This was originally going to be another of “Gordon’s Happy Monday Posts”. I’m serious, folks, I had every intention of changing things up from my typical doom-and-gloom tone and write about some lighthearted stuff for once. That’s what I had prepared for today. Wouldn’t ya know it, but I just happened to come across something so supremely stupid that I felt compelled to switch out our happy, uplifting topic with another message from the trenches.
What was that thing that robbed you all of sunshine and butterflies and stuff? It was a series of pictures on imgur of young women holding up signs explaining why they “didn’t need feminism” [sourced from the Who Needs Feminism? tumblr -Ed.]. I scrolled down, hoping at first they’d just be sarcastic comments, and once it became clear that wasn’t happening, that they’d really just be criticisms of the most off-the-wall elements of the movement (as Kat mentioned in her post this past Saturday).
They were not.
So let me take this time to go through ’em, picture by picture, and explain just how wrong they are.
“…Because I Believe In Equality, Not Entitlements & Supremacy”
And every feminist, man or woman, would agree with you on that. You might have been exposed to some pretty psychotic people, or heck, even grown up in a so-called “Feminazi” household, but any person with a basic grasp of the movement should know that (1) it’s not about supremacy, it is about equality, and (2) the crazies only make up a tiny fraction, no matter how vocal they are. Again, any person should know this. I’m not going to claim to know this girl’s life, but this just strikes me as being plain lazy, you know?
At least she’s the best of the bunch. It gets worse.
“…Because It Has Turned [Into] a Hateful, Sexist, Corrupt, Group…”
Now this is ignorant. Once again we’re seeing a gross over-generalization when it comes to the feminist movement, taking the struggle of women all over the world, from all walks of life, and assigning them the same sins as whatever offshoot group this young lady ran into. Again, I can’t speculate, but the very specific mention of “privilege” (something we’ll cover in a sec) leads me to imagine that the woman in the picture is, or was assumed to be, not experiencing the same issues facing those of a different class, race, or culture. I’m not saying that’s correct, but it does merit consideration (again, something we’ll cover in a moment).
“…Because I Don’t Think Being a Woman is a Disadvantage”
Here we go.
Let me be clear, I don’t think being you is a disadvantage. Let’s see you make that same statement to a woman in a deeply patriarchal culture, or a woman in a sweatshop in Bangladesh, or heck, any woman in the US military.
This would be like me saying “I don’t need racial equality movements- I don’t feel that I’m discriminated against!”, to which any sane person would respond “Well no ****, Gordon, you’re a straight white male- of course you’re not discriminated against.”
See this is the privilege we touched on in the picture before. The freedom that you experience due to your class, or your race, or your sexuality is not shared by everyone, and you have only to leave any one of those elements behind to see just how disadvantageous being a woman is. That’s all without me having to cite how women are utterly disproportionate in being the victims of rape, domestic abuse, harassment, and a host of other crimes. I don’t see how you’d be able to just ignore all that unless you were looking at the world from a position of supreme- you guessed it- privilege.
“Because… I Am Not a Target for Violence.”
Of course not. That’s why we can both walk down a dark alley in a bad part of town and have the same level of concern. Or why there are as many men roofied as women. Or why there’s an equal amount of exploitation of the male and female bodies.
Oh wait, there’s not.
Maybe you, individually, live in some magical world where the majority of the planet isn’t forced to deal with cultural and institutionalized violence and degradation. Congratulations.
Now to paraphrase Bob Dylan, “Get out of the new world if you won’t lend a hand.” Suffering, discrimination, and violence, even if they don’t happen somehow to you is rampant for everyone else. For ****’s sake, I’m a man, I enjoy all the benefits and privileges that go along with it by the flippin’ truckload. I am not discriminated against, I am not a target for violence, and yet I’m not going to assume that everyone in the world is doing just as well as I am. I’m just not that arrogant.
Barring the question of basic morality, I think that if the tables were turned, I’d want to be helped out too.
So there you have it.
Either sit back or pitch in with the struggle but one way or another, stop trying to subvert the Feminist movement just because it’s no longer benefiting you.