I’ve been sitting on the idea of writing this for over a year, specifically because of the inevitable backlash I will receive. Wether said backlash comes in the form of private, “I’m disappointed in you” emails from my peers, or I get decimated on Twitter by randoms, it is absolutely, 1000% inevitable.
And I’m okay with that.
I’m okay with that because I have the privilege to be laying in bed writing this on my phone, in a good neighbourhood, in a huge city, where I moved to so I could go to College. I’ve had awesome jobs in many different fields. I’m privileged to be able to choose those fields.
Women fought tooth and nail to get where we are today. Women deserve the right to go to school where they want, to work where they want, dress how they want…you get it. Women deserve every right on this planet.
Despite these things, and my completely transparent agreement with them…I’m told I’m not a feminist.
I had an abortion in 2001. I was a stripper from 2006-2010, in the Sarlaac pit of “how many gross dudes can you encounter in a single evening”, breaking down stigmas of men (and women) who considered me and so many other women (and men) “less than” for what I legally and safely did for money, and supporting some of the strongest women I’ve ever met.
Two huge issues concerning women and the hardships they could encounter in their life, dealt with openly and with pride.
But I’m not a feminist.
If this doesn’t make sense to you, good. Because it baffles me as well for a while.
Here I am, believing that feminism is fighting for women’s rights. A woman’s right to be educated, heard, treated fairly, protected. PFFT. Please.
Apparently, or, at least in the past year or so, that definition has become rather skewed.
Last year, “feminism” was voted as the word most people want to be banned. BANNED. NOT ALLOWED TO SAY EVER.* (*note: I’ve been informed that this was mostly due to 4chan. My mistake.)
Many feminists don’t understand why. Because, like myself, their understanding of feminism is a completely rational cause to promote equality between all genders.
Well…I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but ladies…
The armchair feminists have arrived…and holy cripes, are they loud.
Sane, logical activism as we know it is no more. With the growing reach of the Internet, and sites like Tumblr, Twitter and Jezebel, women have taken feminism into their own hands, rebranded it, hashtagged it, and are shoving onto every website and blog they possibly can.
It’s not about being fair anymore. It’s about constantly reminding men of all the oppression they’ve (directly or indirectly) put us through, and not letting them forget for a bloody second.
“Traditional gender roles” are now REALLY FUCKING BAD. What if your son WANTS to play with cars and be a jock, or your daughter LIKES princess dresses and wants to be a stay at home mom? Nope. Not having it. Kirsten Dunst spoke out in favour of them – and was promptly ripped apart.
It’s not about empowering women anymore. It’s about teaching them that there is no difference between a compliment and harassment, and that every strange man is a potential rapist to be feared. Here is an actual rape victim pointing out the absurdity of the majority of online voices re: rape culture.
It’s not even about educating LAWYERS about rape law. It’s about coddling university students so they don’t get “triggered”.
It’s not about supporting rape victims anymore. It’s about who can make the hugest deal out of vilifying the potential rapist before he has been charged, or in some cases, before he has even been spoken to.
It’s not about enjoying Christmas songs from the 40s anymore, it’s about completely reading into the the wrong way and telling people they’re about rape.
It’s not about discussion or debate. It’s about who can be more feminist than the other, and the loser of the group is instantly bullied into submission.
Feminism has become a club of Mean Girls. If you don’t think and act exactly like them, you’re aren’t one of them, and they won’t waste any time letting you know it.
I’ve been ganged up on, bullied, and/or harassed online for having the opposing view on many issues that people have decided stem from Feminism.
An acquaintance of mine did an excellent interview about her view on Anita Sarkeesian/#GamerGate a few months ago. Since it wasn’t in the normal fashion of “Rah, Rah, Sarkeesian is our Queen!”, she has since had to spend months defending herself on Twitter against Sarkeesian’s followers who harass, insult, and misquote her in an effort to shut her up. Sound familiar?
(NOTE: I’m not having the “are video games sexist?” argument. Some games have sexist elements. Some don’t. It honestly doesn’t bother me. I like shooting things and I’m not offended that my Ranger in GW2 is rocking a cute leather skirt and has bigger boobs than I do.)
I’m sure you all remember #ShirtGate. Sigh. When Matt Taylor landed a probe into A GODDAMN COMET IN SPACE…cries were not of joy, or “holy shit I love science!”, but “WHAT COMET? HIS SHIRT IS SO SEXIST.”
Yes. Feminists everywhere took to the Internet and blasted Taylor for his “misogynist, threatening” clothing (a bowling shirt with cartoon babes holding huge machine guns), demonizing him, his character, and his entire workplace until he tearfully apologized live on air.
A few of my favourite highlights, which I will expand on momentarily:
~ A few women stated that the shirt made them feel unsafe. That if they saw a man wearing a shirt with cartoon women in bikinis on it, they would feel UNSAFE, and threatened, in their workplace.
~ Women stating that “many” young scientists have now thrown away their career dreams due to the shirt.
Now 1) how the hell could you possibly know that, for real and 2) if you spend TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS and ALMOST AS MANY YEARS studying in the STEM field, only to set your diploma on fire and cry in bed because SOME DUDE IN ENGLAND WORE A SHIRT, you are a goddamn fool and you don’t deserve that career! Pull your damn bra straps up, girl! If you quit your entire career because an incredibly smart albeit socially awkward scientist made a bad fashion choice…turn in your lab coat and pocket protector BECAUSE YOU HAVE FAILED YOUR FELLOW WOMEN.
It’s hard enough for women to succeed in STEM jobs. Workplace sexism does still exist, sadly. But what does quitting over something so trivial prove? That you’re “making a stand”? No. It proves that you don’t want that job.
Quitting is for when your boss treats you like shit. Or your workplace is legally unsafe. Or the Assistant Manager who is really obsessed with Dr. Who refuses to speak to you on the phone and one day writes on the staff room wall that you do low-grade porn. I miss you, Sunrise Records.
Feminism has become a contest of who can be the most victimized; who can be the most offended; who can be the loudest about it.
The worst part about everything I’ve said? The women who judge, target, belittle, attack, lose their goddamn minds the moment someone says “not all men”…they have claimed feminism. And may whoever’s up there help you if you tell them they’re wrong.
I’ve had friends ask me why I hate feminism. I’ve even had friends TELL ME I hate feminism. I don’t. I’m just confused and annoyed, because there are two very different versions of it being broadcasted all over the place, both claiming they’re right. if you’re active enough online, siding with either one will guarantee at least a bit of harassment. And that’s bullshit.
And I’m not the only one who has noticed this huge divide, and how ridiculously overbearing the “new wave” of feminism has become.
Feminism isn’t about, as a woman, being able to think, say, and behave as you please anymore. It’s about having to think, say, and behave as the Overwomyn of the Internet see fit.
Oh, not to mention they’re GIANT HYPOCRITES.
And really? I don’t like it. It’s counter productive, petty, catty, and generally horrible for women to act this way. Why would I want to be a part of such a “movement”?
“BUT THOSE CRAZY BIATCHES ARE WRONG!”), you cry, unfriending me on Facebook for posting another crazy SJW (Google that at your own risk, dears), or calling me a woman-hater at the bar because I said “Blurred Lines” isn’t about rape (it’s still not). “Real feminists aren’t like that! The extremists on Tumblr are wrong!”
Why aren’t the “real” feminists telling them so? Why are they constantly telling myself, and any others who side with me, that we’re insufferably annoying with our constant need to draw attention to the worst and most negative of the movement? Why aren’t the ones who are supposed to be the true representatives of feminism, silencing the shitty loud ramblings of the women who complain about being “stare-raped” on the subway?
Wait…why is society and the media focusing so intently on the most negative, the harsh, the extreme, the irrationally behaved of a group, and not the rest, who claim the aggressors don’t reflect the majority, who have a genuine, rational cause?
But in conclusion, as it stands…I don’t hate feminism. I hate when women use the word to hide behind as they hurl rocks and cruel names at anyone who hasn’t earned enough badges.
I shouldn’t have to worry about the negative things OTHER WOMEN are going to throw at me for having an opinion. Ever. That’s not feminism.