Why I’m a-Gasp-Feminist!
As you can probably tell from the title, I am a feminist. In recent years, that word has been cast in a very negative light, especially here on the Internet. Given that I spend most of my time on said Internet, I feel that it is my obligation to share my thoughts on the matter. Here we go.
Before we move forward, I think I have to go all college professor on your asses. I need to define my terms. More specifically, what exactly do I mean by ‘feminist?’ Well, I believe that feminism is a gender equality movement, pure and simple. That means that feminists, by and large, are also interested in men’s issues, such as custody of children.
See, what most antifeminists don’t understand (Cough, TJ Kirk, Cough), is that most men’s issues can trace their roots back to institutionalized misogyny. The biggest thing that Men’s Right’s Activists site as a men’s issue is that custody battles, as well as alimony payments, all heavily favor the lady. And, for once, they’re right. It is true that, when it comes to children and things of that nature, men do face sexism. Point MRA.
But the root of the sexism they face is, in fact, misogyny. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers, and thus deserve greater custody of their children, is part of the patriarchy. In the context of traditional gender roles, women are typically the home-makers, while men bring in the bacon. Any reversal of this is seen as abnormal, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Men can be excellent parents, given the chance. The reason the legal system doesn’t give them that chance is because of sexism towards women, not dudes. Point Feminists.
The same can be said for the unrealistic body image standards that men face. The reason that all man are encouraged, if not required, to have more muscles than a beach after a storm is because the patriarchy doesn’t want them to be perceived as traditionally feminine. This is because they think women are weak. By expanding women’s rights, we force the patriarchy to see them as powerful people, as leaders. Not only will this help dispel unrealistic standards of appearance, it will also make it possible for men to express any emotion other than anger. This, in turn, leads to an open dialogue between all people wherein nothing is off limits. A more open society means that more things get done. That’s just basic logic. Point Feminists.
So now you might be thinking, “If feminists really care about equality for all genders, why is the movement call feminism? Doesn’t that imply that it’s looking out exclusively for the well-being of women?” They call it feminism because there are certain issues that are faced primarily or even exclusively by women, which feminism seeks to mitigate or, hopefully, eradicate entirely. Fixing these issues leads to equality for everyone, because it helps foster a more inclusive and open culture. As I said above, this can only be a good thing.
Further, it’s called feminism because females are the underprivileged gender, and feminism seeks to give them equal opportunity. Feminists want to elevate women to the standards that men already have. You attain gender equality by putting women in the same place as men. The only other alternative that can be called equal is to bring men down to the levels that women are currently on, and nobody wants that. That’s just fucking stupid, guys. Good. Glad we cleared that up.
Now, the rebuttal to these points is that the feminist movement has been taken over by a pack of rabid, man-hating she beasts, and it is no longer about gender equality, but rather about female supremacy or domination. But these women, who complain about manspreading and come up with things like #KillAllMen are not real feminists. Before you smash your computer and cry out, “NO TRUE SCOTSMAN,” hear me the fuck out. I’ll say my piece, and then you can say yours. Deal? Good.
They aren’t real feminists to me because they do not meet the above definition of feminist, which I previously defined as “Someone who advocates for the equality of the sexes through the furtherance of women’s rights.” So for the purposes of both this article and my own life, these so-called ‘female supremacists” are not feminists.
But that’s just me, and some opponents will call my definition of feminist a “special definition,” e.i. One that I defined purely to further my own ideology. I would argue that every definition can, on some level, be thought of this way, but I understand where my hypothetical critics are coming from. So I’ll tackle this idea from a (mostly) objective standpoint. Specifically, a linguistic one. Buckle up.
These man-haters aren’t feminists not only because they do not meet my definition of that word, but also because there is already a word for people like them. It’s called misandry, and it is defined as, “A woman who believes that women are better than men, and thus deserve more rights or opportunities than them.” In short, they’re women who are sexist towards men. They are man-haters. See what I did there? They have their own word, their own identity. They’ve just co-opted the term feminist for their own nefarious purposes.
But why did they do that? Why not just stick with the label the dictionary gives them? There are two reasons for this, I think. Firstly because all supremacist ideas have a negative connotation, as they should. Nobody likes to think that there are people who are innately better than one another, because it isn’t true.
They do it because, on a very basic level, feminism is credible. The basic ideas that the movement perpetuates, like equality, make sense. They, put simply, make a whole lot of sense, So the reason that man-haters call themselves feminist is because they want to mask their bullshit ideas in a really credible movement. But instead it backfired, and dragged feminism down into their own cesspool of idiocy. And that’s bullshit. That’s wrong.
Just something to think about.