Hello everyone! Sorry it has been awhile since I wrote here. The days just fly by so quickly sometimes and you forget how long it has been since you’ve done anything.
In conjunction with International Women’s Day, I thought I’d write about my own thoughts on feminism and feminists. The timing, in my opinion, couldn’t be more appropriate to address the matter and why it is both embraced and controversial.
Many men and women will have their own unique interpretation of what the ‘F’ word means to them, most of which usually comes back to the social, political and economic equality of the sexes – sometimes the exact opposite.
With that being said, let’s start with what makes it so controversial.
For starters, the name itself. Feminism.
A lot of people I’ve spoken to tend to point out or simply question why something that is supposed to work in favor of both sexes named itself after women only.
I can’t lie, that is a good point. However, not to be biased, but seeing as how the movement started off with the goal of diminishing the double standards faced by women a long time ago and how some social issues such a unequal pay is still a problem today, I think it’s only fair. Or justified. For now at least, since there is still some unfinished business and it may come off as somewhat disrespectful to the founders and women who fought hard for the rights we have today.
I know it sounds like I’m defending the name, but I’m not. This entire paragraph is literally my thought process right now. With all that being said, does the name of the movement really matter? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. That’s up to you to figure out and let me know. Because I’m a little conflicted over the idea myself.
Secondly, a lot of the controversy with feminism today can mostly be attributed to modern/radical feminists and man-hating propaganda.
A lot of the self proclaimed feminists I see on social media, especially on comment threads, appear to have tons of negativity to spread. I can’t tell you how many times I saw a man-hating remark made by radicals and how I once cringed and foolishly allowed myself to get into an argument with one.
I watched a College Humor video the other day about Jeggings. It was made in good humor, poking fun at the ridiculous and inappropriate trends youngsters come up with today. But one lady pointed out that the video was simply objectifying women and their choice to wear whatever they want, when in reality the skit revolved around both boys and girls and was clearly satirical in nature.
After a while, the idea of feminism becomes somewhat irritating because of stuff like that. It makes you feel like as if you’re associated with the exact kind of mentality you’re trying to get rid of – sexism.
Ironic, isn’t it? It’s just like how some fight fat shaming with indirect skinny shaming. E.g: Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass.
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster…” -Friedrich Nietzsche
The problem with modern feminists for me, is the fuss they make about the little things before they get down to fixing bigger problems. Why take away the focus from what’s truly important?
Women In The World’s Facebook page uploaded an article with the title “Was Bernie Sander’s Snap at Hillary Clinton Sexist?” in reference to him telling her “Excuse me, I’m talking!” in a moment of heated exchange. Now, if you watched the #DemDebate, you would remember that this was a response to Hillary interrupting Bernie. In a reverse situation, the reaction from the same group of women on Hillary instead saying those words might’ve been very different.
There was no issue to begin with, but if you’re going to turn it into one, might as well analyze it from both sides. That’s what I do. I take a step back and analyze a situation as it is happening and simultaneously visualize what if it were the other way round and then react to it accordingly.
Trust me, that helps when you’re trying to spread an important message to different parties.
Thirdly, the unequal awareness on issues affecting both genders.
I find this point to be the one that bothers me the most.
For example, rape.
We spend a lot of time highlighting rape and abuse on women but not nearly as much effort is done for men.
Another example would be body shaming where we talk about unrealistic body images and expectations from women in the media while completely disregarding the ‘six pack abs’ expectation on male models or how little diversity on body types we fight to see when it comes to them.
Those reasons above, to me, are why the idea of the ‘F’ word is often rejected. It doesn’t feel inclusive enough for all parties to participate. But that can change.
As for why feminism is embraced, I’ll speak about why I need and support it.
Like I said, different individuals bring different sets of ideas to the table. But for me, feminism is about freedom and opportunity.
I support feminism because I have a brother and male rape is a real issue and there are men and boys out there who won’t come forward for fear of being laughed at or ridiculed.
I support feminism because I might have a son someday and I want him to know that it’s not okay for a girl to abuse you and that male domestic violence is a real thing and should be taken just as seriously as those done unto women.
I support feminism because I want society to acknowledge a girl for what she brings to the table, like her education and skill, before her looks.
The freedom to do something ‘unladylike’ or ‘unmanly’ without being called those exact words.
It’s funny because I didn’t always identify myself as a feminist. Like many others, I always thought the movement was reserved solely for the welfare of women, when I on the other hand wanted true equality of the sexes. Having a younger brother played a heavy influence on my perspective.
With that being said, I have a very subjective view on the topic.
Gender equality, not female superiority.
While it felt great to align with a powerful movement, I recently began to understand why many people wouldn’t. Reasons of which, I have already stated above.
I am a feminist. But I understand why some of you refuse to call yourself that. I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as you and I share the same ideals on the matter of gender roles and respect.
This article was not written to convince you to call yourself a feminist. There is no hidden agenda, nor anything of that sort.
Being a feminist is a huge part of who I am as a person and my outlook on life. But I’m not fond of how that also associates me with radical ideas today.
So I suppose what I’m really trying to say is that a tiny amount of extremists do not represent a group of people as a whole.
I cannot stress how important this movement is to both genders. Because of that, we should all take a moment to learn and educate ourselves before we form an opinion on the matter.
This women’s day, my wish would be for us to shift our focus back to the things that truly matter and not the things we should laugh about.
Happy International Women’s Day to all the strong and kind women out there!