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My Mother, the Reluctant Feminist

Ok, so many of you have seen this before, but here she is again, in all her glory, Mama MacNasty:

She once famously said to me (whilst I was in college), "Oh lord. You're not one of those FEMINISTS, are you??!" Sigh. She grew up on a farm in the South in the 50's. She was fairly sure a feminist was someone who woke up each day, burned a bra, punched a random man in the face and spit on people who tried to hold open doors. Over the past 10 years, though, I've gotten her more or less straightened out. The thing is, she always encouraged me to be myself, embrace my "tomboy" ways, and I always knew she'd love me no matter how I turned out. That said, she's guilty of some typical sins for women of her age, i.e. she tended to gender certain things between me and my brother growing up (he usually got first dibs on the NES because MALE). But she's figured shit out! I am proud of her.


That said, she's still pretty unfamiliar with the lingo. Last night I carefully explained "male gaze" to her. My lord. I had no idea she'd be so enthusiastic. Before going to bed, she barked at my sweet 72-year old father to "get your filthy male gaze off me! I'm wearing these pajamas because they're my favorites and not because YOU LIKE THEM." To which he, baffled, replied, "But, I DO like them." Mom: "I DO NOT GIVE A GOOD GODDAMN." To which he wisely retreated into silence. Then later, watching television, she rolled her eyes and shrieked, "You can just TELL a male gaze invented this nonsense!" (I think it was Two and a Half Men, so, well-done, Mom.)

This morning they jaunted off for a trip (we're weenie dog-sitting for them while they're gone) and Mom was enthusing about how she couldn't wait to "spread the word" to her girlfriends about all this oppression, the male gaze, "and patriarchy and shit."

I cannot WAIT to hear about how that goes.

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