Sour Duck has a nicely done post about Brutal Women's blogmistress deciding to be a little less brutal, and making an announcement to that effect on her blog. She touches on the very important issue of Feminist Anger and the compulsion others, i.e. men and women who want their approval, feel to tell feminists how to behave. I have a few thoughts on the matter.
1) I blog because I have something to say, and I don't hear anyone saying it quite the way I do.
2) If I wanted an editor, I'd get a job at a newspaper.
3) I don't honestly think much of women who aren't angry.
As with any human endeavor, there's a vast range of possible behaviors and values, and we each decide, consciously or not, where we want to fit on the spectrum of possibility. Brutal Women seems to have chosen to trade a certain freedom of expression for wider acceptance. That's a valid, frequent decision. I hope she gets what she's after.
I choose to be on the very edge of the angry side. I don't consider myself "lazy" or "reactionary". I simply have nothing to lose. I have no kids or significant other to embarrass; I'm retired, and quite ill, so I have plenty of time to think and rant; I believe there is value in what I have to say. Mary Daly once said words to the effect that in order to move culture in the direction of change, there have to be a few wild women willing to be on the fringe so the middle of the road moves more in that direction. I'm on the edge.
I'm the wild woman living on a mountain in the middle of nowhere talking to Nature and listening to what She has to say. The people of the village would be afraid of me if they knew I was here, possibly with good reason. The reason being that they are living unexamined lives following rules they've never questioned and making assumptions that simply aren't true, and if you are going to deal with me, first you will wake the fuck up. Lie and I'll call you a liar; contradict yourself and I'll call you a hypocrite; drink the kool-aid and I'll call you a slave. I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to start a revolution.
From the perspective of an average American with a fair amount of sophistication and education, I do plenty of non-PC things on my blog. I mix my unusual religion with my radical politics. People would take me more seriously if I wrote about politics without the Pagan stuff, but that would bore me, and the people who would prefer that need to deal with their own bigotry. I'm an intelligent, well-educated adult, and I have years of study and research backing up my beliefs. To assume that I'm a kook or dismiss my opinions because of my beliefs is oppressive and presumptuous - not behavior I'm likely to tolerate from a self-proclaimed Progressive who ought to know better. If you're really that intelligent and tolerant, show it.
I know more about Christianity than most of the Christians who want to pray for me, so they'd better know what they're professing before they criticize me. Jesus was not a Republican, and he was probably a lot more like me than Jerry Falwell, so I'm not going to let you use his name to justify hate. Read your own damned book. But I digress.
I am angry. I am a feminist. Deal with it. I know it would be easier for all concerned for me to just shut the fuck up and endure my second-class status in that demure, long-suffering way that women are taught to - be happy with 3/4 of a paycheck for twice the work, cause permanent damage to my feet and my credit to wear those spiked heels that make me more vulnerable to predators, and smile dutifully when a guy takes credit for or benefits from my work - FUCK. THAT.
I don't care if I scare the white people. My sisters are being systematically beaten, raped, tortured, mutilated, bought, sold and murdered, with religious and government support, everywhere. This is a literal war on women, and that gives me a right to be angry.
My government is controlled by greedy white men who don't give a shit about the poor, the sick, the young or the old. Laws are being discussed which will determine the status of my genitalia, by a government practicing gender apartheid. I live in the most ass-backward developed nation in the world in terms of poverty, health care, infant mortality, education, and violence, and that gives me a right to be angry.
It looks as if the lot of women in America is about to get a lot worse, and that gives me a right to be angry.
From my perspective, any woman who is not angry, is not paying attention. I'm going to do everything in my power to get her attention, because solidarity is our only hope.