Things I Think I Know About Feminism

feminismI have refrained from entering the realm of feminism to this point. I feel, as a man, I’m not really qualified to discuss the subject. After all, I never have, and never will, experience the inequalities and misogynistic treatment women face on a daily basis.

However, after the events of last week, I felt compelled to deposit my two cents.

I have exiled myself from news media, but thanks to Facebook and Twitter major news still makes it through my hastily constructed shield. The major last week (or, the major news relevant to this post) was that Emma Watson gave a very moving speech on gender equality in front of the United Nations. I have not seen the speech, but I have read that it was very passionate and moving.

In response, people lashed out at Watson. From The Mary Sue:

4chan’s b board responded to Watson’s rallying cry by threatening to make the Goodwill Ambassador the next victim in the wave of nude picture leaks that have happened over the past two months, complete with the countdown website Emma You Are Next. In addition to threatening to commit a sex crime against the actress and activist, users also spread a#RIPEmma hashtag on Twitter along with pictures of a fake report on the actress’ “death.”

If this isn’t proof that feminism is needed I have no idea what is. These are despicable acts committed by despicable people. No one deserves to be brutalized in that manner. Especially for peacefully espousing ideals of equality.

In the end, the threats turned out to be a hoax designed to drive traffic to a serial internet troll site. I’m not sure what’s more deplorable: the threats or the very shallow reason for them. Both bespeak an inhumanity so loathsome it makes me incoherent with rage.

The entire debacle made me consider my own views on feminism. I have sat silently while other bloggers and writers have taken to the internet in their quest for equality. I have encouraged those who speak out with supportive comments. I have promoted their posts via social media. I have yet, however, to address the subject in my own words.

The following is what I think I know about feminism:

  • Feminism is about gender equality. There is a misconception out there that feminists are man-haters and want to reverse gender roles. The misconception is that women want to subjugate men. While there is no doubt a very miniscule percentage of women who would like that, the majority of women want simply to be treated the same as men. They want they same opportunities. The same pay. The same respect.
  • Feminism is about choice. There is no right or wrong way to be a woman. If a woman wants to stay at home and raise her children, then more power to her. If a woman wants a career, the power should be within her to do so. Whether a woman is a stay-at-home mother or a hard-working, career-driven woman, she wants the ability to choose whatever path she wishes to travel without gender as a barricade.
  • Feminism is about women not being treated as objects. Women are thinking, feeling beings – the same as men. They want to be able to walk down the street without being cat-called or harassed. They don’t want to live in constant fear of being raped or assaulted. They don’t want to alter their entire wardrobe to avoid attracting the attention of men who can’t control their urges. They want to be able to report said crimes without being blamed for their victimhood. They also want to be valued for the things they can offer: love, affection, direction, knowledge, writing, singing, painting, wisdom, etc. Women have so much more to offer than their bodies.

Looking through the things I think I know about feminism, it’s hard to imagine anyone resisting feminism, but it happens. When a woman touts feminist ideals she is attacked for her courage. When a woman dares to point out a man’s privilege he becomes defensive and angry. When a woman has been wronged by a man it is often covered up to protect the man. When a woman is raped people want to know what she was wearing, as if somehow a woman’s attire is a reasonable excuse to sexually assault her.

For the record, I am all for feminism. I believe men and women should have equal pay and equal rights. I think men and women should both be able to choose how they live their lives without gender stereotypes influencing their decisions. I believe that women have much more on their insides than their outsides.

Feminism, at its core, is about basic human decency. It’s about treating people with respect. It’s about treating people how you’d like to be treated.

I don’t see what the problem with feminism is.

 

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About Twindaddy (328 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

41 Comments on Things I Think I Know About Feminism

  1. This is totally the feminism you were looking for 😀 You nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this. That is all I can say right now, but I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the misconception about feminism is what has some people confused….. I could not have put it better than you have put it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great Post – you hit the nail on the head. I just wish more people would see it this way!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hear hear. My take is, it’s all about respect. Everything else will come out of respect.

    Like

  6. In response to your third bullet point… I wished… more now that I have a daughter… that women’s bodies weren’t EVERYWHERE… and men’s bodies for that matter!!

    You can’t even check out at Whole Foods without seeing a half naked woman.

    My kids can’t go get our mail without the VS magazine that I’ve had canceled many times showing up!

    Now… I do believe that women… body and spirit… reflect the beauty of God… the bible tells us this… women are the “crown of creation”

    And I think a woman has the right to show off her body (I personally try to be tasteful in this respect because I don’t want… as my dad so wonderfully put it when I was a teenager… “Men my dad’s age getting off on seeing me in some sexy”

    The only man I want looking at me that way is my man!!

    Sorry rabbit trail… but for young girls like my daughter, when she sees beautiful half naked bodies on every magazine or just the body and not even the face of the woman on a billboard… welp… it pisses me off… big time!!

    Even as a adult… it effects me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sex sells. Or so they say. I have never personally been influenced to buy anything simply because a beautiful woman told me to. But I guess there are guys out there who do…

      Guys DO look, but that’s something THEY need to control.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Exactly! I’ll never understand why “equality” is synonymous with “OMG! Now I’ll be less than” in the eyes of some. The sexes don’t need to be at war, but gender riots sell just as much as sex and blood. How sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The main problem is that the people who have a problem with feminism don’t actually understand what feminism means. Ignorance is the root of the problem.

    You nailed it in your definition.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think the problem is that there are too many people who seem to have the wrong idea about feminism, saying it’s about women who want to be better than men and who are just crying for attention. But in fact feminism is what you say it is here. And we still need it, as you say. The reason women don’t want to be considered feminists anymore, is because of the negative connotation it’s got. Sad thing.

    Also, there is a difference between feminism and the killing of chavalry I hope. In a perfect world, both men and women would have equal possibilities, men would still hold doors for women (which they still do sometimes!) and women would still do some effort to look good in response. Not because it’s a trade, but because I feel like this feels good. We shouldn’t throw out the differences between men and women, because they are what makes it interesting. But we should throw out the difference in treatment.

    Extremely vague point from my side, but I hope you kind of understand 🙂

    Like

    • Well, I try to hold doors for anyone, really. And I feel like if a woman wants to look good for anyone, it should be her.

      Again, though, it’s all about choice.

      Like

  10. Reblogged this on Feministindian!!.

    Like

  11. Yup. You said it. What’s the big deal? Isn’t it really just the golden rule?

    Like

  12. You can’t see me right now but I am standing up and I am cheering! Outstanding post, TD. And that’s all I have to say about that. *continues cheering*

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Should be simple, right? I mean, have you ever met a woman who said, “Oh, I think giving women the right to vote was the wrong idea” or “I think women should be paid less than men.”? I sure haven’t. Men and women are different, but feminism is about making sure that neither one or the other is given preferential social, legal or economic treatment simply because of their sex. Laws will never be ‘equal’ (think maternity/paternity) nor should the be, but one should not be hindered or punished or prejudiced against simply because of the sex they were born into (or opted into for that matter). Feminism has nothing to do with wearing makeup or hating men or getting married or having kids or working or staying home. It has nothing to do with abortion or whether or not you make your husband a peanut butter sandwich or like when he changes the lightbulbs. It’s about making sure a female is afforded the same rights and privileges as males. It drives me batty more people don’t realize this. I’m glad you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “Both bespeak an inhumanity so loathsome it makes me incoherent with rage.” I love it when you get all wordy and intense 🙂

    Great post, TD

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Apparently, you are entirely “qualified” to speak up on this subject… because clearly, you get it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m doing the slow clap right now. YES! My five year old has been puking all night but you managed to make me smile! I’ve been saying, shouting, begging, for men to get into the conversation. I think that the only way to get past the misconceptions and the negative propaganda that has so cleverly managed to take hold, is if more men say exactly what you just said. I remember reading your post when #yesallwomen was happening, it really stuck with me. I remember you not knowing quite what to say or if you should say anything, but that you were going to talk to your kids about it. (Is my memory right? I think it is but I tend to question my memory a lot) And I thought that was awesome, the conversation you had with your kids. But now, with this? We need smart men like you saying these things. You, TD, rock.

    Like

    • Yes, I did have a conversation with the twins. Thankfully, it wasn’t really all that necessary. But I had it all the same.

      Like

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