As I've said in my 'Feminist of the Day' posts, I believe that feminism is a broad church. If someone identifies as feminist I probably won't argue with them. Unless they're actively working to restrict women's rights, or they're in some position of power.
Well it may not be as broad as I thought, because I've just found a hard limit, and I don't even know how to describe it. Amanda at Pandagon linked to an incredibly creepy article*:
For her 17th wedding anniversay Jeanette Yarborough wanted to do something special for her husband. In addition to planning a hotel getaway for the weekend, Ms. Yarborough paid a surgeon $5,000 to reattach her hymen, making her appear to be a virgin again.Then they talk to the woman who performs the surgery:
"It's the ultimate gift for the man who has everything," says Ms. Yarborough...
Ridgewood's Ms. Vanegas concedes her business is based on deception. But she says hymen repair is no different than other cosmetic procedures -- from waxing to Botox injections -- that women use to impress men.OK, no. She's not a feminist. Her job is to perform surgery on women's vagina. The effect of this surger is to make sex more painful and unpleasant for the woman, and it is justified because the woman's partner will like it more that way (which is a whole nother category of ewwwwwwww). It's not unreasonable to assume Ms Vanegas has got choices. If she was a feminist she wouldn't be choosing to do this to other women's bodies for money.
"I'm a feminist," Ms. Vanegas says, "but there's a need for this and someone has to provide it."
Plus that's obviously a new definition of the word 'need' that I wasn't previously aware of.
Even though, as far as I know, we don't have any dedicated hymen reattachers in New Zealand - we've got nothing to be smug about. One of the women in my friend's prenatal class was being stiched up after giving birth and as the doctor did the last stich he turned to her partner and said 'this one's for you.'
My brain has still refused to process that story - I metaphorically cover my ears and go "I'm not listening" every time I think about it.
* This follows a trend I've noticed a lot of blaming women for 'tricking' men with cosmetic products. There have been a couple of articles that took that line in the Sunday Star Times supplement, example. I think I'll write a longer post about how yet again it shows that women can't win next time I see one.