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Feminism on Facebook

I got this mail on Facebook the other day, sent to me and approximately twenty other people.

December 2 at 11:46pm Reply • Report
Someone has proposed that we females do something special on Facebook in support of women with Breast Cancer.

Last year it was about writing the colour of the bra you were wearing in your FB status... and it left men wondering for days why did the girls have colours (apparently random) in our status.

This year it has to do with our love relationships, in other words, for the moment you are going through with your relationships.
Alcohol choices:

tequila: I'm a single woman

rum: I'm a touch and go woman

champagne: I'm an engaged woman

redbull: I'm a woman in a relationship

beer: I'm a married woman

vodka: I'm the "other one"

sprite: I'm a woman that can't find the right man

whisky: I'm a single woman but with friends that won't stop partying

liquor: I'm a woman that wishes she was single.

gin: I'm a woman that wants to get married..

sambucca : I'm a woman that has Male friends with Benefits!!

Now all you need to do is write down the answer for your situation in your FB status (don't reply this email, just put it in your status). Also, cut and paste this message and send it to all your girl-friends as a message

This was my reply, sent as reply-all to all 20.

December 5 at 10:55am

The last breast cancer support meme that I remember was something about purses, which I didn't bother with as I don't even carry a purse. When I saw this one hit my email box, I read only a little bit before my heart sank.

As a woman, I am continually under pressure to define myself not as myself, but in context of relationships to men. I am taught to be focused on this idea that my femininity is tied to my views on men; to be unconcerned with the issue is a bizarre zero-sum game in the masculine/feminine yin yang, and earns me peculiar (and subtly negative) labels usually ascribed to masculinity.

That a woman's identity is based around her relationship with male figures isn't a new concept. It's reinforced in media of every kind throughout our lives, sometimes in ways that are incredibly subtle. We're bombarded with female role models in film and books that are sold to us as "strong" women -- but if you remove the men from the story...well, there's no story. The "strong" female who focuses on a career or studies? That's just a front. By the end she realizes she's terribly wrong, and letting that one man into her life was all she really needed.

Look up the Bechdel Test if you haven't heard of it, and next time you watch a movie keep it in mind. I've certainly been surprised more than once.

Which is why, in a nutshell, this meme rubbed me the wrong way. As an isolated game for fun, hey why not. But in a campaign meant to unify women (and men!) in a fight against one of our most prevalent killers, there must be better ways we can do so as professionals and as individuals -- without the subtle implication that in order to participate as females we must look at ourselves based on what we are or wish we could be to a man. And let's not forget that many women are not sexually attracted to men. No less valid as women in this unified stand.

I don't know most of you, and it may seem odd that I hit reply all to this. I did it so that if you want to write back, you certainly can. Just no name calling please; I've heard it all already.

Thanks for reading.

I expect the flames to begin shortly.


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Dec. 5th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
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