A Feminist Vade Mecum:
- Anger, by Historiann.
- Opting Out, by Dr. Crazy.
- On Pity, by Professor Zero.
- Independence, by Sutton.
- Trust Your Instincts, by Undine.
- It’s okay if not everyone likes you, by Geeky Mom.
- You don’t have to be a mom, by Squadratomagico.
- You can say no, by Tiffany.
- Don’t peak early, by Minnesota Matron.
- Love your body, by Knitting Clio.
- If you don’t ask, you don’t get, by Bavardess.
- You are not what you wear, by Roxie the Wire-Haired Fox Terrier.
- Don’t just ask, insist on help (even if it makes you feel weird), by Sisyphus.
- Romance is for your pleasure and enjoyment, by Professor Zero.
38 thoughts on “Lessons for Girls”
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BTW this post has driven my hit count through the roof. I can only imagine what yours must be.
Re anger post. Note to self. I have notes on this I must unearth. But it was based on asking myself with whom I was angry and why that I discovered the result: I am most angry with people I have inappropriately pitied.
Also (warning–esoteric): Nietzche, in the geneaology of morals, explains why anger, which in my region’s current popular culture is supposed to be bad because it is a poison, is actually NOT a poison except in weak people (people Adorno/Reich would have said have the “authoritarian personality” – cf. http://www.psychologistworld.com/influence_personality/authoritarian_personality.php). For Nietzche’s words see section 10 here, on ressentiment: http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/MODERN/GENEAL.HTM
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I nominate this post for addition to the list:
Profacero, you are too kind. That post is just another of my meandering mindturds…
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Love these posts…where were all of these great pieces of advice when i was growing up? I mean, I can still use them, and it is actually a great relief to see them put into words by such amazing writers/women, but damn…timing you know? I’ve been absent from my blog for a few weeks and this might spark a new topic for me. I look forward to the next one someone suggested about how It’s OK to say No! How do you feel about me writing a post entitled, “When to Talk and When to Shut Up”?
The post about saying no is done, and can be added to the list if you like.
The Matron added a tenth lesson at her site: http://minnesotamatron.blogspot.com/
Love this meme!
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It’s perhaps too specific, and it might be a subset of a more general topic, but I thought of another one. I can’t post it on my blog because my parents read that.
Part A: dates, and “relationships,” should be more relaxed/pleasant than ordeal-like. Part B: it’s OK to be in them for you (as opposed to in service to the other person).
I remember that I believed these things in the 8th grade and disagreed with the nun (yes!) who was called into our public school to teach sex education to girls. She said dating was to find out who you’d like to marry. I had never been on a date but I suspected the purpose of them was to go do something interesting and fun with an interesting and fun person.
Since my mid thirties, however, I’ve had recurrent trouble with men who (a) think one should have sex to serve and please them; (b) are not sure one should have it to please oneself, unless that can benefit them with some kind of visual show; (c) are convinced women want them and that they can therefore get away with various types of poor behavior and not be frozen out.
Eventually this shook my sense of reality that I went to see a therapist, who reminded me of ideas (A) and (B) (in the second paragraph). Even though these ideas had once seemed obvious to me, it was amazing to me by that point to have someone confirm that they really weren’t “too selfish.”
Recently I’ve realized that although part of the reason I try to understand these people and figure out what is going on is that I’m the guest in the culture, another part has to do with my earliest (pre feminist, pre 1967 or so) upbringing.
According to that upbringing, managing an ordeal-like relationship was part of one’s job in the same way as managing events like awkward yet necessary work related social events (e.g. job candidate dinners with colleagues who hate each other) is part of my job now.
So, girls: dates, and “relationships,” should be more relaxed/pleasant than ordeal-like, and it’s OK to be in them for you (as opposed to in service to the other person).
Corollary: beware of advice about how you should “work on” relationships and how they are “work.” Also beware of advice about how you need to compromise more, and how the burden of “communication” is on you.
My friendships don’t seem like work and struggle, they seem like pleasure and growth; my better relationships with men have felt like that too; I would really beware of all the warnings about the “work” of a relationship just because romance is involved; I think these are a trap.
(Perhaps that advice was actually invented by men who are telling themselves there is “work” in a relationship because what they are learning is, women are actual people, not dolls or something … ?)
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HA! A feminist historian! Just what I was looking for!
I shall peruse your luscious offerings and then come back to, in no particular order, pester you with questions and shower you with compliments.
Sincerely, with all due respect and regards, etc.
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Thank you for this repository; it has been good to read. However, I’m afraid the linked post under “No Apologies” is no longer in existence. Is there an alternate site where the piece has been posted?
Thanks for your time 🙂
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I see, with some dismay, that the problem firefoot noted still exists; the blog entry (and, in fact, the entire blog) linked to as Lesson #6 is missing, and that in all the months that have passed since firefoot’s post, the entry has not been corrected, replaced, or even addressed by the original author. The article is not findable via wayback machine. Surely firefoot and I aren’t the only ones who wanted to see (and potentially share, and/or benefit from) that lesson. While exact text may be lost, is there anyone who could at least paraphrase it here?
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The No Apologies link is broken – can you relink or
post a cached copy somewhere?
Sorry–that blog must no longer exist, and I didn’t keep copies on my own blog. Blogger FAIL!
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