The Lady Speaks

Fembots?!

Of all the stupid nonsense I’ve ever read, this one doesn’t come close to taking the cake. Heck, it doesn’t take the icing of a cake, but it certainly pisses* me off.

From MSN Lifestyle:

Fembots: The New Breed of Women
by Theresa O’Rourke

[…] In 2007, fembotism is the next frontier in the great big gender divide. We can narrow the pay gap, outpace men in earning degrees, helm a company, run the House of Representatives, choose to raise a child on our own, and match a man’s sexual appetite thrust for thrust. But there’s an unspoken disclaimer: We’d better not forsake our nurturing instinct while doing all of the above. Yeah, well, some of us are saying screw you to the fine print.

[snip]

For as long as I can remember, the most seemingly unnatural things — craving space, delaying commitment — have come quite naturally to me. I’ve always understood the power of reticence, while my mother, so warm and demonstrative, didn’t. I remember once, when she was pissed that my father was out too late with his softball buddies (as he was wont to be), she asked me to read a note she had written him. I was 12 — and precocious. “I don’t know,” I said, pouting my Wet n Wild lips. “Do you have to tell Dad everything you feel?”

Unlike our mothers, women of my generation make up nearly half the workforce. We spend seven-plus hours a day at the office, that classically male arena where men have honed a lot of their own robotic abilities. And we’re learning their tricks: You don’t have to — can’t, really — think about last night’s spat with the boyfriend; just focus on work instead. Disengage, hold things together, keep your cards close to your chest, and you’ll get ahead. Fembots have mastered these lessons and can apply them just as easily outside the office.

[snip]

When time isn’t an issue, it may come down to control. In a binge-prone world, fembots are emotional anorexics. Maintaining a safe distance from your feelings can be liberating (and anytime we co-opt a traditionally male attribute, we give ourselves a little pat on the back), but anyone who made it through Psych 101 knows that too much compartmentalizing will have its consequences. Feelings ignored can come back to haunt you. Worse still is another side effect of fembotism: numbness.

Oh, c’mon!

Is there any freakin’ label we aren’t willing to slap on every single woman out there, solely because she’s female? Jeebus!

We aren’t independent enough, or we’re too independent. We’re too emotional, or we’re not emotional enough. We’re irrational. We’re not rational enough. We’re not ambitious. We’re too ambitious.

Listen well, and understand this: Women are like snowflakes. Not a one of us is exactly like another.

Yes, I like my independence, I like my privacy, I like my solitude (or what solitude I’m allowed to have, as the mother of three teens), and, while I enjoy nurturing the people I love, that list is pretty short, and I’m just as happy when they finally leave. In fact, I’ve been known to hide out in my bathroom, chanting quietly, “Go home. Go home. Go home.” when surrounded for far too long by too many people.

I don’t feel a need to mother the whole world – hell, on some days, I’d rather not even be a mother.

I don’t cry at the drop of a hat, and I don’t feel any need to dumb myself down or vamp myself for anyone.

I am not the touchy-feely type. If you aren’t one of my children, my niece or nephew, and you get a hug or kiss from me, consider yourself lucky.

I don’t feel a need to be a doormat — giving and giving without getting even a hug or a thank you in return — for people who add nothing to my life. There are people I cut ties with solely because they are toxic to my mental health. There are others I hold at arm’s length because they’re family so I’m forced to play nice, but whom I’d rather not be around.

I care when people I know are suffering, but I really am not interested in ridiculous, petty dramatics. (You know the type: the ones who tell you how their boyfriend’s mother made a meal you absolutely hated and how that’s a symbol of how little respect he has for you because he wouldn’t say anything to her. The ones who feel a need to gossip, or the ones who need to brag even when they’ve nothing to brag about, who cannot seem to stop talking, even when they’re saying absolutely nothing.)

I don’t need a man in my life to feel complete, or womanly. I don’t need my children to make me feel I’ve accomplished something in this life. I don’t need my friends to express my identity.

Those things are all good and wonderful — if you want them — but they are not what make me, me.

Does any of that make me a fembot? Hell no! It makes me a human being, with needs and thoughts and desires of my own. What I need and want and think may not be what any other woman on the planet needs or wants or thinks. What I need isn’t what the happily-married, stay-at-home, mother of small toddlers needs, nor is it what the single woman who’s ambitious, happy-with-her-career, uninterested in marriage or children, needs.

But, so what? The whole point of the feminist movement was to give women the freedom of choice, the right to make the choice in how their lives played out, and if a woman chooses — and is able — to stay at home with her children, then more power to her. If she chooses not to marry or have children, then more power to her. If she chooses to have children and a career, then more power to her. If she chooses none of those, then more power to her.

No one is more qualified than you to decide what’s best for your life. No one but you is qualified to decide what your life will be.

Each and every one of us (men included) must be allowed to make decisions based on our needs (and those of whomever we choose to include) without being labeled as fembots or girly-men, girly-girls or Alpha males, or any other stupid generic term that describes absolutely no one but sells lots of books.

And, as a woman with sons, brothers, uncles, and a nephew, I want to point out that there is not one man who is exactly like any other man. Just like us, they’re snowflakes.

– – –

* Ever since Firedoglake was called a “foul-mouthed fem-blog” by Susan Collins’ (R-Maine) Director of Internet Strategy, I’ve had this irresistible urge to cuss … a lot.

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August 16, 2007 - Posted by | America, Women

2 Comments »

  1. Oh i just love it , when the Lady Speaks. Tell it Sister and yeah call that Bullshit !
    If its any comfort there is an active campaign on for Tom Allen congressional rep from Maine to replace the Suebot. (ducks)

    Comment by proudprogressive | August 16, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thanks pp! I can’t even begin to describe my contempt for this kind of labeling. Each of us is so different that we simply cannot be labeled, and those who try to stuff us into little boxes are just morons.

    There’s some comfort in Tom Allen’s campaign, though there’s a whole lot more in watching Jane and everyone at FDL jump on Collins and her morons staff. *evil grin*

    Comment by PA_Lady | August 16, 2007 | Reply


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