I am an anti-feminist, I think

So Thursday 28 May is “take a girl child to work day”. I listened to some guy on Classic FM who spoke about taking girl children to the airport, or an airport, I should say, seeing that he spoke about how excited they got when they saw the rooivalk last year. And about how the girls get a Whole ‘Nother point of view once they see women on the floor fixing/servicing helicopters and so on. He called it “creating awareness around aviation”.

I don’t know. It seems to me to be just another way to break a nail.

Funny how everything (yes, I do actually mean everything – call it a world view, if you like) seems to be the exception that proves the rule. And each attempt to redefine the status quo and break out of the mould is just another clichéd confirmation of the fact that we give the status quo and the mould a certain legitimacy, by simply acknowledging these as worthy opponents. The world as we know it, and for the moment I refer to a liberal democratic state, I guess, makes sense to us, as it is. And that is where the problem lies.

Girls thinking of aviation, and particularly of the mechanics of it, is newsworthy.  The fact that it is newsworthy should be ridiculous. The fact that women’s place in the world can be, even after the spectacle of Women’s Lib, continually redefined by men, based on the wars they might be waging, and the places where labour might be required should enrage us, not endow us with the notion that the world is somehow changing, and with it, women’s place in it.

Is our place in the engine room of the aviation factory? The guys who are helicopter mechanics are just helicopter mechanics. They dream of being bankers, virtually without exception, I will bet you, lots. (More than R10, which is normally my limit.) Women helicopter mechanics, on the other hand, are newsworthy. But they are not engineers, and they are not examples of how women redefine the roles of the sexes. They are just people who know what to do with a lug wrench, which has uses other than smacking that fella on the radio right through the chops.

The women covered in grease up to their elbows should be a terrible warning, not a good example. Look sister, they should say, this is where you will end up if you don’t  do an MBA and make enough to retire, rich, by age forty. Otherwise you will work like a dog your whole life, subservient to men and their laws, and their morality, which serves only them. I wish somebody said that to me.

No, as young students we thought we would work hard and make meaning, and change the world. You don’t have to work hard to make meaning or to change the world. And you are certainly not going to find meaning fixing the machines of men.

If you look at BSG, who are the sexiest chics? The pilots, of course. I think when one is taken on a trip to the airport, one should leave with the feeling that you, too, can fly. We need a new Enlightenment. We are no better off when it comes to using our reason than we were in the Middle Ages. The world as it is, is inside us, and is who we are.

On another note… I saw an eminent writer, editor and now university professor at a wedding on Saturday, and he spoke about how difficult it is to write into the void. “You want some feedback,’ he said, and it was amazing how this was, only then, so obvious. Of course we want feedback. That is why I told everybody, including my parents, about my blog. Never mind the nom de plume. It’s me! It’s me! Read me! (“….read me, Seymore… read me….. READ ME!)

Now I am going to have to start another blog, and tell nobody.


9 thoughts on “I am an anti-feminist, I think

  1. sartres 27 May 2009 / 11:23

    I am convinced, that whatever my state of mind and space and place, I will now, and always, READ YOU. So if you should choose to hide away in some random space of the anonymous, complete anonymity, then send me the clue that I might follow you.

    • Betty Noire 27 May 2009 / 13:51

      Why thank you sartres. I think I know myself enough to imagine, that when I embark for the void, I will leave a trail of crumbs. Or I will leave notices at Dorothy’s place. I think I might write about you.

  2. filblanc 27 May 2009 / 13:18

    Mademoiselle Noire, you cannot abandon your faithful readers! By the way I am reading Herzog at present, found in a second hand book shop. I enjoy it a lot, thanks.
    On the feminist thing, my experience in the Soviet Union and in Scandinavian countries, makes me think that we French got it right again. (Merci Simone de Beauvoir). In my country feminists are often feminine. To be feminist does not necessary mean the urge to become a (hairy sweating greasy) man. Nope. Actually I saw once this plumber in France, she was to die for… Anyhow, what was I saying? Ah yes, keep the good writing!

    • Betty Noire 27 May 2009 / 14:01

      Oh Fil Blanc. You are SO French to pick that up. But you see… the thing is, that I think even SIMONE, grateful as we are to her, legitimised a Man’s World, by recognising it. That is why, I think, I am an anti-feminist. It’s not really about the girls-in-the-grease, which, as such, is not a bad thing, (au contraire!!!) especially if you can look very french while tightening some screws… it is about the idea that WOMEN doing this work is newsworthy, and somehow, liberating. It’s all crap.

      (I’d like to borrow Herzog as soon as I am allowed to read fiction again, especially reading a book for the second time. At the end of next year?)

      And I am sorry I was away. I had to edit a 50-page document about the South African education system. Really, after that, I had nothing to say.

      How is your book coming?

  3. filblanc 27 May 2009 / 16:21

    Oui, je suis d’accord!
    Feminism might have started with Olympe de Gouges (she ended under the guillotine shame!) because she dared to say that the revolutionary “declaration of man and the citizen” left women on the side. It was a political feminism. Before (literally) loosing her head she said that “if a woman had the right to be guillotined, she should definitely have the right to speak up freely in a tribune”.
    Then Simone went further, talking about the political rights of women, but also their right at individual level (the right to chose their own destiny and their right to own and control their own bodies). Nothing wrong so far, as far as I am concerned, as the above does not destroy the attraction that exist between the 2 sexes. BUT, I am not sure about the (mostly) anglo-saxon feminism that becomes an extremism and wants women to be men (and vice-versa?), advertising them driving trucks or what else and being mostly “anti-man”. This is bullshit! In short, I tend to find independent women very attractive, but those that want to emasculate me… in the name of freedom… I am not that sure…! (thank God I do run fast!)

    Book is in my head but have difficulties to give birth (ooops, is this feminism?)and time is an issue. I look forward end of June when I’ll be alone and able to advance.

  4. Pete Smith 27 May 2009 / 20:35

    I have nothing intellecutal to add…girls can and do the most remarkable things, even better than boys in many respects.

    My interest is in your last comment…what will THAT blog be about?

  5. hardspear 28 May 2009 / 11:57

    Hooray for you! I personally believe that too fight for gender equality is a good thing, but that feminists in the end miss this objective. I want to raise my little girl to be financially independent of any man, so that she can marry for love. I want her to become a woman in full right, so that if she meets the right guy, that she can be the woman, girl, wife, lover and mother of his children whom he can love and cherish as an equal, but still as a woman. Equality does not mean we have to give up our gender roles. Men must also stop being so asswupped scared to be men.

    You should at least let your anonymous on-line admirers know should you start a new blog. Basta!

    I’ve been away for a bit, that is why you haven’t heard from me for some time.

    Are you taking part in the Waiter there is something in my… challenge again?

    • filblanc 28 May 2009 / 16:12

      I subscribe 150% on the above

  6. hardspear 28 May 2009 / 12:01

    Oh, filblank – amen to you too!

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