Remember this billboard? They were up all around in Seattle in 2007. There was also another one that went "she has a mole," with mole crossed out and yacht penned in above. Some people found them sexist, but I recall there was one about a guy going from bald to BMW, or was it back hair to Bahamas? Others were offended because the equation $ = who cares about your imperfections, when in fact the wealthy spend big bucks on tummy tucks, collagen implants, botox, etc. Call me a cheap laugh, but I cracked up every time I got stuck in a red light near one of these.
Not that I don't fight battles elsewhere. Case in point, the current issue of American Poetry Review. In his interview with Ruth Stone, Chard diNiord asks Stone if she's a feminist. Her reply is nothing less than baffling:
I don't think I'm what you call a real feminist at all. I tried to be. I tried to be and I didn't know how. Because actually I had a brother I loved and I was not anti-male in any way. I loved men, you know.
With all due respect, could someone please take Ms. Stone aside and explain to her what a feminist is? Pardon me, but does it mean man-hating, icky, selfish, unpleasant person?
Goodness me, I know she's 93, but there were feminists back in the flapper era, so you can't use her age as an excuse. Or, help me out here, has feminism gone the way of totalitarianism? I thought it meant treating women fairly, on equal footing, not discriminating, not assuming a woman couldn't do a job as well as a man, ahem, that perhaps she could do the job even better. Is Stone suffering from some kind of internalized misogyny? Institutional misogyny? Rampant misogyny? I expected her, a highly educated woman, a fine poet, to not be dissing feminism, but maybe I ask for too much.