Posted on | June 18, 2014 | 112 Comments
Erin McKelle Fischer (@ErinMcKelle) is a Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies major at Ohio University whose name I recognized because in February I quoted her denunciation of “heteronormative” virginity:
“The idea of your first penis-in-vagina sexual encounter being something significant and life altering (well, for women anyway) has origins in women being considered property.
“That is to say, virginity is a social construction that came about because of the commodification of women. . . .
“Virginity is heteronormative.
“Virginity assumes that penis-in-vagina sex is somehow a special type of sex that is different from all others.
“This means that there is an assumption that engaging in heterosexual vaginal sex is the standard (and should be) for your sexual activities.
“Heterosexuality is the norm, and virginity just works as reinforcement to this.”
So I was already familiar with Ms. Fischer’s name before I encountered her column today at Everyday Feminism about “the very real struggles that young feminists face,” e.g.:
A lot of it comes down to there not being a whole lot of opportunities for young people to get paid for their work. If more paid internships and fellowships, programming, and feminist-based work designed for young people existed . . . this could help bridge the age gap.
In other words, Feminism, Inc., doesn’t have enough job openings for all the Women’s Studies majors who would like to become full-time professional Marxist lesbian man-haters, but Ms. Fischer declares our belief that feminists hate men to be a “stereotype”:
Unfortunately, because of common stereotypes about feminism, many people think feminists are all just angry people, man-haters, or “killjoys.”
Excuse me, Ms. Fischer, for logically inferring that a woman who expresses hostility toward “penis-in-vagina sex” and the “norm” of heterosexuality might be hostile toward men in general. Also, Ms. Fischer, have your Ohio University professors taught you that your historical analysis — “women being considered property . . . the commodification of women” — is derived from Marx and Engels? If you haven’t yet read Engels’ Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, you should, so that you understand that those who teach you this stuff are just repeating the errors of 19th-century radicalism. The idea of “traditional sexual relations” as “oppressive and humiliating” to women, of “the woman . . . being humiliated by the domination of the man,” and monogamy as a male imposition required by “economic development” — it’s all right there in Engels. The fact that tens of millions of people were killed on behalf of the insane Marxist vision . . . Well, I don’t suppose they teach that history at Ohio University, do they?
In her column, Ms. Fischer describes her own feminist journey:
I discovered feminism first when I was 15 and read Jessica Valenti’s book Full Frontal Feminism. . . .
My stepmom found out about a program taking place through my local rape crisis center that was geared towards developing youth activists and educators. We would be learning about sexual violence, as well as doing projects out in our communities that we would be compensated for. . . .
This changed my life.
This was what brought me back to feminism, as I would check out hooks, Lorde, and MacKinnon out from their resource library, not to mention learning about gender-based violence, oppression, and privilege. It inspired me and my mentors encouraged me to take action and do more.
Permit me to say that any high-school kid who reads radical feminists like bell hooks, Audre Lorde and Catharine MacKinnon is likely to suffer permanent brain-warp. It’s like Nietzsche. I have long been of the opinion that no one should read Nietzsche until they’re old enough to realize that the syphilitic weirdo was a dangerous madman. Maybe by the time you’re 35, and have a full-time job, kids and a mortgage, you can read Nietzsche without suffering permanent brain-warp. Still, his books should come with a warning label: THIS NOTORIOUS GERMAN LUNATIC DIED OF BRAIN SYPHILIS.
But I digress . . .
In February, Ohio University’s Women, Gender and Sexuality program hosted a conference at which were presented such papers as “Using the Lesbian Gothic to Combat the Male Gaze in Film and Literature” (Alane Presswood), “Is Your Vampire Boyfriend Abusing You?: The Twilight Saga and Perceptions of Intimate Partner Abuse” (Kelly Choyke) and “Bridging the Paradox: SlutWalk, Culture, and the Quest for Identity” (Jennifer Seifert). Erin McKelle Fischer also contributed a conference paper entitled, “‘Am I Pretty Or Ugly?’: Why Online Harassment is the New Sexism.” While I can’t find Ms. Fischer’s paper onlline, the title refers to a much-discussed YouTube video genre in which teenage girls invite criticism of their looks. Ms. Fischer is very much an activist against “lookism”:
- Feb. 21: Dealing with Fatphobia while in Eating Disorder Recovery
- April 30: Cutting Fatphobic Language Out of Your Life
- June 2: How to Support People’s Health Issues Without Fat-Shaming
Why are “Fatphobia” and “Fat-Shaming” feminist issues? Maybe for the same reason the federal government spent $2.2 million for research on why lesbians are obese. And now, Erin McKelle Fischer presents, “5 Ways to Have a Body Positive Summer”: