October 24, 2005

Is That Someone Who Collects Pens?

And other scarey things children say.

Last week,I announced to my children (well a subset of them the 11-7 year olds) as I walked through the room that I was a feminist. Yeah, a weird mommy thing to do, they are used to odd announcements. But even weirder was the reaction. "A what?" "ok" and blank look. I repeated myself. Still no recognition. I said well guess. 11 year old tentatively starts out. I encourage him. "Is that a person who collects pens?" Huh? LOLOL I have no idea where that one came from. No.

Curiousity was peaking now...what on earth was this and did they really want to know. I gave a brief textbook definition. All the kids rolled their eyes. Yeah, they were feminists too. They didn't know there was a need for it or a word for it.

Horror. I have failed once again by not putting a vocabulary word to a set of beliefs or actions. They have the concept down...but are more clueless than I think children in the 70s were about what feminism is and what it means.

I am afraid it isn't just my children though. I think it is just a general problem. What does it mean when someone is a feminist? That shouldn't be a koan but something everybody knows, else we might as well be pen collectors.

Technorati Tags: , ,


Denise said...

Well what's wrong with being a pen collector? ;-)

Is it possible they don't know the word, at least his highness doesn't, because his mother would really prefer NOT to label herself that way because it immediately puts her into the liberal category. And liberal, you ain't.

TW said...

Hush. I am a feminist. One can be a feminist and whatever else I am. I think they don't know the word because they are growing up in a world without fathers muttering about pinko feminists while watching the nightly news.

~ nellenelle said...

I'm wondering... is it possible he heard something other than 'feminist?' Like penimist?

One of the biggie problems we have is being defined by those who have no interest in women as equal. See the comments of the ad agent recently... women are wimps for wishing to take care of kidlets and therefore make lousy executives. I'd love to flush him down a toilet, but these comments are far too commonplace, because the big mouths that make up terms like feminazis succeed in misrepresenting what we are for, so much so that even many women wish to have no part in identifying with feminism.

If a Mary Daly writes of a need for separatism, her words will be played up everywhere, and we are instantly considered to be in league with her views. Hairy, ugly, man hating lesbians, all. And those who fall into that latter group in turn get painted with another, similar brush.

Feminism isn't rocket science. Oh, one can slice and dissect and offer up cogent writings and observations that can certainly ascend to that level, but the basic premise is simple. No one cares about simple premises. They prefer the illusion.

TW said...

Nah, I clarified it. Spelled it.