“I’m not a feminist,” the young woman, languidly sipping a cider at the table across from me, said as she crinkled her nose in disgust.
“I hear you,” her equally young and slow-sipping companion said. “I bet they got screwed over by some dude and that’s why they’re so angry.”
“It’s bullshit,” the first added. “I believe in equality…”
I felt anger swell up in my belly. I wanted to grab onto my bagel (beer is liquid bagel, right?) and hurl it at them with the ferocity of a tidal wave.I wanted to grab them by their shoulders and shake them until their their ungrateful heads popped off of their entitled necks.
Equality!? You believe in equality!? How could you, then, not believe in feminism!? Where the hell did you obtain such a misguided definition of the term?
The answer to my question came to me in a response from “languid’s” boyfriend:
“If I wanted a hairy, ball-cutting, lesbian for a girlfriend I’d look under a rock and find one.”
It seems, according to the three, that the first wave of feminists, who fought for suffrage, where all getting a bit on the side from each other. Screw the vote! They wanted the vulva!
The feminists of the second wave weren’t there to liberate women both sexually and professionally. They were just looking for an excuse not to shave their legs or visit La Perla.
And they all, first and second wavers, had a pair of hedge trimmers stuffed neatly in their back packs to snip off scrotums. Didn’t you know? Trimmers are included in the kit you are given on the first day you announce yourself a man-hating femi-nazi.
But my urge to scream at them soon subsided with the deliverance of a simple thought: it wasn’t their fault they were so disillusioned by the plight of feminism. After all, feminism begins with the rights of women and without reading into what it really stands for, these three wouldn’t know that feminism should be as equally important to men.
And here’s why:
Feminism fights against the patriarchy that excludes you
The world we live in has long been described as gender-neutral.
However, when one considers our institutions, political systems and processes, it is easy to see that we live in a patriarchal society – one that enforces gender, its cultural programming and its divisions.
A good example of this is the media coverage that pertained to the prison abuse which occurred at in 2004 at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Eleven military personnel were convicted of torture and abuse. Among them were the two highly-publisiced cases of Lynndie England and Sabrina Harman.
According to the coverage, the men who engaged in acts of abuse were the ring leaders and the women were considered mere followers, incapable of such acts of violence. Certain media went as far as to show interest in the physical appearance of the women as opposed to their ability to inflict pain. Thus, the eternal divide between man and woman was, yet again, propagated.
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Women, according to the patriarchy, are meant to be soft, emotional, weak and submissive. Men are tough and assertive, hell-bent on material success and prone to violence. Heaven forbid you’re a sensitive type that prefers massages over anal and enjoys a night at the ballet as opposed to beers and a game on the wide screen.
Should you resist the norm, exclusion and judgement incur. What’s worse, if you happened to be a victim of abuse by the hands of a female, it remains questionable whether you would receive a platform to air your grievances.
Still think patriarchy is the dog’s bullock, boys?
Rape is EVERYONE’S Issue
Image Credit: www.slate.com
There have been leaps and bounds made to eradicate rape culture thanks to not only feminism but human decency. Public shaming in India, quirky and at times in your face petitioning against sexual violence and, with the establishment of Resolution 1820, there was an official consideration of rape as a weapon of war by the United Nations. Nonetheless, the resolution pertained to the protection of women, not men.
In 2011, the definition of rape was altered to include men. Nonetheless, considering that sexual violence against men had been reported in 25 countries in conflict between 1998 and 2008, not much else has been done to eradicate the myth that men are combatants that can defend themselves. Just look at the Geneva Conventions.
Without feminism on board, that pushes for an abolishment of gender norms, male victims could remain unseen and unheard.
Unequal pay means more work for Ray
Through the efforts of feminists, women can almost work in any occupation they choose (penis model may take some time though). However, they may not necessarily be paid as much as their male counterparts.
According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), women until the age of 35 will be paid 90 per cent of what men are paid. When they get older, the gap can become as unequal as 70-85 per cent.
What does this mean? It means that men will need to work a little extra to maintain the median household income, according to the 2013 Census data, of $52, 250.
By backing feminism, you could be cutting your hours, not your balls, if you jumped on board.
Everyone has a mother, sister, daughter, friend
Always remember that the attitude you bring now will be the reality your nearest and dearest will face down the track.
Your daughter will be considered an object to be wolf-whistled and gawked at. Your mother will continue to work two jobs just to make rent. Your friend will be told she was asking for it when she was assaulted because of the length of her skirt or the size of her breasts. They will all be considered weak, submissive and emotional.
And you, their father or husband or brother or friend, will be perpetuating the norm should you assume that feminism is only for ball-cutting man haters.