Friday, November 23, 2007

Notes on Feminist True

What madness is would cause
that a brown bear use its paws
to eat plankton in the depths of the sea?

What confusion it would be
were a squid to be seen
grazing in a summer prairie?

Should a calf wean from a bull
instead of the cow,
or the buck give birth to his doe?

Were a feminist true
it would cause me and you
madness and confusion more than we know.

[Should I cut it here, or…?]

Adam would give birth
,taking pain and mirth,
and deprive this joy from Eve.

Women would provide
lead and decide…

[…try to finish this paragraph? It is quite difficult to even think of something that would not be considered sexist. What traits are unique to Man that would be considered odd if attributed to Woman? None, it would seem. Not in a developed nation!

[In itself, that is quite indicting as to how over-sensitive society is to role reversal when it comes to Women, but can find the most humorous situations when it comes to role-reversal of Men. Think of the movie ‘Junior’ with Arnold Swarzenneger and Danny DeVito.

[Or…ah…here is a thought that is so rarely visited.]

Woman would derive
the strength and boldness to protect and provide
from the loving support of Man by her side.

["You cannot reform biology." – Bill Maher. What do you think?]

10 comments:

Karen said...

I think that it is a pretty bad piece of poetry, all together. The parts that are not completely rediculous, are completely sexist. Poeple like you make it easy to be a feminist.

Grant R. Nieddu said...

Karen,

Thank you for your input.

When you say that there are parts that are completely sexist, do you mean the primary dictionary definition as "discriminating against women", or the second definition as "promoting stereotypical roles based on gender"?

I would agree with you that I do promote stereotypical roles based on gender. However your negative tone may indicate that you are offended by my poem, meaning that you think I am discriminating against women.

Sincerely, would you care to offer any clarity on which dictionary definition you mean and why?

Karen said...

The obvious answer would be the second definition, 'promoting sterotypical roles based on gender'. However, they are very much interlinked. By prescribing definate gender roles, you are incouraging the descrimination against women.

If you say that I, as a woman, am merely the sum of my biological parts (which is what the female gender role does), it makes it all too easy to to write me off as 'only a woman'.

So you see, by promoting stereotypical gender roles, you are also discriminating against women.

I was slightly offended, but not in a 'that jerk is putting me down' kind of a way, but in a 'i wonder if he realizes what he's saying' kind of a way. Sorry if I came off harsh.

Grant R. Nieddu said...

Karen,

Thank you for clarifying! I mean it. Showing my poem to my mentor's daughter, she said that, knowing me she would never call me a sexist, but knowing the paradigm of feminists she would call me such.

So, for that, my poem was truly bad in that it did not accurately relay my view of the feminine (as opposed to the feminist; usually associated with men-hating).

Reading the the last stanza, I depict man as desperately needing woman.

Personally, I do not see the female as subordinate. It is the uniqueness of the feminine (again, as opposed to men-hating) that I promote when promoting stereotypical roles.

The stereotypes to me are a man whose only strength is found in the love of a women.

The stereotypical man (if I may stereotype man) is one of strength (to protect and provide...caringly and respectfully, I might add.)

The stereotypical woman (if I may stereotype woman) is one of love and care (to nurture and rear and empower.)

These being the basic stereotypical roles of man and woman in my paradigm, I find that I have a great respect (and need) for a woman to be feminine.

Let me ask this: when you say feminist, are you simply referring to "the promotion of the feminine"?

If so, then I will indeed change the title and lyrics to my poem.

Often when I have spoken against feminism, I am speaking against men-hating (which, to be honest, is the only form of feminism I have yet encountered.)

It is from that point that I promote MORE of the feminine. I would desire to see more feminine in the extreme.

I believe in the stereotypical roles not to limit opportunity or rights of either gender. Quite the opposite. I would promote MORE expression of each gender.

I see sexism and men-hating feminism as the true oppressor of gender expression.

But, being an optimist and an idealist, this is all assuming we know how to be proper men and proper women.

Karen said...

I'm sorry the 'feminist' you have encounterd have all been 'man-haters'. True feminism is about gender-equality and the breaking down of gender based stereotypes. In my opinion, those so-called feminist who are 'man-haters' are not really feminist at all, because the promotion of one gender above another (in this case women above men) is just plain sexism. Yeah, I said it, women can be sexist, too :)

I think men can protect and provide, but i also think that they can love and care. I think the same about women. Maybe women are more suited for some tasks, while men are suited for others, but then, maybe not (then, you have to ask yourself if this gender role is nature, or nurture, but that's a completely different topic). I don't know, but I don't think society should veiw someone by how they fit into said roles.

When I say I am a feminist, I defenatly don't mean i hate men. I mean I don't need to depend on a man to 'protect and provide' for me. I am an adult, fully capible of taking care of myself.

If you mean 'protect and provide' not in a physical sense, but more of a spiritual/emotional sense, wouldn't you say that men depend on women just as much to protect and provide for their emotional and spiritual well-being?

Likewise, wouldn't you say women depend on men to 'love and care' for them spiritually and emotionally as much as men depend on women?

I could go on for a while, but I won't continue to bore you :) If you want to continue this conversation, you can email me at karen.mcmahen@gmail.com. I'd be more than happy to reply.

Liz said...

The battle between the sexes has raged since the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden. God, of course, did not create us to be adversaries but companions and complements.

The Fall left us—men and women—with sin natures, parts of which include man’s tendency to lord over the woman in his life and the woman’s tendency to desire inappropriate control and independence.

Stop here for a minute and let these words sink in—tendency to desire inappropriate control and independence.

This is what I believe to be what the words in the poem lead to… the inappropriate control and independence that women seek to have whether or not they are Christians, feminist, or sexist.

Redemption in Christ frees us from the power of sin, but fleshly patterns and worldly influences can confuse our daily walk and our understanding of the masculine and feminine natures God has given us.

For women to take on the responsibilities and design of men or for men to take on the responsibilities and design of women would be going contrary to what God has established as the rightful and fitting roles for the masculine and feminine natures God has given us.

Men need to take on their role as protector and provider.

Women need to take on their role as nurturer and empowerer.

As Elizabeth Elliot once reflected: "Throughout the millennia of human history, up until the past two decades or so, people took for granted that the differences between men and women were so obvious as to need no comment. They accepted the way things were. But our easy assumptions have been assailed and confused, we have lost our bearings in a fog of rhetoric about something called equality, so that I find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to belabor to educated people what was once perfectly obvious to the simplest peasant."

We understand the Bible to present a beautiful portrait of complementarity between the sexes, with both men and women charged to reflect God's glory in a distinct way. Thus, there are very real distinctions that mark the difference between masculinity and femininity—male and female.

When we know what are God given roles are—as men and women—then and only then do we see we are equal, but having different roles as to complement each other.

I don’t know about most females, but as for me I gladly accept my God given role as a female and seek to use it in such a manner to encourage the male in his God given role—which is ultimately for God’s glory regardless of ones thoughts, feelings, or fame.

Leah in Alaska said...

Hello Grant,
First, of all I think your poem is good, it certainly gets the point across. As for Karen who posted on here...honey get an education. You can't spell worth sh#@ !! I ran across your website while in search of supporting documents for my college English paper on role reversals...in gothic literature.

As for the process of role reversal, my husband and I have had this discussion on occasion. We've concluded that many times, Christian or not, the male/female reversal can take place as a "reaction". Example: a husband is not providing for his wife/family...he's a "cad". He's out carousing, spending all the money, etc. What else can the female do?? She must take the place of the leader, provider. This example, unfortunately, is now the "norm" for most people. Domino effect comes into play. The now agressive female raises her children, and the soft, nurturing woman role model is skewed. In turn, the children grow up dysfunctional in that they do not know the proper distinction between male and female roles. The sons could become submissive if the mother is overbearing. They, not surprisingly, grow up with a dislike for females. The daughters grow up aggressive like mother, and on and on it goes.

This is just one example. There could be a myriad of others to choose from. The father could be left to raise the kids (in a divorce or whatever) he then attempts to be a mother/father combination. The kids main role model is twisted yet again.

Concluding here with the thought that we live on a cursed earth. Yes, I'm a Christian. Every realm is out of whack (order). We are living on this earth as one with a bad leg on crutches. Gimpin' and limpin' along in life. From Biblical Corinthians, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face (no more confusion).

Now...on with my paper.

Jason Northington said...

All valid squabbles, the debate of man and woman et cetera, et cetera. I would however like to point to the more important matter at hand which is what is that bear doing out in the middle of the ocean? My plan is to bring man and woman together in a rescue attempt for this bear that has made it's way into the murky depths - let us unite for the common good of bear retrieval!

Keith said...

A Feminist Reply to the Poem "Feminist True"
(for my sisters, wife and daughter with apologies to John Stuart Mill)

What madness it has caused
to be imprisoned by laws
tying us to the roles we should be.

And if you won't rue
from a feminist true
a question I'd like to ask.

What confusion would there be
if each of us were free
to be what we truly could be?

And may I ask why
you seek to justify
using examples ridiculous?

For if nature denies
then I won't even try
what surely is impossible

but if it could be
why deny me the chance
to be all that I could possibly be?

However it seems
that what you really mean
is to justify societal roles.

So we continue to lose
when I'm forced to choose
to deny talents inherit

and when I say we
I mean more then me
for the whole world's included.

This seems to me
so plain to see
as to be beyond a question of true.

So what would it hurt
to allow me to sit
at the table as equal

to work on together
in love and respect
using all of the talents we bring

a chance to solve
both big and small
the problems the world and we face?

So I ask once again
in kindness my friend
and please take me serious

What confusion would there be
if each of us were free
to be what we truly could be?

Grant R. Nieddu said...

keith,

awesome stuff. Your words are much appreciated.