Open Season on Feminists

The following is from a column by Patricia Graham, the editorial page editor, on the oped page of today's The Province.
It didn't take too long after the Montreal massacres for it to start again. Not too long at all: Just over a year.

And now it's open season on feminists again, just like it was before Marc Lepine decided to target them. Of course, right after he did, everyone went "Whoops" and "Maybe we went too far," and "Isn't it outrageous."

No. The time for outrage is now. Now, when ignorant people are on the attack and add fuel to the fanatical fires of the crazed Marc Lepines of the world.

In only the last few days, I've read that it's feminists who abort, feminists who claim abortion doesn't leave you feeling a thing, feminists who are evil doctrinairesses, feminists who are the McCarthyites of the '90s and feminists who were upset by a former Ontario cabinet minister posing fully clothed as a SunShine boy.

Nonsense, all of it. Let's go over each of these allegations and get them right.

It is _women_, not feminists, who abort. Immigrant women, native women, WASP women, feminist women, gay women, raped women, children. You'd think this would be self-evident, but aparently it's not. Abortion is constantly portrayed as a feminist pastime.

Feminists do not insist abortion leaves you feeling nothing. Some women will tell you they've aborted and never been bothered by it. Others will tell you they have grieved ever since. Feminists, merely individuals, can fall into either camp.

The key word is respect. True feminists respect women. Workers at the Everywoman's Health Centre in Vancouver, allegedly a hotbed of feminism, counsel pregnant women as to their options. Some women have chosen _not_ to abort because of the counselling and support they've received at the Everywoman's Health Centre.

It was not feminists who were upset by Peter Kormos posing as a SunShine boy. It was his boss, a man, the premier of Ontario. Some feminists appreciate a little beefcake; others figure that, like it or not, it's a nice counterweight to the heavy doses of cheesecake. Others think sexism works both ways.

Feminists are not evil doctrinairesses, the McCarthyites of the '90s. Feminists are as divided as the general population is over the pornography versus censorship debate. They are as divided as the general population is in their reaction to the news that male law students should be free on their own time to celebrate together by hiring a prostitute to perform oral sex on them.

They are as worried and thoughtful as the general population is over the issue of the demands of political correctness. They are as divided as the general population is over whether Sam Kinison is worth bothering about.

Feminists -- surprise! -- are human beings. They encompass all the opinions, foibles and talents of the general population. They are as varied, as endearing and as annoying as everyone else.

Where they differ from everyone else, perhaps, is in their vulnerability to attack. The attacks on them are constant, ignorant and hateful. And oh, so convenient.

Go Back to Shy David's Feminism Page.