9th December 2016
In her recent TED talk, Naomi McDougall Jones, referred to me, her mother, as a "rabid feminist."
I would just like to take the opportunity here to clarify that statement. But first I want to dust off my medals and point out that all of my writing boasts complex female protagonists. My main point of contention with Christianity and other Abrahamic religions is that it has demeaned women. My beef with the academic establishment is that it has driven us out of our hearts, that particularly female organ of fire, into the dry logic of the brain. My greatest vision for humanity says that unless women take charge and soon, there isn't going to be any humanity left to discuss.
While enough praise cannot be heaped upon the first wave of feminism of the sixties and seventies, it's time for an amendment. The problem is that it rose up within the confines of a male model of power and it accepted that as the ground game. Rebecca Traister, young, hip and celebrated feminist that she is, doesn't seem to question this in her book All The Single Ladies: Money equals power, and if you're not out in the workplace competing with men and earning bundles of it, than you haven't got a leg to stand upon. The mantra of her mother and that generation of feminists still rings strong: never ever be financially dependent upon a man. (A corporation, yes; a boss that pays you 78 cents for every dollar a man earns, this is fine.)
So I think we need to drive the feminist argument a little deeper. Women regaining their power does not have to do with taking the next step in the male paradigm. The next big step is to reject that paradigm altogether. Money doesn't equal status or power in any real sense. In the matriarchies that existed on this continent before the whites moved in, men were given so called positions of power - strutting kinds of positions, the kind Donald Trump would be saitisfied with, but it was the women's circles of council that held the real power, that could remove that cockerel from its perch if they didn't like the tenor of its crowing.
This is what we lost when the Abrahamic religions came in and said that women should stay quiet and keep their heads covered. We lost the check and balance that this society of cocks needs. We ourselves don't need to be cockerels. The world has enough of them. We need to circle up and realise that real power has nothing to do with whether you stay at home with your kids or let a man bring in the daily bread. Real female power has yet to come into its own; we need a new psychological and emotional paradigm, and then the economic one will follow.
I hope that that young lady in the video above is successful in her push to have women better represented in the film industry. I hope she is rewarded with a house in the suburbs and enough money not to have to worry about paying bills. But more than that, I hope that my daughter represents a new and centered female consciousness that is free of outside parameters, whether they be provided by a decaying rooster hierarchy or even by the strictures of a past feminism.
So, in a way, I suppose I am a rabid feminist. Just as long as we are clear in what respect.