Have you ever heard of Karen Salmansohn? Neither had I, until I read an article of hers on Oprah.com, Googled her, and then discovered she had written 29 freaking books, including one called How To Be Happy, Dammit. Sounds like an expert on, uh, something right? On Oprah.com, Salmansohn has written a piece called “Are You A Feminist Or A Feminine-ist?” which has led me to conclude she is an expert in being idiotic. “Feminine-ist” and “feminine-ism” are terms she’s desperate to get in to the lexicon, but she doesn’t make much of a case for their inclusion, in my opinion. For starters, there’s her definition of feminine-ism: “This energy of simply being by indulging in a meditative and self-nurturing manicure, a facial or a hot bubble bath.” So feminine-ism is about going to a spa? And why is “feminine-ism” so desperately needed? She explains:
“I see too many women these days rushing around trying to do it all, but meanwhile they’re not being it all! They’re not being their fullest, best feminine selves. Instead, they’re being tougher than they’d like to be as well as more exhausted, strident and irritable, thereby feeling unattractive inside and out. All while suffering from guilt over the stuff they did not manage to squeeze into their over-booked schedules.”
In other words, Salmansohn is talking about the “negative” aspects of feminism’s impact on women’s lives — that having the opportunity to “do it all” is making them tired, cranky, and ugly. And for that, feminine-ism is the answer because when you’re a feminine-ist, you don’t sacrifice those oh-so-important feminine characteristics — sweetness, sexiness, and a perfectly manicured hand — in order to be powerful. Oprah, are you listening, girl?
Excuse me, but who said feminism took away a woman’s right to be sexy or have a perfect manicure if she wants those things while she pursues her dreams and ambitions? Salmansohn has decided to empower those who stereotype feminists as ugly, mean women who hate men, by perpetuating those stereotypes even further by implying that a woman is somehow failing in her quest to “have it all” if she doesn’t make time to get a facial. If “feminine-ism” and “feminine-ist” make it into the mainstream, Salmansohn hopes “they open up an important dialog about how to consciously tap into our true feminine energies as we strive to succeed in accomplishing our goals and dreams.” Because if you don’t do that, ladies, remember, you’re failing.
Best of all? Men can join in on the fun! “With the word ‘feminism,’” Salmansohn writes, “it might have been embarrassing for a man to say he was a supporter because it might sound like he was admitting to supporting of a group of controlling, bitchy women. But with new pro-sexiness, pro-sweetness, pro-balance words like ‘feminine-ist’ and ‘feminine-ism,’ what’s not for a man to love?” Pro-sexiness? Pro-sweetness? I’m suddenly pro-VOMIT. [Oprah.com]