Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fundamentalist feminists outraged that woman makes her own choice

Wait. Fundamentalist? Isn't that word usually used in relation to religion?

Merriam-Webster gives two definitions for fundamentalist, with the second being "a movement or attitude stressing strict or literal adherence to a set of basic principals." Many feminists express their views, and disagree so strongly when one does not live by their standards, that they are indeed fundamentalists.

Take the case of Quiana Stokes, a woman who has made a lifestyle choice that outrages many feminists. Ms Stokes is a self proclaimed stay-at-home-girlfriend (SAHG). She lost her coorporate job months ago, and now besides looking for a new job, she takes care of home and boyfriend. Perhaps Stepfordish or June Cleaverish, but her own choice. And, a choice that, judging by her writing, makes her content.
What was a matter of convenience before is now a matter of financial survival—while I’ve always been someone who’s really into keeping her boyfriend happy (that’s how I was raised), it’s now my primary occupation after job-seeking.
She goes on in her article to list her rules for being a good SAHG. Cleaning, cooking, pampering, and "sexy time" are all discussed. She does seem to be a bit of a throwback to the 50's, but it's her damn life. Live and let live, I say, but others are somewhat perturbed. From the comments:
This isn’t enough of a satire to be even 15% funny. It’s just regressive and enraging. - Caroline Shadood

Sorry but…..WTF year are we living in? This article actually makes me feel nauseous. Maybe you should just stay unemployed–then maybe he’ll propose! - REB

It sounds like you’re self-flagellating for being unemployed, and trying to show gratitude that your boyfriend is letting you live with him. That’s fine. But wow… - Jess
whoa i just barfed - the grizz

what in the hot hell? Is this a collaboration with The Onion you forgot to announce properly - Patrice

I’m about 99.44% sure this is actually written by a guy under a pseudonym. - Justin

This is disgusting! At first I tried to give the author the benefit of the doubt, assuming that because she probably couldn’t pay her half of the bills, that she was making up for it in other ways. -BUT- Then I saw her comment in response to every readers’ comment about how sickening this article is, and she states that she DOES split the bills with him. So, this is SICK, SICK, SICK! You clearly do not garner any respect from him on any other level so you feel the need to make up for it in every single other department! Are you really that desperate or afraid that he won’t care for you unless you act like a maid/mother/sex slave? Come on! It’s one thing to do a little extra, but to go to this extent and then actually write an article on it advising others of your craziness! GET A LIFE … and some RESPECT for yourself! You’re mis-representing women everywhere with this CRAP! - Amanda

And I just browsed through the first fifty or so comments out of over two hundred. Some are supportive, and some insult the femminists, but many are outraged or claim that the article must be satire. After all, it can't be real.

Other bloggers have jumped on the anger bandwagon. Richard Larson at Gawker, Sadie Stein at Jezebel, Jen Carlson at Gothamist, and Jenna Goudreau at Forbes have all written articles criticizing Ms Stokes for her lack of feminist ideals. Did these writers forget that the main component to a free society is freedom? As in freedom to live life as one sees fit, without having to meet some other's supposed ideal. Stokes is harming no one with her choices. She is not setting feminism back fifty years. She has made her choice. I would think that a feminist would support her choice, and not bemoan the fact that she does not fit into some kind of feminist groupthink.

Interestingly, all of the bloggers mentioned above illustrated their articles with photos of white women doing housework, with the exception of the Forbes piece which had a photo of a white mannequin stuffed into a refrigerator. Quiana Stokes is black. Is that racist?

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