Maybe I’m just ornery because my surgery got postponed (my doc wanted to do some more tests because my initial bleeding time test came back abnormal), but I was just reading a post on a blog I recently found (Athena’s Legacy). The post, written by Saralah, was entitled Haters Suck and was a defense against some pretty nasty ad hominem attacks that were sent her way.
I was with her all the way, feeling her pain and outrage, until I read this:
I am not a raging feminist. I do not scream about equality in the industry at the top of my lungs without pause, as some people seem to believe. Occasionally, I will post something on the topic here on the blog, and if those posts seem to get more attention, it’s because they usually draw the most comments.
Suddenly, I don’t feel that her blog belongs on our list anymore. No, it’s not because Saralah doesn’t want to be identified as a feminist; our very own Sarah also doesn’t identify as a feminist. I may not agree with it, but I recognize that it’s up to an individual to choose hir own labels. The reason I feel this way because she has chosen to degrade feminism as part of her defensive tactics. She may as well used the word “feminazi” for all the imagery “raging feminist” solicits, and portraying women who unapologetically fight for equality as “scream[ing]… at the top of [our] lungs without pause” is just a long winded way of accusing us of being overly emotional, “hysterical” women.
I am both shocked and disappointed that a blog that I chose to link specifically because of its laudable treatment of women’s issues in gaming would buy into that “I’m not one of those oversensitive women’s studies types” BS in order to… what? Appear less offensive to her misogynist critics? To show that she’s somehow “better” than those of us who chose to embrace the politically incorrect label?
It just makes me so angry that feminists are automatically the target of not only the misogynistic nutbags, but also of people like her who embrace our basic goals but have bought into the vitriol of the patriarchy and therefore feel the need to attack our movement anytime they are attacked by anti-feminist critics. Am I the only one who doesn’t see the earth logic in that? Attacking feminists because of… anti-feminist assholes. We’re not responsible for the continuation of the hate group that we are fighting against, so stop attacking us when they attack you!
I’m going to leave the link up for the moment and give myself some time to contemplate its removal. I had wanted to leave a note on her blog to see what her response would be, but it’s blogger only and I don’t have (or want) an account. I hope that ya’ll will weigh in with your opinions. When it comes down to it, I expect to butt heads with people who believe that women are lesser than men, but I’m just so tired of my group being constantly attacked by people who are, when all labels are stripped away, fundamentally in support of our cause. Like I said in the subject line: with friends like these, who needs enemies?
Update: I would, first and foremost, like to apologize to Saralah for my unnecessarily hurtful tone. While I stand by the general thrust of my post, I shouldn’t have let my anger (both at the subject and my own personal issues) be directed at her. I cannot in good faith sit here and de-link her for having an adverse reaction to people saying horrible things on her blog, especially when I have fallen victim to the same tactics in the past. I in no way condone what was said, but I understand that she’s human, as am I, and we don’t always say exactly what we mean (see her comment for clarification on her position).That being said, I think both issues (non-feminist women’s rights advocates attacking feminism as a defense, and feminists using negative stereotypes of feminism as a defense) are worthy of discussion and are relevant/related to each other.