Will Ms. Gilbert’s fans now spend their book-club meetings plotting to find a man? Or will they be plotting revenge on the supposedly strong, single woman who betrayed them?
Getting married = betraying your feminist readership, apparently. (And/or inspiring them to desperately pursue their own weddings.) I guess that makes sense, if your research into contemporary feminism consisted entirely of a Sex and the City marathon on TBS:
[Gilbert] is a giddy girl with lots of giddy girlfriends. And they are, in the way that feminists always seem to be but hate to admit, boy crazy and sex crazy. When a chipper Ms. Gilbert, having just met Felipe, gives a New York friend with boy troubles some happy-talk advice, the friend replies: “Spoken like a woman who already had four orgasms today.”… Such women rarely remain single—even if they profess to be feminists.
And because of that:
loyal readers may well feel that their heroine has deserted them for a man. But women have been doing this to their girlfriends since time immemorial. Sisterhood is powerful, but not that powerful.
What the fucking fuck? I don’t even know where to begin. Fortunately, Anna North at Jezebel has done a pretty thorough takedown, so I don’t have to.
All of this is actually kind of difficult to pick apart, but what Hays seems to be saying is that feminists equate strength with singlehood, and view anyone who couples up as a traitor. But all feminists really want a man (lesbians don’t exist in the Hays universe), and would cheerfully abandon their feminist values should they find one. Of course, this is based on an outdated and wrongheaded notion of feminist values. Only a very few people still demand that feminists eschew men, and most feminists I know accept the notion that whether or not a woman is in a relationship doesn’t determine how “strong” she is. It’s true that the idea of taking a husband for “male protection” raises my feminist hackles, but the fact that Gilbert didn’t need such protection while traveling the world makes me more sanguine about her marriage, not less. She seems to have gotten married because she wanted to, and because she was in love, and “such women” seem pretty happy to me.
Yep. Pretty much.
I think the people who take issue with feminists like Jessica getting married are the same people whose perception of feminism is completely warped. They are the people, mostly conservatives, who think that being a feminist means that you love having abortions, you hate men, and you do vaginal self-exams for fun, therefore you shouldn’t want a wedding.
Adds Tracy: “In this skewed view, of course Valenti is a hypocrite, because they haven’t the slightest clue what she stands for in the first place.” Yep. Pretty much.
I would write more, but I have to go meet my giddy, boy-crazy girlfriends for our monthly vaginal self-exam party. Oh, wait, who am I kidding? I’m married! My single friends all hate me now! The truth is, my schedule for the day looks like this:
1) Iron Al’s shirts.
2) Clean toilet.
3) Spend hours preparing complicated dinner.
4) Clean up kitchen after complicated dinner.
5) Think of England while Al soullessly bones me in hopes of making a baby that will give my life meaning.
6) Take tranquilizer and go to bed.
In fact, that’s been my schedule every day since December 26, 2008. You’d think that as a feminist (formerly, obvs) I would have seen that coming, huh? But no, I just stupidly went ahead and got married, betraying everything I stood for and all of my feminist readers and single pals. I’d apologize for that, but frankly, I’m not sorry. I’ve got a man! And a ring! YOU KNOW YOU’RE JEALOUS.