Mother Earth Feminism And Female Oriented McGuffins; A Rant

Hi there. In case you've randomly come across this blog let me introduce myself. I call myself Shard Aerliss. As far as I'm aware I am of the XX chromosomal persuasion. I might be a chimera, I don't know, but on the surface of it, most people would, if pressed, describe me as a female member of hom sap.

According to some traditionalists this means I should want babies, wear a lot of pink, be useless with maths and spacial awareness, fail at DIY and like soap operas.

Except I don't want babies, I own one pink thing and that was a Nintendo DS I got for £20, I love maths and am a whizz with spacial awareness, I have no qualms about fixing boilers, leaking pipes or changing lightbulbs and I only watch soaps when I visit my dad, because he is, apparently, a big girl.

That's okay though. Traditionalists are looking at thousands of years of biased and broken (accidental) social engineering and assuming it is natural. People who realise they're NOT built the way that the old men think they should be are used to this. We nod sagely, pat their heads and say "we'll just keep showing you how wrong you are until you accept it, or you die of old age." It's a slow process but it's getting there. Or it was.

Feminism sort of began with women throwing off the shackles of polite society and deciding to be butch. They looked at what men said women should be and accepted the idea that it was fundamentally weak and flawed and only masculine traits were good. They said "women are not weak, see, we can do all the things that men do!"

Now, what they should have been saying was "these things that society considers to be feminine are not weak, they're not even feminine, what is even with this idea of dichotomy? Hello, there's a whole spectrum of personality traits that shouldn't be pigeon holed into A or B... what about L and P, Z and F?!"

It was the beginning of an idea, not even a movement yet so it's okay that they went off half cocked. Unfortunately, this has eventually, brought about a bit of a backlash. I refer to it as Mother Earth Feminism. The idea that motherhood is not a weakness is perfectly fine. The idea that parenting is a solely female virtue is not perfectly fine. The idea that all women everywhere are awaiting and desiring motherhood is also NOT fine.

I don't want babies. I like blue. I drink beer and smoke cigars. I play computer games and enjoy manly sports (not football or boxing though... I just don't get those). If I were a fictional character I'd be demonised as a male gaze creation. I am not feminine enough to warrant being a feminist creation. Heaven forbid a member of the XX gang should not want kids, should not be a good listener and automatic mother extraordinaire. That's not a strong female character! That's a man with boobs!

You know what, fuck you. Fuck your hate of strong female characters that don't fit into the traditional fucking narrative of Woman that both feminists and old, conservative men seem to think is what a woman should be. I'm talking about characters like Zoe from #Firefly. Because, shockingly, she, as a soldier, didn't break down into hysterics when her husband was killed., Zoe is not a strong female character. She didn't want children so she's not a strong female character. Kayely liked to play with ship engines and, ZOMG, enjoyed sex so she's another male gaze creation. Inara was smart and sexy, ANOTHER male gaze creation! And yes, I have seen all these exact arguments levelled against the women of Firefly.

News flash; some women like engines and, I know this is hard to believe, enjoy sex. Even in this day and age, when we all know sex represents aggression and submission, is a violent act of oppression of the female form.

Apparently, to be a proper feminist character a woman has to be mothering and gentle, chaste and demur,  frumpy and above all else a baby making machine. I am SO sick and tired of babies and pregnancy as a plot device. I'm looking at you Moffat (Amy twice), Whedon (Darla and Buffy**), O'Bannon, whoever writes Being Human, RTD (Gwen's baby is just irksome)... on and on.

Yes, I know, motherhood is a thing that touches many women's lives, ergo writers want to "deal with it" within their stories. Fine, a female character has has a baby. Can we, instead of revolving huge amounts of plot time around it, just have it as the B plot for once? There's a baby, it's a thing, let's not make a big deal out of it; it can't even talk!

Plus the whole birthing scene thing is just... *shudder*



**To be fair, Buffy's pregnancy is a whole other issue, thank you Joss, and Darla wasn't around and pregnant for long, it was all about single dad Angel.
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