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Feminist Supremacist

I'll be honest, I was at a loss of what to write. I had several ideas- and likely good ones- but I just didn't have the motivation to write them. I'd said it all before, really. I was afraid to branch and and try something new because stepping so far outside my "comfort zone" and getting shot down would be too painful. Plus, I wasn't sure I should write at all- I'm so sick that I can't promise anything more than utter incoherency.

But, without even knowing she did so, chiara607 solved my problem for me by posting a link to the journal entry, and then specifically to this comment.

Now, the entry itself, of course, is bunk. Zoe calls Mal "sir" because he was her superior in the army in wartime. Kaylee is an utter mechanical genius who takes the job out from under an incompetent man. Sure, Inara may be a "prostitute," but in this world, it is not a demeaning profession. Instead of walking street corners, men come to her by the droves, begging for her favor. She views each application and turns it down if the applicant does not fit her liking. Isn't that more... empowering... than demeaning?

Not to mention the author doesn't even address River. Whether she never got that far in the series, or simply has no explanation for how a 17-year-old girl repeatedly overpowers numerous men on the show, as well as hordes of chemically-altered enemies at the end remains to be seen.

But, that aside, let's move on to that comment where she claims that pretty much all heterosexual sex is rape.

Yes, you read that correctly.

I have several levels to take this from, and I'll start from the most offensive: this definition of rape is supremely demeaning to the numerous women- and men- who have been violently and forcibly assaulted. The fact you can possibly argue that a woman who has gratifying consensual sex with her husband was just as violated because of the "dominant male paradigm" is both disgusting and laughable.

Furthermore, the implication that women don't really want sex, they just "think they do" paints a picture of women as being such weak, fragile creatures that they are inherently ingrained with this natural submission to the powerful Man Creature and rendered powerless to resist his masculinity. Please. When I look at my fiance, I find him attractive and I'd love to jump him (even though we're waiting TEN LONG MONTHS until the wedding...), it isn't because his essence of testosterone is so overpowering I lose control over my own free will and my feminine soul is putty in his gaze. No, it's that I'm a sexual being and I have wants and needs for gratification as well.

Is it so difficult for her to believe a woman can honestly desire sexual relations with a man? She, quite predictably, publicly identifies as a lesbian, which I don't question for a minute- she clearly believes that no woman can, of her own free will and fruition, be enamored with a man. Frankly, while I hold that others have the right to their own opinions, I just can't grasp that- isn't it far more misogynistic to claim that women are so powerless that they don't even know what they themselves want, but have to be defined in terms of what they CAN'T do because of men?

Furthermore, I resent the author's implication that Joss Whedon must abuse his wife. Aside from the controversial claim that Firefly is misogynist in the first place, I think that's a far cry from saying he mistreats his wife and light years away from calling him a "rapist." I may not know Mr. Whedon personally, but it still disturbs me to see such grave implications levied against a man for what someone believes to be an anti-feminist portrayal of widely-accepted "not nice" characters in a science-fiction Western.

While I believe men and women are of equal worth and value, I will never subscribe to modern-day feminism, which is really a masked call for feminist supremacy, wrapped in a veil of equality and good intentions. I feel the same way about some factions of the gay rights movement- while I fully support the equality of homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered individuals to their heterosexual counterparts, I have some issue with the type who go around wearing shirts that say "straight people scare me." I've always envisioned the fight for equality as a noble endeavor for equal treatment, despite minority status or a general perception of inferiority. Sometimes, these days, it seems as if it has become a fight to legitimize the minority and not be equal to, but to be considered superior to the "majority."

It begs the question just how secure these people are in their own identities. My own identity is none too common- and proudly proclaimed in my profile. You may not like it, but I don't need you to accept it for it to be right for me. I am who I am, regardless of who determines it to be valid or shuns me for my labels. I don't need to fight a battle to make myself better than those who put me down know- doesn't that make me just as bad as them? If I am to fight against the dominant paradigm, what right do I have to take it over and belittle those who used to put me down? It reminds me of the Myth of the Moundbuilders. For those of you not so archaeologically inclined, let me explain briefly. When Europeans first arrived in the Americas, it's no secret they considered Native Americans a savage, vastly inferior race. When they discovered elaborate mounds, effigies, and pyramids scattered across the continent, they could not entertain the fact that the Native Americans themselves built these and constructed a theological (and later proved fictional) race of mound builders, who had settled the continent prior to the Native Americans present at the time of contact, and whom the Native Americans had summarily vanquished. The Europeans justified their eradication of Native Americans by claiming they were just doing to the Native Americans what they had done to the mound builders. One superior race conquers another... does it then becomes okay to rise up and conquer that race in return?

Maybe Inara is a "companion" because she likes sex. Perhaps Mal isn't misogynistic- maybe he just hates everyone. Maybe some "savages" are capable of more than we give them credit for. The fact remains that all these are assumptions that lead to qualifiers that enhance the dichotomy between the majority and the minority. In order for true equality to be reached, differences must be explored, understood, and accepted. A cry for equality by means of an overthrow accomplishes nothing but putting another "dominant paradigm" into place, which must then, in turn, be subverted. And, in some instances- like the false cry of rape above- it is downright offensive.

Equality is the right of every human being, but in the quest for equality, the greatest danger is the temptation of superiority. While the author of that Firefly piece may have had the best of intentions, I believe she may be best served examining her beliefs and keeping only the ones that lead to the least amount of "bad" for the fewest amount of people.

Comments

( 16 — comment )
amokk
Mar. 27th, 2008 09:52 am (UTC)
Everything is summed up with "radical feminist".

Dworkinites scare me.
naamaire
Mar. 27th, 2008 10:06 am (UTC)
Wow. I think the thing that gets me the most is how she characterizes Wash as abusive of Zoe, when the fact that she outranks him and is physically more competent than him is the linchpin of their relationship.
missinfinity
Mar. 27th, 2008 11:17 am (UTC)

Furthermore, the implication that women don't really want sex, they just "think they do" paints a picture of women as being such weak, fragile creatures that they are inherently ingrained with this natural submission to the powerful Man Creature and rendered powerless to resist his masculinity.

I will never subscribe to modern-day feminism, which is really a masked called for feminist supremacy, wrapped in a veil of equality and good intentions. I feel the same way about some factions of the gay rights movement- while I fully support the equality of homosexuals and bisexuals (as well and transgendered individuals) to their heterosexual counterparts, and support gay marriage as much as I support secular heterosexual marriage- I have some issue with the type who go around wearing shirts that say "straight people scare me."


*applauds*

Way to re-advance the "women are bone china" theory, fem-nazis.

chloevalkyrie
Mar. 27th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
As I recall Mal hated Inara's occupation, becuse he felt it demeaned HER. I'd say that's not exactly misogynistic.
kathrynrose
Mar. 29th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
Exactly.

The author of that post clearly knew nothing of the characters' relationships, or of the complexity of the individual characters.

I hate it when people make rash judgements and are so loud and stupid about it. She gives radical lesbian feminists a bad name. (last sentence tongue-in-cheek, since I used to identify myself, and I'm not sure what shades of any of those three words fully apply to me.)
welfy
Mar. 27th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
You going to post this in the comments? :^P
jai_dit
Mar. 28th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
The original poster would just delete it anyway.
magnus50000
Mar. 27th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
As noted above, does the writer of this garbage you linked to not notice how in Zoe and Wash's marriage, she's the one wearing the pants? Or as you noted, how River basically kicks everyone's ass, including Jayne, or how she thoroughly outsmarts Early?
puppetmaker40
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
Considering that Whedon's best known character is still Buffy, I find this strange at best.

Fans will twist anything to make a point. Hella, Peter just got accused for being a racist because of something that he won a GLAAD award for showing gay people realistically.

People like this have an agenda and no amount of logic is gonna shake it.

But you wrote a kicking essay.
chazari
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
Reading that article was painful. The writer seems unable to see context and relationships. Mal's comments about Kaylee ("Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month.") is so different when watching the show and seeing the affection he has for her. You see the teasing. The author misses that and misses it with other arguments.

And her definition of rape is disgusting at best. The whole article was disturbing, but your rebuttal was well done.
kathrynrose
Mar. 29th, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
I couldn't read the whole thing. It's like she never saw the show, she just read the scripts and took the words completely at face value.

It reveals her biggest flaw. She is black and white. She sees no shades of grey, no complexities, no shadowing.

woo. kate is analytical this morning.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
No rational person can plausibly argue with this. Bravo.

The only danger in discussing comments such as "all heterosexual sex is rape" is that it may dignify absurdity with logic when, in fact, it is almost impossible to know where to begin to underscore the stupidity, the misogny and the misandry of such a comment.

But you pull it off beautifully.
leora
Mar. 27th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
I was pointed to that post from somewhere else, and I had to stop reading as soon as she talked about Inara being raped, when Inara has consensual sex that she was fully in control of.

It also misses the point that neither Mal nor Jayne are role models. They are not designed to show you how people should act. Mal's character concept was as a person who was broken and hurt by his life experience, closed-off and cold, and slowly over the course of the show, you were supposed to learn why he got to that state and why these other characters care about him anyway. They toned that down because he was too unlikable. But you see him losing his religion, his optimism, his faith in people, etc. He's not supposed to show you how people should behave, but how people endure after they get broken. He is designed to be flawed.

Jayne is obviously a thug. Which means that the only males you might consider as possible models are Wash, Simon, and Book. Wash has a fairly decent relationship with his wife. They have problems sometimes, but they more or less get through them. And he's loyal to her. Simon is generally caring and considerate, and he feels his sister still has value and worth despite being seriously disabled, and he tries to help her to bring her back to her full strength. He admits that she was smarter and more talented than he was, but he loved her and valued her abilities rather than being horribly insecure about them. I find Book less well-developed than most, but he seems fairly decent and okay.

Whedon sometimes writes the most horribly sexist characters I have ever seen, and he'll do so in very believable ways. I have difficulty watching some of his stuff because of that. But that's part of why I think he does uspport feminism - he shows the true sexism, and he generally shows it being defeated too.

Not all feminists, not all modern feminists, go in for the all heterosexual sex is rape angle or the other things that make feminism go bad. It's a shame that several very different ideas get lumped into one label.

I do understand how someone can view all heterosexual sex as bad. It's actually remarkably easy. It's the exact same mistake people make when they think all homosexual sex is disgusting. Or when they think that all non-monogamous relationships are broken. Or when they think all monogamous relationships are weak and unenlightened. It's simply the standard human instinct to assume that all other humans have the same emotional makeup that they do. Individuals seem to have different settings for what works for them. And these things affect them so strongly at a deep emotional level that it takes a great deal of intellectual work to realize and understand that this deep truth is only a truth about yourself, not about people in general. Most people don't seem to make it that far. So, they condemn whatever isn't their own personal setting.

More people need to get over that, so that we can simply start peacefully accepting other people's choices. So many people fighting so hard to try to make everyone be just like them, and that will never work.
lilmissmagic71
Mar. 28th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
I don't think I can form the words to say properly how angry this post makes me... (not yours, hers)... Yours on the other hand is very pointed, well thought out and nicely written.

Hers is horses%$#.

The most disturbing thing is the very one you pointed out... the loose and extremely disturbing way that 'rape' is bandied about... But there are so many levels of dumbassity in that trash... UGH.

(of course, I am a huge fan of the Whedonverse which doesn't help the ire here...)

But YOUR post rocks. Thanks for posting this!
kathrynrose
Mar. 29th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
There's nothing like righteous pissoffedness to clear out the cobwebs of being sick. Gotta love adrenaline. :)

Great job. Feel better. :)
iamnotnormal
Mar. 30th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Your the second person to point out that article this week. I tend to ignore stupidity, I mean seriously you can twist anything to agree with your own perverted views...

I should send her a comment that links her to my picture of how to use a condom... ^_^
( 16 — comment )