What really frightens me is all of the convergence or what looks like convergence. Everyday I hear lesbians talking about media pressure to become pregnant. I fear I'm not very mainstream but I do listen to my adult rock station and sure enough, it's absolutely full of IVF adds. Babies, babbies, babies. Right after that is a comedy spot which says that "Beltway" is latin for Parking Lot. I can't help but think how babies are part of the grand design to have larger traffic jams so we can tear up existing interstates and build newer larger ones to accomodate new Babies.
We know that the sexual revolution didn't work out to the benefit of women. Women still bore huge responsibilities which men never really participated in. There was increased sexual avaialbility for men and increased risks for women and the double standard has been truly resistant. Slowly but sure, many modes of birth control are being withdrawn and abortion are becoming felonies. The shrinking number of alternatives are truly frightening. Child care where I live costs $1200.00/month. It cost me $200.00/semester to be a full time maticulating student at a state university.
It's difficult to see but there's quiet silent, relentless pressure to return back to where we were in the fifties. In the last 30 years we've been positioned relative to men in a slightly more favorable light. I do not think that can maintain itself at all it there is widepsread state withdrawal of women's autonomy over our bodies. It is this pressure that I am referring to a convergence. There are increases increments in essentialism. On my radio station, gender role dimorphism is pronounce. "Girlie" is in and is being glorified by female DJs.
As much as I hate to say it, post reagan feminism seems far more moderate and less examined than the second wave.
I started to pat outselves on the back but then I take a hard look at what we accomplished. We di accomplish amazing things in the areas of rape, violence against women and especially among ourselves. We came together collectively and I believe that because of the way women are situated and positioned in this society that collectivism is a total necessity. We came together but how much did we really move society? At least where I was, Roe was a shock. It was not expected but once we recovered from the shock, it was really quite the motivator. Had we looked closer, we might have noticed that the decision had been reached by an all male court in a patriarchal system of law based in 'power-over'. What happened then and what is occurring now is exactly why radical feminists reject reform. In a system based in power-over, whatever can be reformed can also be de-reformed. In looked as if we get the ERA through. That was our bright light on the horizon but it sputtered and failed. In fact, I know of no-basic an funamental changes that we have made.
It's always easy to point at a problem an dispense a uni-dimenisonal attribution characterizing what the problems in is. It may be an incredibly neat thing to hear what women on this list would attribute to the lack of success to.
Very often my views are seen as being way out in left field and I see this as a good thing because if a radical feminist is going to be anywhere, she's going to appear to be way out in left field, so don't mind how I'm seen.
In my analysis, beyond the backlash, patriarchy has left us ideological and contexual or epistemological poison pills in the form of individualism and materialism. Individualism is exactly the opposite of what feminism needs to flourish. All individualism can do is to keep us fragmented and apart. A few miles from where I live is a Women's collective market Farmers Market. It must be 35 years old and is in an old wooden building that truly contrasts with all the glass and chrome that surround it. It has held together because it is a COLLECTIVE. Individualism did not build it and hold it together - collectivism did. I think that for us to be successful, there needs to be a re-revolution centered around women coming together again because the collectivity of Sisterhood really is powerful. Anyway.... that's my perspective.