Tag Archives: feminism

don’t treat me like a goddess!

It’s rather unpleasant up here. I can’t sit down comfortably or move much without fear of falling off, and there is no one else around. It’s boring too…there’s nothing to do, no challenges or intellectual stimulation. Worse of all, looking down from this height is giving me nausea and there’s no ginger ale. Take me down from this pedestal. Please and thank you.

At first, I couldn’t explain his behavior except to label it as “being in love.” Then I realized that he isn’t in love with me, he is idolizing me.  He is intimidated by my intelligence, awed by my beauty, amazed by my sense of humor, entranced by my smile, and on, and on… I can do no wrong. Now, I’m not going to lie, the self-esteem boost was nice for a little while, but that while turned out to be very little. I always thought I would enjoy being treated like a goddess, but when it actually happened, it just made me feel like I ate a bad batch of beans.

I have a friend who recently broke up with her boyfriend because of this very reason. There is, apparently, a fine line between being a gentleman and being a worshipful man-servant. Strong, confident, intelligent women do not want, nor need, to be worshiped by men. In the Middle Ages, this sort of woman-worship came in the form of chivalry, which I explain in a paper I wrote entitled “Courtly and Modern Love”:

Chivalric love developed into a highly ritualized and organized “game” with rules to follow and plays to make. Contrary to earlier views of love, here the lady was seen as a sort of goddess while the man who wanted her begged to be able to serve her. […]  Once accepted, the man commenced with wooing the woman with displays of affection such as songs, poetry, bouquets, etc […] Back in Europe’s Medieval period, love was a highly quixotic undertaking. Men fell head over heels for a woman at first sight and then spent their time bringing her gifts, doing her favors, going on quests in her name, and, of course, being highly jealous and thinking of her constantly.

Sounds great, right? It’s what so many women all across America yearn for! Yet, this type of love, too, is poisonous to feminist ideals. Putting women on such a high pedestal that they can do no wrong and have no flaws is actually detrimental to their self-perception and to their independence. For a woman, knowing that you have flaws and that you make mistakes, but being with someone who obstinately refuses to acknowledge them can be as confusing as it is uncomfortable. As a friend of mine put it, “It’s bad when a person is so blinded by this image he has of you that he can’t see who you really are.” All people want to be loved for who they really are and how they really are, not for how someone else distorts them in their mind.

The Worship of Aphrodite, manuscript of homilies of Gregory Nazianzus (the Theologian), 12th century.

The Worship of Aphrodite, manuscript of homilies of Gregory Nazianzus (the Theologian), 12th century.

Being idolized can also lead to a loss of independence. I know a woman who, before marrying her husband, was a very independent person and proud of it. Being treated like a queen constantly, however, changed her. Now it’s her husband who gets the car fixed, buys the groceries, cooks, washes the dishes, drives her around in the car… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with dating a man who is willing to cook and fix the car, but there is something wrong with dating a man who always needs to cook and fix the car and never let’s you do it because he wants to do everything for you. It’s a tough situation though, because I know that many men do genuinely do these things because they love their wives or girlfriends and think that it is what they want. But ladies, we need to remember that the precepts of feminism are to fight for equality. The aim is not to produce subservient men and lazy women.

So, please guys, take the woman you love down off that pedestal and give her the equality that you both deserve. And girls, if you’re standing up there and looking down on a man driveling over how perfect you are, do both of you a favor and get down, one way or another.

As for me, I am sick and tired of all those ads in women’s magazines about how to release your inner goddess and how every woman deserves to be treated like a princess. I’m fed up with the new fad (or should I say very old, Medieval fad?) of making women into virtual deities that deserve worship. Women have not struggled for equal rights and respect for hundreds of years just to run around like fragile, perfectly-manicured princesses and goddesses who let men do everything for them as a show of “love”. Chivalric gestures are appreciated, but real love means equality. So I say, “Don’t treat me like a goddess!”



Filed under Musings

i hate twilight

My mother always taught me not to use the word “hate.” Hate is Satan’s emotion or something like that. Well, sorry mom. I hate a lot of things these days, but few get me quite as worked up as… *dun dun dun* Twilight! I remember last summer when every single girl that I worked with was in complete hysterics over Stephenie Meyer’s vampiric novels. “RA!” they would exclaim, “you have to read these books! They’re SO amazing! They’re the best books I’ve ever read in my ENTIRE life!” And so on. Wow, thought I, they must really be good. Even my best friend, whose literary tastes I generally trust, recommended them to me fervently. Okay. So, over my last Christmas break, I read Twilight.

3 pages in: Is she really going to write like this the whole time? Maybe she just needs to get into her groove…

10 pages in: No, I actually think this is how it’s all written. Well, I never expected Dickens. Maybe it will have a great plot.

A few chapters in: Ummm, how old is Stephanie Meyer? 13, right? I guess it’s all right for a 13-year-old…

1/4 of the way through: Seriously!?!

1/2 way through: God have mercy!

3/4 of the way through: Did it just get worse?

End: Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate.

Yes, turns out that book that all of my friends had been raving about was a revoltingly-written, awkward, cheesy, sexist, Mormonized version of a trashy romance novel. Wait…did I type “novel?” Sorry, my mistake. I meant to say “an abomination to all mankind.” Now, I’ve been known to watch an occasional cheesy romantic comedy or One Life to Live (when I stay home sick from classes), but this book really takes the cake. Then poops on it and throws it out of a 25-story building. There is no way, ever, in a million years that this atrocity should have gotten past any publisher. Shame on you whoever you were!

The writing is substandard, to say the least. Adjectives, Steph, learn how to use them properly! There is literally no character development. Bella has no personality. Edward has some sort of mental disorder characterized by wild mood swings, stalking, and intense need for control (maybe it’s a side-effect from all that mountain lion blood he’s been sucking? That stuff”s probably full of rabies!). Their “love” is SO exaggerated, it just gets down on its knees and begs to be ridiculed. There are so many awkward romance scenes, but the movie makes them absolutely unbearable, so I’ll let the book slide on that one…

And I’m admittedly not up-to-date on all of the latest trends, but is sexism one of them? Because there was not a single strong, intelligent, independent female character in the whole book, and I can’t figure out for the life of me why a woman would write something like this and why it would get so popular. The high school girls are all dumb, childish, and stereotypical drones. “OMG dress shopping!” Rosalie is a vain, self-centered b****. And Bella. Bella is absolutely PATHETIC. I swear 40% of the book was just her fainting, tripping, slipping, falling, and generally existing in a perpetual state of dying. If only stupid Edward hadn’t kept saving her every 5 minutes, I would have been out of my agony much sooner. I did find it amusing that it seemed like good ol’ Ed finally got sick of helping her stand on her own two feet about half-way through and just resorted to carrying her around like a sack for the rest of the novel. That was a nice change. Bella never does anything for herself or takes command of a situation after she falls in love with Mr. Sexy Blood-Sucker. Oh, except when she acts like a moron and runs into a death trap instead of staying with the gang of immortal superheroes who is trying to help her.

Did I mention I actually physically gagged at some of the descriptions of Edward? Just wanted to throw that in there. Shoot me in the face.

Conclusion? Twilight is a massive affront to intelligence, women’s equality, art, and taste, and it is a spectacular waste of natural resources. Think of all the trees that have been chopped down so that we could all be lucky enough to read stuff like this:

– About three things I was absolutely positive: First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him — and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be — that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

– He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare.

Want more? In case you really wanted to get your fill you can look up any quote in the series. Organized by book or by character:

Twilight Quotes — WARNING: May be hazardous to your health. Side effects include uncontrollable gagging, nausea, fits of rage, and suicidal thoughts. But if you’re strong, you can get out a good laugh too. =)

Oh! And P.S. if you’re really looking to have a ball, check out this blog. It is absolutely hilarious! You have to read the Twilight parody and…everything else.


Filed under Rants