Sistah Diaries

Finding the humor in chaos

Jane Goodall, Mariah Carey and sourdough bread: Feminism needs a new name

I recently read an article about a woman who made sourdough bread with her vaginal yeast. (I’ll give you a minute to stop dry heaving.) Mariah Carey just gouged her latest ka-jillionaire fiancé $5 – $10 million for an “inconvenience fee.” A movie featuring previously unseen footage of Jane Goodall’s legendary work with chimpanzees, Jane, has just been released.

What do all these things have in common? They all speak to the evolution (or lack thereof) of feminism.

Like many women today, I don’t relate to the zealous, hateful brand of feminism that we see over and over again. Before you see red and grab your “areas covered by a swimsuit” hat, calm the hell down. I’m familiar with Susan B Anthony and the countless women who fought their asses off so women could vote and be viewed as equally intelligent, talented, productive members of society. I come from a long line of hard-working, intelligent, nurturing female badasses. But like so many societal ills, instead of just correcting an injustice and applying a little logic and common sense, we had to take it to an extreme place that alienates so many of the people that the movement is meant to represent.

Though it may be unintentionally inflammatory, I site as an example the Women’s March that took place after President Trump’s election. I mean no disrespect to my Sistahs who marched. Good on ya. If you felt strongly enough to stomp in the streets in the freezing cold weather, excellent. But I for one, didn’t get it. The March seemed hastily concocted, and had – as far as I could tell and begging your forgiveness for my ignorance – no clear messaging. Was it to protest a president who had been elected through the democratic process of a free election? Was it to protest women’s rights – none of which had been taken away? Was it because Trump had been accused of sexual misconduct against women – and if so, what did the vagina hats have to do with that? If we want to be equal, let’s ponder how society would react if guys marched with genital hats on. Wouldn’t that be viewed as sexual misconduct? I just didn’t get it and didn’t relate to it and frankly, didn’t want to be aligned with it simply because I’m a female. If it had a clear message and specific purpose (and the hats weren’t involved), I might get behind it.

What about the woman (I refuse to refer to her by name) who, in the name of feminism, made sourdough bread with vaginal yeast she brewed while suffering from a yeast infection (yuck, yuck, yuck). I’m all about repurposing things, but what the hell? If there was a nuclear winter and I had all the ingredients for bread but no yeast, I STILL wouldn’t do that. That falls into a little category in polite society we’ll call, “NEVER OK.”

This may not be AS appalling were it not for the people who rallied around this woman on Twitter. And for the folks who spoke out against it, she dismissed them as being misogynists who were repulsed by vaginas. Not so. People were upset because in a free society, we should be able to pick up a piece of sourdough bread without having to wonder if it’s made with the infected yeast of someone’s vagina. Yeah, maybe our forefathers didn’t think to include that in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, but they probably thought it was one of those unspoken laws that doesn’t need to be put in writing or VOICED.

I guess using your own yeast to bake is “feminist” because it makes vaginas mainstream and you’re using bodily fluids to get back at male counterparts when they least suspect it? That’s twisted. And offensive. And now I’m straight up pissed because I can never fully enjoy a piece of sourdough bread again, something that I used to love do.

Image via Flickr

Tarnished are the treasured memories of my mother starting a sourdough bread kit in a crock by the woodstove, in the remote mountain cabin we grew up in. Gone are fond recollections of homemade sourdough bread filling the house with the warm aroma of wholesome goodness. Thanks crazy-yeast-infection-lady for ruining sourdough bread for the rest of us.

And as long as we’re talking about acts of feminism that alienate me from the movement, let’s talk about Mariah Carey and how she just set the “feminist” movement back to a time when female billionaires weren’t a thing. She sued (and won) a reported $5 to $10 million for an “inconvenience fee” from her latest fiancé.

Oh, hell no. I guess I’ll be the one to raise my hand and ask, “What the f*ck does Mariah Carey know about being REALLY inconvenienced?” I could whip up an invoice of my life’s inconveniences that would make War and Peace look like a children’s book. I’m sure there are women who could write “inconvenience fee” volumes, or libraries. I seriously don’t have the time and space to write about how ludicrous that is. That’s a whole other article (stay tuned). Ridiculousness aside, since when does a woman – whose annual shoe budget is enough to end world hunger – sue a man for money? ESPECIALLY one she’s not married to?  Meme (or whatever the hell she calls herself) could retire tomorrow off the royalties from “All I Want for Christmas” alone. What the HELL does she need some dude’s money for? Isn’t that the antithesis of feminism?

Time to take a deep cleansing breath and talk about Jane Goodall. I went to Jane – a recently released documentary featuring never before seen footage of Jane Goodall’s work with chimps — with my daughter. Just in time to restore my faith in woman and mankind, comes a woman who – as far as I’m concerned – embodies true feminism. At an incredibly young age, she embarked on a lifelong study of chimpanzees – with no education in science or biology – in fact with no formal education save some time spent in “secretary school.” She did without Patagonia gear, without North Face gear, and without men. (Later National Geographic would send a male photographer, but prior to that Jane was on her own.) Jane did this incredible work, using her looks as mandated by Nat Geo to continue to get the grant money she needed to complete her studies. She played the game, but she played it by her rules, with her motives and goals at the forefront and she became a legend.

And you know what? She didn’t do it to prove a point about gender. Her gender was irrelevant. She was (is) an intelligent, capable HUMAN who accidentally shattered glass ceilings doing what she was skilled at. She didn’t have a chip on her shoulder. And she did it all during a time when women were expected to go to secretary school and become secretaries.

Jane Goodall, not gross-sourdough-bread-lady or Mariah Carey, is the woman I want to hold in front of our daughters and say, “This is what it means to be a feminist. Do you. Do it well. Do it better than anyone else regardless of gender. Sometimes that means being a mom. Sometimes that means teaching a preschool. Sometimes that means following your heart and landing on your face – repeatedly. Sometimes it means playing the game better than the people who wrote the rules to the game in the first place.” Jane KICKED ASS and she did it quietly, with dignity and class and was (is) a real inspiration and example of what it means to be not just an incredible female, but an incredible human being. (Please go watch the movie and/or read the Oct. 2017 issue of National Geographic.)

Where do the men factor into this conversation? I would hate to be a guy right now, especially one that has been raised to be polite to women (granted, that seems a bit rare these days). If I’m a guy in the new world order of feminism, I’d be wracking my brain thinking, “Is it OK to open the door for her? Can I gesture for her to go first in line at the coffee shop? Can I offer to help her pick up her keys or bag of groceries if she drops them? Can I buy her a drink or do any of these things without being viewed as a creep, caveman or misogynist?”

I’m sure this will stir up a hornets nest and I honestly don’t mean it to. All I’m saying is that as a female, I don’t align with and don’t want it to be assumed that I’m associated with, many of the things currently being done in the name of feminism.

In my opinion, feminism needs a new name. It’s like Amway. Amway could have the coolest stuff ever, but because it’s called Amway, no one wants to buy it. I’m not buying “feminism” right now – at least not the kind that seeks to neuter males psychologically, wear genital hats and sue someone for millions when you’re already worth more than the GNP of most countries. I’d be more open to a brand of feminism that recognizes that we should just do what we’re individually good at, and lean on others for what we suck at, regardless of gender or gender stereotypes.

Jane Goodall image via YouTube
Kat Hobza

Kat Hobza

Festis and Festina's mom, Mateo's lady-friend, web mistress, mediocre fly-fisherwoman, sub-par golfer, brilliant dancer, expert whiskey drinker, professional smart ass and Media Empress/HBIC at
Kat Hobza

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