My mom on my disgust with being sexually harassed.
Wow this is so offensive for a myriad of reasons:
1) The perceived notion that sexual harassment is something to be appreciated
2) The implication I should be GRATEFUL for being made to feel uncomfortable
3) The invalidation of said feelings of discomfort
4) The idea that my self-worth should be contingent upon how I am viewed by others and
5) That objectification will be a validation I crave as I get older
Every woman is so much more than the way they look. Or how males react to how they look. Just wow.
At 46, I can shout out loud and truthfully proclaim that "I LOVE NOT BEING UNDER THE MALE GAZE ANYMORE."
It’s very comforting knowing that 99% of men don’t even see me anymore. It’s like a secret part about life that my feminist sisters forgot to tell me about. It rocks. It’s so freeing. So much is written about how negative aging is for women but not being constantly evaluated as a sexual object is really really really awesome. I had no idea how exhausting it was until it disappeared in the last few years.
Also, I feel sorry for your mother that she doesn’t feel this joy. Another sister drowning in internalized patriarchy :(
Shahrzad Mojab, “Women’s NGOs Under Conditions of Occupation and War”
“Some antiwar feminist academics cloak their support for the patriarchal-religious force in the “cultural relativist” argument which privileges the “indigeneity” of patriarchy. My question is: Why have feminists, especially those with a progressive, antiwar, anti-globalization agenda, in recent years repeatedly failed to uphold a multi-edged banner of resistance? Why have we failed us to see the multiplicity of contradictions in patriarchal capitalism? We should seek the answer, I would like to propose, in the following factors:
1) The theoretical turn in feminism in the last three decades has had a devastating impact on women’s struggle globally. Exaggerated emphases on “identity,” “voice,” “agency,” “location” and “experience” have reduced patriarchy to questions of culture and religion. This means that patriarchy as an institution of women’s subordination is separated from capitalist relations of exploitation, from imperialist domination, and from the rise of nationalism and fundamentalism. This myopic view of patriarchy, sometimes even endorsed the colonialist “liberation” agenda for women in Afghanistan and Iraq.
2) The political implications of this theoretical shift have been even more disturbing. Feminism as a potential strong opposition social force has been reduced to fragmented, disjointed and coopted tendencies. The outcome is the re-emergence of colonial and imperialist feminisms on the one hand, and nativist feminisms which perpetuate patriarchy under the banner of culture on the other.
3) The post-9/11 condition has added more complexity to this already messy situation. In the West we are faced with the rise of state suppression of individual rights and civil liberties under the name of “security” and “war on terror.” State-sponsored racial profiling is on the rise, and Islamophobia, anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim racism are growing. Most feminist responses are at best ambiguous toward this environment of fear and terror.
4) The right turn in the feminist movement coincides with three decades of cooptation and fragmentation of women’s movements through the instruments of the UN, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and a vast network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These capitalist institutions have supported, funded and promoted patriarchy by turning the struggle of women to de-politicized and liberal notions of “gender mainstreaming” and “women’s empowerment.”
In this imperialist feminist scheme, women were trained to lead NGOs, to participate in the political structure of conservative and pro-Western states, to engage in alienating, pacifying training programs for the capitalist “democracy” and join the army of workers to build “civil society.” In this version of women’s struggle, capitalist relations of power and the institutions of state and patriarchy are left untouched.”
— Shahrzad Mojab, “Women’s NGOs Under Conditions of Occupation and War”