I assume this audience is old enough to remember the Smurfs – little blue humanoids who at one time inhabited Saturday morning teevee? Like the Seven Dwarfs, the Smurfs had a simplified version of individuality such that each had one personal characteristic that pretty much determined how that dude acted (e.g., Brainy, Jokey, Grouchy — hmmm, sounds like a blog). The entire species apparently included only one female, named Smurfette, whose defining personality characteristic was …Female. Unique she was, but not what I’d call a developed person, even for a Smurf. Her identity was her gender, and her claim to fame lay in being Other.
Apparently like many women of (ahem) a certain age, my reaction to Kos’ diatribe was a series of unpleasant flashbacks to times when I was a Smurfette. That is, times when the only thing that seemed to matter in an interaction was my gender, and my gender mattered because it meant I could be discounted. Not a person with thoughts, opinions, desires to be given equal weight to those of the real Smurfs.
It isn’t the stupid ad, it’s the willingness to bargain away my reproductive rights to achieve “more important” political ends. It’s not Ginger’s faux cleavage, it’s the assertion that discomfort over women being infantilized is not germane to a political discussion. It’s deep deep weariness on hearing the message, again, that women’s concerns are separate and not equal, and should be put on hold until we win the really important wars. Hey, I heard that garbage in the Seventies, from the young hotshot supposedly progressive Smurfs of the time. They may have been reincarnated and are now living at Dkos, but I can tell you that my career as Smurfette is definitely over. If you don’t see me as more than merely Female, then you won’t see me, because I’ll be gone.