The following is an instant messenger conversation between admin MellissaY and Riot.Jane. Bracketed items added after the fact for clarity, links added after the fact for further reading.
Because the conversation became a bit of a soliloquy, MellissaY has already committed to writing up and posting her thoughts on these themes. Until then, we think there’s value in the below, and we encourage discussion of the concepts presented.
MellissaY: Just reading about that [Rihanna/Chris Brown] mess is killing me. The attitude that young woman have about that poor child (it’s her fault, she had it coming) is exactly why feminism has been set back a good 40 years in just the past 9.
MellissaY: This decade has been absolutely shameful
Riot.Jane: It has been.
Riot.Jane: “Is this what feminism has wrought?” [Quotes because I read that while reading about the Rihanna / Chris Brown mess]
MellissaY: I don’t know, I don’t understand what happened. When I think of my teen years and what the reaction would have been then, it would NOT have been what it is now. We would have been outraged. Girls were powerful and we were proud of that power.
MellissaY: This world scares me. For my daughters and actually for myself. We need to start a revolution…
Riot.Jane: We were heady on a power trip that was originally new to our mothers, and then new to us. Our battles are now so much ancient history to the girls today who are sitting back on their heels, seeing equal injustice in the light of equality rather than the light of injustice .
MellissaY: What to do? They’ve ruined it. All of it. Look at this world they’ve made! It’s disgusting. Maybe worse than before. Their value is their vagina and they don’t even get the respect their foremothers did as the keeper of the hearth and the head of the home.
MellissaY: That was something. This is world of nothings with vaginas to be used and like it. To hate each other and squabble like alley cats over more nothing.
Riot.Jane: Check it out, motherhood has made you almost as sexist as Andrew Dice Clay! Today’s female has turned our fight for respect and equality on its head, so that instead of bringing our culture as a whole to a higher standard, they’ve stopped fighting. By allowing themselves to realize the Holy Grail of Equality by sinking to the same level of shallow unsophistication that the walking penises of the patriarchy are, they actually managed to accomplish our bigger-than-ourselves goal. They’ve ACCOMPLISHED a dystopian equality of which we couldn’t conceive by quietly deciding, daily, to make the million small trades we refused to make, they’ve actually chosen the path of least resistance to becoming one with their male counterparts, and they’re doing it on the path we so carefully laid for them.
Riot.Jane: Just because we called it “The Road Less Traveled” doesn’t mean that’s what THEY call it. THEY call it “Easy Street” — They are plucking the fruit of the Third Wave of feminism, and we’re watching them do it, outraged that the fruit they’re picking isn’t the fruit we thought our mothers planted in the gardens we so fiercely defended.
Riot.Jane: We called it our fight only because we grew up watching our mothers fight it, not because it ever truly was. We inherited a blood feud that became such a part of our psyches so early in our lives that we never actually stopped to dissect the reasons why, how we got to where we were and, God forbid, where the hell we were going when we took up the mantle.
Riot.Jane: We just continued fighting the good fight, with the self- righteous indignation and smug moral outrage that only privileged Westerners can muster.
Riot.Jane: With so many of us having delayed childbirth until later in life, and then letting other people raise those same children, our generation of women and our companion generation of men (that our mothers unconsciously socially emasculated) are staring in the face the logical, if terrifying, result of our generation’s own lack of analytical thought when we went to war — The outright reversion of a generation of men and women who, fresh in their adult shoes, are not only modernizing but also encouraging a return to outdated social mores and arrangements and are beginning to raise their own pups with these gender norms fully in place.
Riot.Jane: This latest generation of men and women have only seen the world that we were the last to fight for; they never saw the reality of what came before or what we saw as children. They can’t comprehend the danger of what they’ve allowed to happen, of what many of them are encouraging to continue spreading like a subliminal plague.
Riot.Jane: I’m already too old to be a voice that they will hear, I’m already a generation removed from their desires, goals, and daily lives. The only difference I can now see making in the good fight is in convincing women just a little younger than me to once again speak out, to once again fight, but this time, to do it because they think it’s right and with an eye towards some sort of sensible outcome.