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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

My Feminist Journey, Part II

As a little girl, I always listened in on the stories adult women shared. The leitmotif of those stories was the perennial need to put up with things.

“Every Friday my husband gets drunk, beats me and the kids, and throws us out of the house. But I’ve got to put up with this,” Auntie Tanya would sigh.

“Yes, you do,” the female chorus would confirm.

“My husband gave me another STD,” Auntie Katya would share. “This is the third one this year. But I’ve got to put up with this.”

“Yes, you do,” the female chorus agreed.

“I have to get another abortion,” Auntie Alla would say. “This will be abortion #34. The OB-GYN told me not to come back the last time I saw her. But what can I do if my husband hates condoms? I’ve got to put up with this.”

“Yes, you do!” the female chorus sang ecstatically.

“Mommy, why do Auntie Tanya, Auntie Katya, Auntie Alla and all the other aunties put up with all those things?” I would ask.

“Because there are women,” the explanation always was. “That’s what women do. You’ll understand when you grow up.”

“But, Mommy, you never put up with anything.”

“Well, no, but women usually do. Among the Jewish people, there is this tradition where men thank God every day for not making them women.”

“But, Mommy, why don’t women stop putting up with things and then thank God for making them women?”

“This is just how things have always been. You will understand when you grow up.”

I decided then and there never to put up with anything.

[To be continued. . .]

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16 thoughts on “My Feminist Journey, Part II

  1. May be it’s too intimate, but if you ever want to try writing a novel, personally I would want to see an autobiographical genre. It’s most interesting. You’ve seen several countries (USSR, FSU and US) and have an uncommon perspective.

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  2. Interesting what women of that generation in US put up with.

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  3. I agree with el. You have your blog yet I have always thought that you should write a novel, or some chronicles perhaps?

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  4. Ha! I may have my troubles, but at least I don’t have to be a man.

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  5. Benoni on said:

    So gender in Slavic countries is less, “women are fragile objects that need to be cared for by capable men”, and more, “men are immature children, and women just have to shut up and tolerate their bullshit”?

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    • Revolutions, civil wars, genocide, world war, more genocide – men suffered more and died in greater numbers than women. This distribution of gender roles is a result. Men are a precious commodity that has to be fought over and protected. But they are a commodity nonetheless. Commodities don’t deserve respect or being treated like people.

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  6. It’s no different, though, from the consequence of Western metaphysics and its worship of stasis, that is, through the insistence that a male is a force of nature and nothing can be done about him, whereas women are soft, pliant material that can be made to fill in all of the social cracks.

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  7. Pingback: On partners | Urocyon's Meanderings

  8. Alexandra on said:

    Thirty-four abortions, poor thing, how did she survive that? Is she alive now?
    Did she finally dump his ass?

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