Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category

I have made a decision. I’ve decided to come out to the world (meaning a very small portion of the Internet) as a feminist. It wasn’t an easy decision – there’s an egregious amount of venom towards the feminist community and I’ve always been the type to shy away from opposition and inflammatory stances.

But I don’t want to do that anymore.

I’ve read a lot of articles (This turns me into a GIANT SQUID OF ANGER), statuses (Labelled “Virgin Test”), comments, and memes that give me that burning feeling of injustice deep in my gut.

Buzz knows what I’m talking about

It comes from all sexes, genders, and ages…and it’s not a fun experience. I’m hoping this will ease the fire, if only briefly.

To mark this point in my journey, I’d like to first dispel some myths of feminism and what that term means. Too many people, male and female, have ill-conceived notions of what feminists stand for.

1. Feminists Hate (or dislike) Men

Hell no! We feel no differently about men than we do women (unless you’re talking about sexual feelings of a hetero woman, but that’s not the point). To a feminist, men and women are simply people, and deserve to be treated based on the way they act and who they are. Are you a man who finds kitchen jokes hilarious and thinks women should wear more clothing to avoid being assaulted? Yes, we hate you, but not because you’re a man. Because you’re an asshole.

2. Feminists Want To Flip Sexism

Maybe the fact that we are focused on women’s rights somehow makes the movement come across as fighting for women to be the dominating sex. That’s not what feminism is all about. Are civil rights activists trying to oppress those of us with pale ancestry? Not that I’m aware of, and it’s the same thing here. The sad thing is, women aren’t even a minority and yet we’re still treated as “other.” There’s something I’ll never understand.

I stumbled across this article recently, which uses the device of satire to get the point across that women (the most common victims of sexual abuse), are told by society that it’s our job to protect ourselves, and that men (as a section in society, not all of them) are told they “can’t help themselves” (which is also derogatory to men!). This article is NOT to be taken as a serious suggestion. Many times feminists “flip” the double standard to gain understanding and point out a ridiculous notion. We are not seriously trying to take away male freedoms.

3. Feminists Oppose Expressions of Femininity

Misguided feminists do, maybe. I was once a young tomboy who refused ANYTHING feminine. In high school I refused to carry a purse or wear the uniform skirt purely out of defiance of all things feminine. But that’s not helpful for anybody. There’s nothing WRONG with femininity, it’s an expression of personality and shouldn’t be limited. As Iggy Pop once said, “I’m not ashamed to dress ‘like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.”

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to view femininity in a healthy way when society is constantly glorifying masculine traits and weakening feminine ones. That’s a little deeper than clothing, but is a subject for another day.

4. Feminists Find Chivalry Offensive

The only thing that would be offensive about chivalry is if the “chivalrous” person believed women to be incapable of certain things. Otherwise, it’s just common courtesy. Hell, I’m chivalrous all the time. If I’m the first person to the door, I’m gonna hold it open for the next person, because that’s the awesome thing to do. If someone weaker than me (a young child…maybe) is carrying a heavy bag, I’ll take it from them to make their lives easier. It’s just nice.

Now that you know what feminists aren’t, here’s what a feminist should be:

1. Feminists Want Men and Women (and anywhere in between) To Be Treated Equally

Fuck gender norms and fuck stereotypes. We want a world where a guy can wear a skirt and a girl can shave her head without mocking, without hate. Where women make equal pay and a stay-at-home dad is as common as the reverse. Personally, I don’t want to have to try twice as hard (at least) to be taken seriously.

2. Feminists Encourage Personal Expression of Any Kind

Do you like societal norms for your gender? It’s totally your choice! I won’t judge you. There are no boxes and you can pick and choose whatever sparks your interest. I like wearing Chucks with a sundress. Unconventional? Sure, but I don’t care. And neither should you. Wear whatever you damn well please.

3. Feminists Want To Eliminate The Gap Between Genders

This all kind of ties in together, but we want treatment to be equal between genders. By the way, this doesn’t just mean we want women to get better treatment. There are a handful of times where men get the short end of the stick and it needs to be talked about. Custody laws are a great example of times when men get shafted. Sadly, most women are fighting other battles, but I will discuss these issues on this site.

4. Feminists Appreciate Polite Gestures

Just like anyone, we want to be treated like a person. We don’t need to be coddled, but if you are the type of person that opens doors and helps out whenever possible, well that’s wonderful. The world needs more people like you.

 

I hope this post, at the very least, gets people thinking about how they react to feminists and to women in their lives. It can be difficult to realize the seemingly small, daily injustices against women and femininity, and even harder to put it to words. My only hope is I will be eloquent enough to get my point across on such a complex, mired-in-hate issue.