gender neutrality and politics

While many of the complaints against the term 'feminism' are based on lack of knowledge, including lack of awareness of the positive work and accomplishments associated with feminism, I agree it would be a good idea to find a term without 'fem' in it in order to better denote equality.*

Ideally, all humans would be equal. In order to get closer to this, learning more about all humans and the issues that prevent equality would be the focus.

What does gender neutralism mean? Is it about not making assumptions in choices of pronouns, is it about referring to job titles without 'man' in them, but replacing with 'person' or something more neutral? Is it that people would have a lot more choice when it came to roles in life?

At present, I kind of feel like when people communicate with me online the best I can hope for is to be considered a kind of asexual Yoda in a dress, although at times I have been seen as psycho, ugly, old and bitter, someone shrill or boring, and definitely not as smart or chilled out as Yoda. Is it just me, and that I come across as kinda psycho? From what I have observed online, regarding other women in discussions, no. Women's right to an opinion or to qualify as a sentient human very often seems to depend on their appearance and age. It sucks.

Is it ok to let friends express misogynist views and not ever try to challenge their ideas? What about other prejudices? In movies, all the time and on tv, people are accepting of various prejudices as part of the package. When people speak about a relationship between equals, do the same people also seek the same with friends and family members? And if not, why not? What does it mean to speak up? What does it mean to remain silent?

I am not really sure how sexist I am, but I have a kind of awareness of the possibility that I am sexist in ways I don't consciously recognize.

My impression is that currently there are many kinds of unacceptable, unappealing or invisible sexuality. There is much ageism and sexism. Would gender neutralism lead to more possibilities, a less restricted view of what sexuality is?

When people are reluctant to talk politics, it could be partly about respecting other people's beliefs and not making a scene, but it's also because there is a kind of intimidation factor. People who know things about politics are often very passionate and vocal, and there is a sense of 'I'm stupid, I should know this but I don't' in listening to some of them, which makes it even harder sometimes to address what you don't know, or where to start.

In my family, I definitely got the idea my parents supported Pierre Elliott Trudeau, but was that mainly because he was charming and cultured and had a cool wife who smoked pot with the Rolling Stones? Or was it because Trudeau was involved when on May 14 1969 therapeutic abortion became available for women whose physical or mental wellbeing was at stake in carrying a pregnancy to term? And what this meant was that of four children, they only really had a choice with the fourth? I was born 7 months after my parents married.. If the law had been passed earlier, what would my parents' lives have been like? Would I have been born at all?

What did my parents absorb about Trudeau? Mainly the 'cool' messages? They did not really speak about politics, and we all absorbed it was best not to pry into some things. There was never really much discussion at family gatherings. GK's father was a journalist, and he probably inherited some of his parents' political views. Ideas were inherited, yes, but also it was part of normal conversation to be acquainted with current events in Australia and the world, and the house itself was packed to bursting with a wide range of books.

When it comes to talking about politics, for most of my life I didn't really feel I had a good grasp of the issues. In reality, most people have opinions on things like abortion, gay marriage, welfare, disability, immigration, climate change and environmental issues, etc, but they don't really know how these opinions match up to political parties or if they fit various isms. For those who grow up with a certain background, this seems ridiculous, and they are impatient with those who do not understand how it all works. Does this mean the school systems fail in teaching kids about how the political systems in their own countries work? Does it mean that the approach to education on these matters needs some work? Or that more countries should have a policy of offering free higher education?

Anyway.. I think that in living with GK for a long time, I slowly started to absorb a little more of how things are connected to politics, but it's difficult when you have no experience discussing certain topics and others have a whole lifetime of it. So when it comes to people who feel intimidated by politics, and the serious emotions and passions that result, the thing to remember is that once you pick up a certain amount, from there it's not as difficult to keep extending from that foundation, but at the start, the main problem is not really that a person doesn't have opinions on politics, it's that the person might not know the right jargon to express those opinions in the presence of those who are more experienced.

*Added later: I just want to note something that relates to feminism: I read an article saying that most Australian women don't identify as feminist, but that they believe in equality.. that for them, feminism is too 'strong' a word. But that's not the place I'm coming from. I don't have a problem calling myself feminist, and I don't think it's good to just throw the word away without an acknowlegement of the history and accomplishments, and what it really means as opposed to some of the pop culture interpretations, or that the movement is dead and there is no more work to be done. At the same time, I think the next wave probably should be labelled differently, because with a 'feminine' reference in the title, it seems less equal. Yes, I know men can be feminists. Maybe it should be femenist (but not FeMEnist).

->exile on meme st: a diary