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  • June 2007
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Feminism and Peopleholes

            I hereby declare feminism formally dead. It has been replaced by a circus of insanity. I recall a popular pin from my youth. It read: “Biology is Not Destiny”. It was part of a pro-choice campaign, but reflected a lot more of the women’s equality movement of the 60s and 70s than just abortion rights. Equality, equal pay, job choice – all the issues that were the core of the sexual equality movement.

Somewhere along the line, the concept of sexual equality got hijacked by a circus. Suddenly, the critical issue is gender neutral everything. I had this driven home to me a few weeks ago in a discussion with some of my 7th graders. Somehow, the topic of manholes came up. Most of them didn’t know what a manhole was (that alone was pretty scary – they are all over the streets here). Anyway, after describing what a manhole was, and having everyone take a look out the window to see one, one of the girls complained that they shouldn’t be called manholes, they should be called peopleholes.

Granted, this was a 7th grader. What was scary was that this was the equality issue that the girls in the class all related to. Not abortion rights – even though the Supreme Court is likely to either strike down or severely curtail Roe vs Wade. Not equal pay – even though they all know that women still make less than men doing the same job. Not the glass ceiling, or women in politics, or the failure of women in the sciences and engineering. Not even the complete erosion of civil rights that has occurred over the past 6 years. Peopleholes.

I just don’t know what to say.

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One Response

  1. I don’t know what to say, either. It’s likely that these children – not just the girls, but all of them – haven’t been exposed to discussion about equality and civil rights because their parents can’t be bothered to engage in such discussions and critical thinking themselves. This saddens me, but doesn’t surprise me, because I see it in the horrifying amount of history my college students DON’T know.

    The poor dears have no idea how we got to where we are today, or how precariously we hang in the balance of having it all come crashing down. “Why are warrent-less wiretaps so bad?” they ask, “I don’t care if the government listens to my phone calls – I have nothing to hide.” (yeah – watch Enemy of the State and get back to me on that one…) They don’t understand, nor do they particularly care, about the civil rights movement, aparthied, the holocaust or colonialsm. Never mind the fact that they can’t speak intelligently about current issues like gay rights (or the lack thereof), sexual equality (or the lack thereof), genetic research and its implications and the like. They certainly can’t be bothered to take the time to try to sort out all the (mis?) information we receive about our own nation’s policies, both here AND overseas, or to think beyond today to postulate where those policies are going to lead us in both the short and long term.

    It’s truly terrifying.

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