Stealth vs. Copping Out

Judith Butler's kind of hot, right? And is it just me, or are she and Billy Bragg separated at birth?

First of all, Kara, I still crack up every time I think of you slipping the author of Gender Trouble into Teen Vogue.

I didn’t know very much about Judith Butler, so (thanks, internet!) I just watched this sort of great documentary about her.

In it, she says of her childhood: “I didn’t think of myself as smart. I thought of myself as strategic.”

And I think that’s what 90s women are: strategic, sometimes in a smart way and sometimes in a dumb one.

Our generation is so against setting ourselves up as victims that we run this risk of being all, “Everything’s awesome now!” It’s a lot easier and more fun to take that tack than to be like, “Actually, this (whether it’s a work situation or a relationship or movie or policy or whatever) is really fucked up and it’s because of sexism.”

I think sometimes I am far too happy to break out the champagne over how all the men I know share the housework rather than to face up to how sexism still functions in my life. I worry about being like that. What is the feminist equivalent of an “Uncle Tom”? Esquire gave us the “Do-Me Feminist.” Maybe we need to coin a new one. How about this: “She is such a Roiphe.”

In the 90s, I feel like those zines and Sassy and other sources of stealth you are not crazy or being victim-y to point out how bad it is that that teacher seats all the big-boob girls in the front row messages gave us the courage to pay serious attention to what was going on under the surface.

I wonder what the ’10s equivalent is to the secret messages of ’90s zines? Maybe it’s just enough that now late at night I can look up Judith Butler on the internet and listen to her talk for two hours.



Filed under Ada

2 responses to “Stealth vs. Copping Out

  1. One other thing in that movie I keep thinking about is how a cute, enthusiastic girl in her underwear tries to hand Butler a flyer on campus about “pants-free day” and Butler waves her off like she’s a pesky fly. To her French friend she says something like, “Pas revolutionaire” (Not so revolutionary). This to me is everything great and funny about her generation of feminists and disappointingly dismissive about it, and that happy pantsless girl is everything both charming and embarrassing about the younger generation of feminists. -Ada

    • ada, i am just reading this note now after watching this amazing documentary and: true! but i also like how jb is good-natured about the whole thing. i mean: PANTS-FREE DAY.

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