I feel like I absolutely cannot touch down hard enough on this. I see that as a positive thing though, because it means I hold a lot of fire and drive to always fight back.
I went on a Snapchat rant yesterday elaborating on this, and to my surprise it received amazing feedback. I have a small following on twitter, and instgram but I was definitely not expecting it from snapchat. If any of you took time out of your day to watch, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that. Even if you didn’t like what I had to say, and stuck through it completely, I still appreciate you. Why? Because you were listening.
There are a few relationships in my life that have resulted in burned bridges. I’m not necessarily upset about losing the relationship, I am more upset that feminism is such a hard concept to grab and accept when it does no harm, than it is to throw a fit because ignorance is prioritized. Sometimes, I think it’s easier to ignore the issues feminism address for a number of reasons. Ranging from being in complete disbelief that we still face so many issues, and misunderstanding the movement entirely.
When I started outwardly identifying as a feminist, I had never received so many notifications and unfriending from white straight men that spent our whole childhood sexualizing me. Some of them were boys who would write me love letters, and grab my ass. Some of them were angry I had kept them in the “friend zone,” and could not believe I was changing my ways. From a once active slut-shamer, and someone who wanted to live a more traditional life, get married and have children immediately after I obtained my degree, to this. Which is apparently very hard to sexualize, seeing as I can recognize it, and I no longer have a tolerance for it. On the note of traditional life, there is nothing wrong with being a mother, or married, or both. There’s also nothing wrong with wanting to lead a life completely independent. I’m sad that I have to even explain that because feminism is not training women to be one stereotype to another. It’s accepting women for their style, and heart. It’s not acknowledging women for how great their cleavage is, while simultaneously degrading them for it. Because as a society, that’s what we do. You cannot tell me that at one point in your life you didn’t hear men, and even women secretly whispering “wow, look at how great her tits are.” All the while shaming women for dressing so “provocatively.” Don’t even get me started on men wearing women’s clothing, versus a girl wearing boys clothing.
While feminism is not a concept some of the surrounding acquaintances want to get on board with, there is a lot of men and women who I’ve watched beautifully transform their old ways of judging men and women for their feminine traits, or even more less apologetic behaviors. Of course then comes the storm of MRA, and Egalitarinism. Both coming aboard, and being accepted by those who cannot swallow a word with feminism. Because feminism somehow indicates a movement of “superiority.” This is where the ignorance begins. While cis white men face very little issues in comparison to a woman, these meninist sprouted. They have failed to truly be activists for their gender, while they’re more concerned with harassing feminists online. This has been an ongoing battle since my first days of joining the intersectional feminist movement. Because of this, it only further validates the necessity of this movement. Because the world has been so male centered, they cannot handle women striking against society standards that ignore womens inequality to only further cater, and tend to the egos of men.
Now don’t get me wrong, I will acknowledge and fight back when the patriarchy hurts men. I will undoubtedly speak loud and strong about misandry, and how it harms men too. I will tell you, I will not let you override the pain of millions of women, and their struggles because you feel left out. Because quite frankly that’s how women have felt. When they didn’t having voting rights, when marital rape was legal, when they’ve been left in the dust because a judge would rather be sympathetic to a predator over the victim. Now, let me tell you what it really means when you come forward with your egalitarianism. Feminism is for the equality of all genders, but it focuses on womens inequality because even (most) of mens issues are rooted from women issues. Because femininity is associated with women, and women only. It is seen as symbol for gender, and it is also a symbol for weakness and emotions in today’s society. So even with the issues men face, like being directly hit and harmed for lacking “masculinity.” For wearing “feminine” clothing. For showing emotions, because it’s seen as a feminine attribute. These are associated with women, so why is it degrading for a man to practice “feminine” or hold “feminine” attributes?
Let me tell you why. It’s because being a female is seen as degrading, and if you can comprehend what I am saying you are officially recognizing harmful gender constructs. Another issue is that men make up 10-38% of sexual assault cases, and probably more. A lot of these issues arise when we tell men they are so strong, and sexually driven that they couldn’t possibly experience sex that is non-consensual. This leaves men traumatized, and alone because they feel they cannot come out about said assaults. Because again, men are sexual deviants who cannot experience rape, and showing emotions is a bad thing *cough, cough* (girl thing). Sexual aggression is another issue men face, while they are expected to have unfathomable amounts of sex, and women are expected quite the opposite. So when we tell our women to not have sex, but we pressure our men to be sleeping with every woman he encounters…… who exactly is he supposed to have sex with? To deem men so incredibly incapable of holding their dicks in their pants, to the point women cannot even expose their shoulders, while simultaneously slamming them in society for not engaging in sex? It makes a pretty conflicting situation. It makes men who want to participate in a one night stand counteract their very moves by expecting women to remain virgins, or pure. While also making it difficult for the men who find sex a very personal act, and wanting to save themselves. Because lets face it, we all have different views and desires on the things we partake in in our bedroom, but society makes that very confusing.
Domestic violence is also another issue women see, and it’s because we have made women to look so weak, they couldn’t possibly hit a man and hurt him. Even if it didn’t hurt you physically, that abuse is still very much valid. Let’s face it though, men feel way less compelled to explain to someone that his wife hits him, because he feels he wont be taken seriously. Most men are afraid of being teased for this too. Because again, we label our women as weak innocent docile humans. While our men are expected to rise above, and not feel pain.
We cannot ignore that the patriarchy, for the most part is set up to benefit straight white men. No, this is not an attack on you. Any of you who spend your time in the gym, eating only rocks, nails, drinking battery acid with your big muscles, I’m not slamming you. I am only slamming you if you practice oppressive behaviors, or you giggle at men who are more gentle than you. Which brings me to the message I’m trying to convey.
On any of these issues, have you seen a meninist engage in bringing awareness to these issues? What about egalitarianism? The people who agreed with the idea of equality, but wanted it less focused on women because they couldn’t handle women taking the spotlight for once. Whats interesting is this spotlight isn’t even good. This spotlight has came to be because of rape culture, societal norms, lack of advocacy, and overall mistreatment to our female friends and feminine boys. Because after all, our issues directly correlate (even for men) with it being problematic, or seen as less to be female or act like one. Because when we say, “stop acting like such a girl.” It’s not a positive, it has zero positive connotations. It’s offensive. However, when we say “be a man.” That usually insinuates strength, and power.
And the fact I even have defend these issues, and bring them up to help you see my point better is sad. Because I shouldn’t have to give you multiple paragraphs to our harmful gender constructs. I shouldn’t have to explain to you why women deserve to be equally treated, and represented by giving you things that harm men as well to validate my point. Because we know as a society, whether we all can recognize it or not, telling someone they are acting feminine is way more offensive than calling someone a man.
I’m not fighting wars, I’m not physically harming anyone, and I’m certainly not offending those who aren’t guilty of being misogynists, and misandrist. I cannot stress enough how important is it to recognize how many fits people throw, when the attention isn’t completely focused on men.That’s how you know that it always has been. Because I can open my own doors, but if you want to do that for me that’s nice. Because I too will hold the door open for you. Because I don’t see meninists on the streets fighting for transgender rights for men. I don’t see them bringing any representation to anyone? I have tried to google this, consult my peers, and even ask my coworkers and nobody seems to know.
Bringing awareness to these issues not only puts change in motion, it doesn’t hurt anyone. Feminists do not hurt your happiness, they’re trying to help the women and men around you. Feminists have marched for their right to vote, women to be allowed in universities, and in the work place. Do you know who had initially put those rules into place that they couldn’t? I’ll give you one guess. And yes, the bra burning loud mouthed women who didn’t take no for an answer changed the world for the people who brought you onto the planet. Before you get carried away with you, “but women are equals now.” “I see everyone as equals.” You do not. Because if you did, you would recognize one side doesn’t quite add up to the other. Using “I have a boyfriend,” shouldn’t be the only answer you’ll take to leave me alone. Women, and men have changed, and continue to change the way the world works one step at a time. Your son should be allowed to play with a princess dress if he wants, and your daughter should be allowed to play with trucks. If she wants to get married, and have children early, she absolutely should. If she wants to be the CEO of the company, and have beer with her friends and never get married, she should. If your son wants to wear makeup, or even your boyfriend — he should. And I do not see anyone aside from feminists trying to bring these co into place. When intersectional feminists assemble, we bring more people to DC than our current president. When intersectional feminists unite to bring equality, it only hurts those who don’t want equality.
When feminists came to be, we came together to crush the fucking patriarchy. We didn’t come here to oppress anyone, and we certainly didn’t come to practice misandry or misogyny. We didn’t hear the cries of women and men being assaulted, just to talk about “not all men.”
Because being a good person doesn’t come with a special token. And you can make your “I’m ashamed to be a woman,” posts whenever activists come together all you want. Let’s be honest, having the “pick me, I oppress myself,” attitude wont attract genuine people to you. Only those who also enjoy the oppression of others. You’re only trying to silence the people who’ve been left in the dark, and quite frankly it’s transparent.
And I’m sure when women were coming together 50 years ago, they also had people on the sidelines critiquing their every move, and trying to tell them they were already equal. I’m certain they were shamed, and torn down, but they always fought back. Because the power of a woman is strong. The power of fem is strong.