Lil’ P, You’re Going to Drive Me to Drinkin’

Lil’ P has a post.  It’s the kind of post that makes me want to spend all morning refuting it, except I wonder if that actually does any good. 

And I’m a little jealous.  I wonder what it would be like to just make blatently and patently false claims and be able to go through life convinced of their truth.

Let’s start with Music City Oracle, who links approvingly to an address about the exploitation of men, that says thus:

Seeing all this, the feminists thought, wow, men dominate everything, so society is set up to favor men. It must be great to be a man.

The mistake in that way of thinking is to look only at the top. If one were to look downward to the bottom of society instead, one finds mostly men there too. Who’s in prison, all over the world, as criminals or political prisoners? The population on Death Row has never approached 51% female. Who’s homeless? Again, mostly men. Whom does society use for bad or dangerous jobs? US Department of Labor statistics report that 93% of the people killed on the job are men. Likewise, who gets killed in battle? Even in today’s American army, which has made much of integrating the sexes and putting women into combat, the risks aren’t equal. This year we passed the milestone of 3,000 deaths in Iraq, and of those, 2,938 were men, 62 were women.

Y’all, I am no feminist genius and we’ve talked regularly about how the system screws men.  Second, saying that society “favors” men doesn’t mean and has never necessarily meant that men as a whole all have it great.  It means that men have gotten opportunities women don’t have.  Yes, it sucks to be stuck in prison, but we’ve not historically had the freedom to commit crimes at the same rate as men.  Yes, it sucks to be killed battle, but we aren’t allowed in combat.  How hard is that to understand?

As for Adrienne and her “I’ll just make up some shit about feminism and then mock it,” I was going to go through and refute her points with links to feminists who are actually working on the issues she claims feminists don’t care about and have some big long discussion about how feminists are deeply divided over the porn issue, but this is a woman who thinks that Cosmo is a main vehicle for the transmittal of feminist values, so, really, there’s no hope.

Y’all, she actually says, “Modern feminism has destroyed what it means to be a woman.”*  Well, what can I say in response to that?  By god, it’s true.  I volunteer twice a week down at the “Lady MacBeth” clinic off Charlotte where we feminists pluck women off the streets and tie them down and force them to become unsexed.

We’ve been found out!

*I’ve found out that it’s bad form to actually say this in public down here, but nothing strikes me as funnier than Southern white women talking about being distraught over the destruction of “what it means to be a woman.”  Oh, yes, let’s bring back the good ole days when women couldn’t go to school and when they were kept pregnant or nursing most of their adult life and when their husbands could legally beat them and when they’d have seventeen kids and only see four of them reach adulthood and when the white ones would move straight from their fathers’ houses into their husbands’ houses with nary a chance to see the world, where even the rich white ones didn’t have their own money, but had to depend on a father or husband to do right by them, and where the rich white ones had to live in a system where they oversaw and managed the welfare of enslaved people who hated them and were constantly looking for opportunities to escape or rise up, some of whom, the white women were well aware, were the mistresses of her own husband.  What good fun that must have been to look out at your children and the children of your enslaved women and see the same facial features.

Let’s not count the dirt women were forced to eat literally and metaphorically from 1865 on up until, well, shoot, look east into the mountains, even now.

Only with some heavy cultural amnesia could you come from the region that brought you “Oh, I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again” and pretend like life down here was so great for women before feminism ruined it.

21 thoughts on “Lil’ P, You’re Going to Drive Me to Drinkin’

  1. This puts me in my mind of a day back at UT when us more mature gals were sitting around before class. One woman (mid-30s, wife and mother returning to college) started whining about how her major (education) “forced” her to take a women’s studies course and how unfair and unnecessary it was and what did that have to do with her major and on and on.

    I was, to say the least, shocked.

    And no matter what I said (that it was because of a feminist movement that she could pursue higher education, that here she was a wife and mother going to college, etc), she could not wrap her mind around the fact that she was at that moment benefiting from all these “unnecessary” things she was learning about in her women’s study course. That she was–that her very lifestyle was–directly influenced by and indebted to the feminism movement, and that women’s studies classes (and there were a lot to choose from) were necessary because they gave the student a broader perspective beyond the good ol boy academic canon.

    Nope. She wouldn’t here it. It was all crap. She wanted to be a “TEACHER,” not some uppity feminist.

  2. Adrienne’s offering another verse and a chorus of “life was so much better before [fill in the blank].” Way back yonder, when I can imagine that people like me had it better…without actually doing any of the historical work to determine whether or not my thwarted sense of entitlement has any basis in historical reality…

    False nostalgia, along with blaming the victim, is one of our authentic Appalachian arts. You even can buy it at the Tennessee welcome center gift shop.

  3. So wait, I have to pay university fees to learn basic homemaking skills?

    [Scratching head]

    What is the credit hour cost for learning how to sew on a button?

    And for the record–I do know how to sew. I was employed as a seamstress way back when–so I actually have mad sewing skills. I can also cook like a chef. If women (or their parents on their behalf) are supposed to now pay top dollar to learn basic LIVING skills, there is a real problem with the people that have raised these girls. And I suspect the sort of family that would send their daughter to this particular college are the “family values” type. Which brings on the question: why didn’t your daughter learn these skills at home??!!!

  4. And as far as US feminists not supporting Islamic and Asian feminists in their work, that indicates that the author, like L’il P, is completely out of touch with what’s actually going on in US feminist activist and academic circles. That’s actually an area of intense interest and there’s been a ton of conferences, funding for cross-cultural activist projects, and papers/books published — for, I don’t know, maybe since the Iranian Revolution started driving out feminist middle-class professionals and picking up intensity during the first Gulf War and now snowballing into its own subfield. When a little college like mine is offering a class titled “Representation/Misrepresentation: Feminist Discourse of Women and Islam” and feels like they really can’t do a serious WST curriculum without coursework on Islamic feminism, you know that this is a mainstream area of interest.

    Sometimes you have to rely on sources other than FoxNews for what’s really going on in the world. But what puzzles me is — if feminism is so bad and has created nothing but misery for US women and is a threat to democracy and all that, why do anti-feminists care if this pernicious philosophy is exported worldwide? It would seem to me that if they believed that it was so destructive of good social and political order, they’d be happy to contain it within the WST department at UT.

  5. To wax tangential for a moment, I think sometimes it’s important to frame certain contradictory arguments and statements we hear now within the context of their forgotten origins.

    I’m going to expressly say the civil rights movement for african-americans and the women’s rights (and I mean singular capitol-R “Right” that everyone agrees publicly is good, the right to vote, bestowed in 1920*) movement are not one in the same, but they do have some similar characteristics in terms of adoption, resistance, and internal conflict.

    Think about what years in which your grandmothers were born. In my case, that was 1919 and 1931. So I am actually only the 2nd and 3rd generation respectively of women born into the right to vote. That’s really not that far–especially considering that I grew up with, and learned from, both grandmothers. (History truly breathes that way) When I get impatient with people, especially women, whose views I think are detrimental to gender equality, I think about the opinions of african-americans in say, the 1950s. Between 1865 and 1870, african-americans obtained the right to vote. Let’s compare that issue generationally with ours. That means, on average, the 2nd and 3rd generations of africa-americans born into the right to vote were born in the 1920s and 1930s. Fast forward to the 1950s: you’ve got the stirrings of the civil rights movement, unrest in the south, and (still) Jim Crow laws. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts you could poll many african-americans of that time on the street, especially in the south, who would express dismay about “the movement” but who would eventually benefit from it.

    Sometimes you’ve just gotta walk away from the statements that both inflame and try to move us backward (unless they’re an imminent legal threat). History, in general, proves people will socially evolve.

    *I also include women’s right to contraception as a big-r “Right” because, frankly, even if you have the right to vote, if you have 3 infants you lack the time to learn about your politicians’ views and the ability to go to a polling station. This would put me into the 1st generation of women born into all rights.

  6. Y’all, she actually says, “Modern feminism has destroyed what it means to be a woman.”* Well, what can I say in response to that? By god, it’s true. I volunteer twice a week down at the “Lady MacBeth” clinic off Charlotte where we feminists pluck women off the streets and tie them down and force them to become unsexed.


    That’s perfect. I should’ve used it when Brev’s friend started waxing enthusiastic about how “Women’s Liberation” was screwing us all.

    Instead, I let Brev take him on while I pretended to fall asleep in the car, because I rather like this particular friend and had no desire to get into a shouting match with him just before we dropped him off to fly back home. I am a bit of a wuss.

    (Mostly I was just flabbergasted by the depth of crazy spewing out of his normally sensical mouth. It wasn’t even standard antifeminist stuff, some of which is at least understandable… it was weird stuff about generational rebellion and movement structure interspersed with more normal MRA “men have it worse” argumentation for flavor.)

  7. I’ve been hearing nostalgic, “Do you ever think you were born in the wrong century” questions all my life. My answer has always been an emphatic “Good heavens no!” ever since I was a child.

    This usually gets a startled “why?” in response. Sometimes I give a more substantive answer, but usually I go with: “Underarm deoderant! Not only do I get to wear it, *everyone else* does too!”

  8. From the comments section of Lil’ P’s post, she opines:

    Is it more of an image problem them? (sic) The pervasive view of feminism outside of liberal intellegentsia (sic) circles is that of a feminazi. These aspects of the movement/philosophy/ideology aren’t being promoted very well.

    Lily. Honey. You just wrote an entire post full of egregious inaccuracies, blanket statements, and opinions presented as facts. And you wonder if the moniker “feminism” has an image problem?


    It’s folks like you who just eat up Limbaugh’s feminazi message with a dessert spoon while doing absolutely nothing to verify the veracity of said message. You drank the Kool-Aid and licked your lips.

    It’s not the whole of the feminist movement that is giving feminism a bad name,. It’s those like Limbaugh–and by extension, you–who perpetuate a false image problem, and do so without any factual data. That’s not to say there aren’t some extremists out there in the movement, but to hold up a few as an example for the whole is not a sound means of making an educated opinion.

    The “movement” is promoting global feminine equality very well. That you did nothing but spout the pervasive view of feminism from conservative punditry is not the fault of Feminist Marketing. It’s just plain laziness on the part of those who swallow the misinformation and a general unwillingness to see things differently because believing the misinformation reinforces long-held stereotypes that folks who wish to vilify feminists can hold onto with a death grip.

    You are entitled to your opinion, but don’t be surprised if people call you out on opinions that are based on utter falisies.

  9. Helen: Birth Control. Tampons. ’nuff said.

    Editor nails it. What disturbs me the most about Adrienne’s screed is that… the woman has access to the net, for God’s Sake.

    A most cursory googling would clear up her misconceptions about feminist endeavors and issues.

    Adrienne, start with Mavis Leno or Fund for a Feminist Majority.

  10. Correction to my comment #11:

    In my ravenous feminist fury, I meant to type “Lil’ P. Honey…” (third paragraph) and typed “Lily” instead. Oops.

  11. This is for the anti-feminists. I was born in 1941. When I lived in Louisiana, women were not allowed to be called for jury duty–their sensibilities were too delicate to be subjected to that horror–but of course they could be tried by said jury. They could volunteer to serve, which I did once, but of course they were never selected by either the prosecution or the defense. When I wanted to get my tubes tied, my husband had to sign the consent form along with me. When I went to talk to the dean of the local medical school about going there, he said, and I quote, “No you’re 28 and that’s too old for a woman med student.” When I graduated from college with a degree in English, this time in Kentucky, I went to the employment office. The man there said they had an opening for a home ec teacher. I said I didn’t know anything about home ec, and of course he said, all together now, “Well you’re a woman aren’t you?” I could go on of course. I latched onto feminism like it was a life preserver, and helped to make the world the way it is today and you are REJECTING it? Hons, if you don’t have control of when you’re pregnant, you have NOTHING, and that’s the way things are headed. Your daughters will pay the price. You are letting the Rush Limpbrains of the world define what a feminist is, and then arguing against it, just like he wants you to. Go to Wikipedia or somewhere and look up “Straw Man Argument.”

  12. What part of LA, ginnylavendar? My Mom was born in backwoods Winn parish in 1924, and was the first, male or female, to go to college in the clan…on scholarship… LA Polytech in Ruston …at 16.

    She left the South with a business degree (unusual) and returned only for family visits…and while she never lost her ladylike lavendar and “new” lace correctness, there were times when the bitterness of her upbringing seeped through: as in when she informed her three daughters that we were lucky…we could have been born in Louisiana…and our Dad’s name could have been “Dooey Jr.

    I think Southern Feminists are the bravest of the brave…even now!

  13. Well thanks. I lived in Shreveport for nine years because my husband was working for Western Electric (ATT) at the time. I kept telling myself if I could survive in Louisiana I could make it anywhere. I’m a southerner though, and am very fond of the South with all its peculiarities. We put stuff right out there that other parts of the country keep covered up. My favorite quote about southern women was by a friend of mine named Robert: “All East Texas girls can do is fuck and fry meat.”
    While I’m on the subject of Southern women, let me heartily recommend a fond and funny book, called “Southern Ladies and Gentlemen” by Florence King.
    Aunt B, I really enjoy your blog.

  14. Indeed GL…I was born in North Carolina, where I learned to talk and use the potty, and was then transfered to Portland AFB, and cut most of my permanent teeth in the Pacific NW.

    So I am southern by birth and heritage, and my very great love for my roots.

    But you could not pay me to again live south of the Mason Dixon line. I give thanks every night for the mother I was given, but like my mother, I could never go back. The fight goes on… long after it has been settled in
    “Blue States.”

    Once again, Southern Feminists are the bravest of the brave.

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