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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blog Tour: Threads and Flames - Esther Friesner Guest Post

In honor of the Threads and Flames blog tour, I am hosting a guest post by Esther Friesner! Enjoy, and please leave a comment for Esther!

"Feminism is a very important part of my life.  Unfortunately, like many sociopolitical movements, it’s become a question of whose definition of Feminism you support.  This leads to a dreadful quantity of CommitteeSpeak and finger-pointing, with too many people declaring “You can’t call yourself a Feminist because my way is the One True Feminism and anyone who says otherwise is obviously wrong,wrong, WRONG!  And probably a closet agent of the Evil Patriarchy.  And you stink.”  Then they take their toys and go home.

 It would be funny, but in the meanwhile, the energy and invective they’ve spent on trying to force everyone be on their team could have been used for—Oh, I don’t know, maybe changing a world where women still don’t get the same pay for the same work?  Or where some women can’t get an education without risking their lives?  Or where women get belabored into believing the message that being in any relationship, including an abusive one, is the only basis of their self-worth?

I believe Feminism is about giving women choices and the freedom to access those choices.  Those choices should also be our own choices, not the choices someone else tells us they should be, even if that someone else is also calling herself a Feminist.  A bully is a bully, even when s/he’s claiming to be on your side.

I was fortunate to have been raised in a family where Feminism (Well, Feminism as I understand the term) was practiced without being labeled as such.  My grandparents’ neighbors wanted to know why they were bothering to send their daughter to college along with their sons.  Wasn’t it a waste to give a girl a college education?  The neighbors were duly informed that my mother was at least as smart if not smarter than her brothers, so why shouldn’t she get a college education?  I do hope that shut them up.

Both of my parents were teachers in the New York City public school system for decades.  My father always shared the housework—he did all the laundry and all the vacuuming, to name just two chores.  When I asked him why, he said “Your mother has a full-time job.  It’s only fair.”  There was no nit-picking negotiation over how to divide domestic tasks; he just did it, without fuss, protest, or speechifying.

Because it was only fair.

 If we can make fairness an intrinsic part of Feminism, we’ll be on the right road.  And if we have to send the CommitteeSpeakers and the bullies packing in order to make room for it?  Bonus. " -Esther Friesner

Thank you so much, Esther! 

To read my review of Threads and Flames click here.

To order Threads and Flames from Amazon.com, please click here.

To check out all of the other awesome stops on the Threads and Flames blog tour click here.


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