by Neyla Miller
Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination has been paraded as a historic victory for the feminist movement. Much like the change that was celebrated with Obama in 2008, packaged in what many saw as a dissolution to racial barriers, Clinton’s “large crack in the glass ceiling” has mainstream feminists cheering for joy.
There is only one (large) problem with this… Mainstream feminism is not feminism. It is a brand, arguably a luxury one, just like that of both Obama and Clinton.
Thursday night, Clinton gave her acceptance speech wearing a white pantsuit that has since been viewed as an homage to the history of the women’s movement. One could point out the the stark contrast of a pantsuit from the long skirts worn by the women who pioneered such changes; all female delicacy have now been shed. In many ways, women have come far; it was only in the last hundred years we were allowed to vote in the U.S. Women are better educated, contribute far more to the work force, and since the sexual revolution of the 60’s we have better control over our bodies.
So, what’s not to love about our progress?
Women have often become slaves to their jobs, just as their male counterparts are. They have accumulated the same, large sums of student debt to help solidify any bondage. In today’s economy, both men and women are frequently needed to supply income to households with children. Even in the healthiest of families, quality family time is limited- making children more vulnerable to the outside influences of other persons and the general, consumerist society.
Women in positions of power are quoted talking about the hardships of having made it in a male dominated profession, stating all the ways they have detached from their female nature in the work place, which rarely stays to just that. Women, like men, in western society have become increasingly more disconnected with their emotional nature, and awareness of such, in a quest to achieve more “human equality”.
It is often these women who have shed pieces of themselves that we see praised on such a large scale. It is not hard to note that many of these women are rich and/or white, and for this reason do not speak for the rest of the female population. Mainstream feminism has ventured down the path of becoming nothing short of a catty sorority, a quality that does not lift up the feminine in any regard. There are girl’s girls and guy’s girls… But since when is being a girl’s girl feminism? Since when is segregating your own gender considered empowerment?
Sexual assault has become a growing concern within the U.S.; an emphasis put on college campuses in recent years. Cosmetic procedures for teenage girls to enhance breasts, and now even labias, are becoming a right of passage with the coming of age. Labiaplasties having doubled in the last few years. The United States is the world’s largest producer of pornography, having been estimated to contribute up to three-fourths of available content in recent years. More disturbing is the growing support to legalize sex work to protect sex workers, which does not contribute to its ceasing. But only perpetuates the abuse.
Women are able to have sex freely, as men can, just as long as they pollute their bodies with artificial hormones. The pill was one of the many medical experiments used on persons in prison camps during WWII. Adolescent and adult females now pop them daily without second thought. Fertility problems, of both genders, have grown to be far too common. Rather than address the psychological and emotional root to these problems, many seek extensive and invasive procedures. It does bring into question, how are these new “freedoms” actually being used? More importantly, how are they nourishing to both individuals and society? How are they depleting?
The collide of the sexual revolution and the growth of consumerism in the 60’s and 70’s can easily be pinpointed to the shift in the increase of dysfunction between genders and of sex. Western society has a incredibly perverse view on sex. What is commonly known as pornography is not much different from most of what is now seen in fashion and media/advertising today. Large brands feed into such sexism, encouraging exploitation to developing youth. It is as unnecessary as it is inappropriate.
While I don’t contest that the generations of women that have lived before mine haven’t struggled and fought for a cause, I do wonder how much has been lost in the divides of generations and between ideals of what feminism actually is. The idea that boys will be boys, and girls must learn to play the game surrounding that notion belittles the minds and needs of future girls and boys.
The consumerist mentality that has come to dominate our modern world has infiltrated both the values within families and societies at large, and is locked in with its hold of governments and the western medical establishment. Liberation cannot exist without socialism. Patriarchy with its hierarchy, its focus on the material level of living, does not serve in the benefit of either men or women. Feminism and its quest to play in the same arena as men within the ideals of patriarchy has only taken humanity further away from the nourishment that our empty world is lacking. Feminism is about the divine feminine- something many feminists, male and female, have forgotten. Both genders have been steered markedly off course.
There cracks in the glass ceiling aren’t the problem, they never were. It is the cracks in the foundation that we, collectively, need to be addressing.
Neyla Miller is a writer and poet, who currently works with small children. She grew up in southern California and spent much of her adult life in Los Angeles, New York City, and London. She is wildly passionate about classical theatre and happy to call Moscow home. She writes athttp://www.theideaofme.com/