating gains, I watched, dumbfounded, as a male back lash began to portray feminists as degenerate, drug and disease infected butch dykes or tight assed frigid women who hated men on general principals. Crazy, huh? That a push to equality excited such virulence? But the back lash worked. Few women these days will say proudly (or loudly)“I am a feminist”, unless, like AA meetings, it precludes an announcement that one is reforming and will hence forth try for the high road.
But the world is not just poorer because of this backlash, it is bereft. It may mean the end of us all. There is no other element in human society that could enforce a real turn about in climate change, or interrupt the corporate murder of entire countries through debt, assuage the hunger stalking the planet, the killing of civilians willy nilly to shore up corrupt and power hungry men, the increased selling of immature children’s bodies to men with no pride, to the drugging of much of the entire world population. I think we as women do have a choice. We can play dumb, pretend we don’t notice the ugliness and selfishness of male dominate structures, the sex violence, prostitution, child pornography, the accelerated sexualization of children in TV, movies, clothes, videos, because, well… why dwell on this disgusting stuff when we can’t really do anything about it? But we can. We can become feminists.
Men also need a revered up female consciousness. They think they don’t, but honestly, men are a mess without women. They can be brought to a higher consciousness by a little tough love; a little concentrated resistance from women would stiffen their spines. Too many men are easily distracted by ball games, porn, and love of violence which is offered them so they won’t think too deeply about much of anything. It is unnatural to have only the male consciousness making decisions for women and children of the world; most of our male leaders are either precariously balanced or completely unbalanced because they are constantly reacting to challenges from other men. We can’t just leave the field to them. We’ve tried that for the last ten thousand years. That’s a good long run. Long enough to know it doesn’t work. Our men and children need our feminism, the earth needs our feminism. Let’s stop being shy about it.