Dissecting Feminism part 2: Cracking the bitch code

by - 09:17

Feminist writing is females writing for a female audience in its most pure form. Even female writers of mainstream fiction write at least subconsciously with the sensibilities of male readers in mind so the female character of the prose is somewhat diluted. This is what makes feminist writing so useful to the student of sociosexuality because it provides the clearest and most direct window into the feminine soul in all its unhinged and amoral glory. However reading feminist literature can be a challenge for the uninitiated. The style is boring, didactic, and uncreative much like women in the wild except it is written with a certain faux intellectualism and the exchange of verbal knowing glances in the form of codewords. This we will call the bitch code. I find the best exercise in thinking like a woman is taking a block of feminist text and analyzing it as I am about to do. Try to read it like I read it and eventually you will see what I see. So let’s begin

If you’re like me, chances are by the age of 28 that you’ve had a few female friends announce on Facebook that they’re pregnant by posting early sonograms, a progression of baby bump photos and enthusiastic updates for nine months. And let’s not forget about the eery 3-D sonograms showing a nearly full-term baby weeks away from being born.

It’s been almost a year since three fuzzy-looking sonograms from three different female friends appeared unsolicited on my Facebook NewsFeed within a week, generating a strong response from me that was somewhere between sincere congratulations and “This is too much to share on Facebook” and “I really don’t want to see her unborn fetus and into her uterus.” I hadn’t seen or spoken to two of these Facebook friends since college and the third woman I run into on occasion. So, if they were my closest friends posting pregnancy related updates, I know I would have a different reaction and be more accommodating and understanding.

But being a Women’s and Gender Studies graduate student, I couldn’t let it go and I turned the topic into an academic research paper months later. I still haven’t come across a lot of scholars, journalists or bloggers writing about how women are uniquely using Facebook and other social media technology (Twitter, Flickr, YouTube) to document and share their pregnancies and the implications this has for perceiving women’s bodies and fetal personhood.

This is just her premise so there really isn’t much to analyze here. She is beginning by personalizing the story as is typical of the genre of the feminist expository narrative but there are a few codewords here. “Women’s bodies” is something of a feminist obsession and doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means. As the mind of man is inclined to the high the mind of the woman is inclined to the low. Women are not concerned with morality but power, this is especially true when they talk about their bodies in a feminist context. They desire absolute control (not for its own sake but to usurp the control of man) of their bodies. This includes who can touch them, who can look at them (yes “eye rape” exists as a concept…women really want to be able to say who can and can’t look at them like they are some kind of Chinese god emperor) who can talk to them…and even who can “tell them about their bodies” which is probably the most important.

This is a somewhat nuanced idea so bear with me. Suppose a woman is pregnant and somebody tells the woman, “you are pregnant”. This is in effect a diminishment of that woman’s autonomy (which as you know is the idol feminists worship). That probably doesn’t make sense but think about it. The power to name or label a thing is the power to define a thing. If a biological fact can get in the way of a woman’s conception of herself then that fact must be suppressed. Notice how she talks about women posting pictures of their babies on facebook could raise unpleasant questions about “fetal personhood” and call into question control of women’s bodies. Remember that women don’t see reality as real. The idea and the feeling of the idea are real. Pregnancy to the feminist is a “socially constructed” condition. Yes I am being quite serious. Now strictly speaking every single word in every single language is “socially constructed”. Language is essentially a mental short-hand. We see an object or have an idea and we make up a sound that conjures a mental representation of that idea or object. The problem here is the feminist thinks that if a word is made up the object it represents is also made up. This is the main characteristic of their worldview. Only ideas are real so if we change the ideas we can change reality! It doesn’t work that way.

The Washington Post’s news article is an interesting trend piece but no one in the story talked about how using social media in this way reinforces fetal personhood in a very visible and public manner. Nor did anyone discuss how social media sites like Facebook can be seen as a technology through which we view women’s pregnant bodies, in a way that is similar to ultrasound technology, although different since it is social and not medical.

In our highly medicalized, American system of childbirth, we view women’s pregnant bodies and fetuses through ultrasounds, sonograms and fetal heart monitors without giving it a second thought. In the history of women’s childbearing, ultrasound technology and sonograms are a very recent medical and social development. A trained medical professional in a position of authority and power views the pregnant woman through ultrasound technology, interprets the ultrasound image and confers meaning on it regarding the fetus’ size, health and sex. The couple then shares the image with family and friends in a social ritual that allows them to reinforce the fetus’ individuality and personhood. The woman simply becomes a vessel for carrying and delivering a healthy fetus to term.

Pretty crazy right? All the analysis I just put forth and then a textbook example of what I just explained two paragraphs down. Did you notice she used a certain word to describe the process of power over women’s bodies? She used the word “medicalized”. This is one of the most heinous, insane, and least known bitch code words that feminists bandy about without the notice of anyone. I hesitate to describe what they mean because you probably won’t believe me. Even so I will go into it.

Feminists believe “medicalization” is a process whereby men define women’s bodies in medical terms and thus “pidgeon-hole” and “negate” their existence through science. In other words doctors treating things like pregnancy, childbirth, and menstruation tells women that they are sick and thereby makes them sick. I SWEAR TO GOD if you go to a senior level seminar in women’s studies that these women think if childbirth was never “medicalized” then there would be no infant mortality or birth pains. I have been in those classrooms and talked to those women. They really think that if you took the power to diagnose women from male doctors then women would never get sick or have medical problems. This is because only ideas are real. Only power is real. Only the power to label reality is real. You are only sick because somebody says you are sick, never mind facts.

She ends with:

I don’t judge any woman who decides to document their pregnancy in this way.

The presence and staying power of social media like Facebook and Twitter and its potential to add meaning to and change women’s daily, lived experiences is something that feminists need to be critical of and watchful.

After all…since nothing is real there can be no judgment because judgment is to determine facts and there are no facts. We just need to be critical and watchful and make sure no assertion of fact can infringe upon our bodies. They say, “keep your laws off my body” don’t they? What they really mean is, “keep your natural laws off my body”. No science or reason can ever be allowed to diminish female autonomy.

That is it for the article but I couldn’t resist sharing something from the comments

I can’t stand social media pregnancies, as you put it, for two reasons. 1) Like you said, it’s all about giving personhood status to a fetus. It’s great that you’re pregnant, but we don’t need to anthropomorphize a fetus. And 2) it’s incredibly insensitive to women who have had/are thinking about an abortion, having fertility issues, or dealing with a miscarriage.

We must get these facts off our bodies!

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