So I just happened to be thinking about the episode of Sex and the City where the question of the day is what constitutes a dealbreaker in a relationship. (Samantha: Guy who can’t stand up to family, Charlotte, bad kisser, Miranda: guy who shits with the door open after less than a month). It started getting me thinking on some of my own criteria for deal breaking behaviors not just in relationships but in life in other ways. For example: I can handle people that are pro-life, provided they do not harass others and ya know, bomb Planned Parenthood. I can deal with people who love the requisite “Chick Flicks” but if that’s all they see and they are obsessed with “He’s Just Not That Into You” we’re probably not going to be hanging much. I then started to think about my feminist deal breakers after noticing a trend on many feminist blogs over the last month or so.
It never seems to fail, someone at feministing, shakesville, feminste, hell anywhere, will post about something positive for women that someone did and there was also a comment contradicting their feminist cred. Whether it be praising Joe Biden for VAWA and having it countered with his behavior with the Anita Hill sexual harassment. Giving Hillary Duff credit for her don’t say “Thats Gay” PSA with a response focusing on a quote where she has said she’s not a feminist cause she thinks women need men or criticizing the benefits of a picture of Angelinia Jolie breastfeeding because of the luxurious lifestyle she leads.
I am not saying that any of these criticisms are unfounded, hell they’re extremely valid. I think what always upset me was seeing them on positive posts. I know we still have a lot of work to do and that we shouldn’t be satisfied with mere crumbs of success. But I always feel deflated when I see some of those statements. Then I realized, just because I was able to look past certain old behaviors or separate them enough to celebrate other behaviors, it doesn’t mean others have to or can. Maybe these behaviors are just “dealbreakers” with other individuals. Behaviors that they can’t look past, as long as the individual is not taking responsibility for themselves, or even if they do.
So I started to think about what some of my possible dealbreakers were for feminism in general. Where there certain behaviors views that I can’t support, even if other aspects of the person’s behavior is feminist. The biggest one I think I can find is being Pro-Life and claiming feminism. I have plenty of friends who are personally adverse to abortion but would never dream of denying that right to others. Also, I have a hard time because the Pro-Life movement has so many other little agendas besides the outlawing of abortion such as their fight against Plan B, birth control in general, or even just the ability for a women to have the pregnancy she wants. I am sure there are many people who are Pro-Life that wouldn’t support those things, but to me it’s not an excuse, you side with a movement, it’s your responsibility to know what it really stands for.
What are others feminist dealbreakers?