Why “Bitch Ph.D” got it right
In my last post, I objected to “I Blame The Patriarchy” on the grounds that Twisty wasn’t presenting readers with a version of feminism that took into account the necessary solicitude between real people. I’d like to add that I’ve just read the newest entry from Bitch PhD, and I think she nailed it. Here’s why:
1. She talks about her real life, and the decisions she had to face. It is deeply saddening that she had to face discrimination as an academic, and that the way she was treated may have influenced her decision to become economically dependent on her husband. By posting about all of this, she makes clear the toll that sexism continues to exact.
2. Her economic dependency appears to be a phase. Since she promises at the end of the entry that she’s not giving up, we have to assume that she’s going to keep writing and trying to make a name for herself. If she’s successful, the balance in her relationship will swing, and that is precisely how real equality works in real relationships. If she continues to be frustrated in her efforts to publish the particular writing she’s doing, her instinct not to be smothered will presumably lead her to try something else, rather than, as she says, just giving up.
The fact that she’s both happy (having the freedom to write, having enough money for new clothes) and unhappy (about a position of dependency) is a much more valuable contribution to our understanding of a woman’s position in a still-sexist America, than the absoluteness of Twisty Faster, who is (and could only be) a fictional character.
Wow, does it make me happy to add this post to the last one.