Operating on the assumption that feminism is the idea that men and women are equal, why are there so many people who think feminism is a bad thing?
In our society, so many of the anti-feminism people seem to be dudes who think feminism is all about loud ladies yelling about how men are horrible people who have wronged them. Well fellas, so what? A mean lady just yelled at you because you held a door open for her? Cry me a river.
Also, a few points:
Just because that lady yelled at you, that doesn’t mean feminism is about ladies yelling at guys about feminism. Nor does one occurrence create something statistically significant. All it means is that particular lady is a person who sometimes gets mad at strangers. It isn’t feminism that made her do that, but her personality. It has nothing to do with men and women being equal, and everything to do with the fact that she happens to be a person who doesn’t hesitate to confront people about stuff she thinks is important. Or maybe she’s just kind of a dick. Either way, thinking that she did that because of feminism is faulty logic.
Ladies yelling at you every now and then is a really stupid reason to say that women don’t deserve equality with men. Which is totally fine, if you’re a total idiot, like these ding-dongs.
Sorry, dude. Really. Since feminism isn’t a set of beliefs that all feminists agree on, it can be confusing. Maybe you thought you were just being nice when you held that door open for her. I agree with you. I don’t think that’s sexism, myself. If someone holds a door for me, I just say “Thanks!” and walk through the door. And if someone’s right behind me after I go through the door, I hold it for them. The person might be a man, the person might be a woman, but mostly what the person is is a person I feel weird letting a door slam in the face of. However, there are totally ladies who think that holding doors is a sexism thing. So, sorry! Things are complicated when there aren’t clear rules.
To the people who think the scary, yelling, bra burning ladies are all that feminists are, I gotta say, you really shouldn’t go basing your view of feminism (or of any belief) on a few loud, militant, crazy examples. So many problems with intolerance and hatred of other groups are started because people think that the militant, crazy individuals in the spotlight are the group. But I can assure you (based on my grand total of zero minutes of research on this “fact” I’m about to tell you) that for every crazy representative of any group, there are at least one hundred others in that group cringing about the crazy one and grumbling about how that person is setting them back decades on their work toward progress.
In good ol’ America, where I live, feminism has come along so far in some ways that there are people who think it’s not even an issue anymore. So, maybe some of the people who whine about feminism are suffering from that mentality. Maybe they think sexism no longer exists, and that women are just crying sexism whenever they want, just so they can get their way. Well, are these things examples of a society that values women on the same level as men:
Women are still being blamed for their rapes, and being told that in order to prevent rape they need to dress a certain way, not go out alone, and not be at certain places at certain times. Clearly, the solution is not to restrict women’s wardrobe and actions. The solution is, of course, for rapists to not rape. How can this not be a clear solution that everyone agrees on? Check out this equation:
X + victim = rape.
Solve for X:
- short skirt
- dark street in bad neighborhood
A society where most people think X is not “rapist” is a sexist society. Sorry.
Women are consistently judged by their appearance instead of the actual things that they do. All the time. Oh, you’re an amazing world-class athlete who just helped your team win a game? Awesome. But only awesome because you looked hot while doing it; if you’d been an unattractive athlete you’d have been ignored, unless it was in the context of a quick lesbian joke. Or, oh wow, you’re a physicist at some big fancy university! But you’re so pretty! Your dad must be the dean or something.
Women are more than what they look like. Unattractive women are as important as attractive ones. What’s more, your opinion doesn’t matter, and it’s irrelevant unless you’re a judge at a beauty pageant or a gross old dude on the prowl for a trophy wife. Or, if the woman in questions asks your opinion. Then your opinion of them matters.
Numbers? Sure! 16% of directors are female, 20% of congress is female, 15% of executive officers are female, and 16% of stay-at-home parents are fathers. (Sorry for the lack of sources, man. You should be confirming these numbers yourself anyway before you go believing them.) For more fun (and by “fun” I mean “gut-wrenchingly depressing”) numbers about the issues women are facing worldwide, check this action out.
Even though this is barely scratching the surface, I feel completely comfortable saying women don’t enjoy equality. Come on guys, if all men believed women were their equals then there would BE equality. It wouldn’t be an issue. If everyone believed it, we’d be there. Simple as that. This means a ton of guys don’t believe it.
And those examples are just for places like America. That’s not even touching on the special issues women deal with in other countries. Which brings up another point: If you think sexism is not an issue anymore, then you are are completely ignoring a good chunk of the population of the world, my friend, and that makes you either ignorant a jerk. The rest of the world matters and shouldn’t be ignored.
To the people who think sexism isn’t an issue anymore:
Tell it to an eight-year-old girl in Afghanistan who is slated to be married off to a forty-year-old because her opinions, happiness, and life don’t matter to her father, since to him she’s just a possession. Tell her feminism isn’t needed. Tell her that she has equality with her father and with the guy she’s being forced to marry. I’m guessing she probably won’t believe you, but go ahead and tell her anyway, since where’s the harm? She’d probably be too scared to contradict you anyway, especially if you’re a dude. But hey, at least she’s not one of those loud, militant feminists giving you a piece of her mind, eh? Afghanistan sure has it figured out!
Tell it to girl in Nigeria who started her day walking to school and ended it kidnapped and sold into slavery. Just go ahead and explain to her how sexism isn’t a problem these days, and that she’s viewed by her captors as a complete and worthy human being who deserves respect.
Speaking for myself, I am certainly a feminist. Shocker, isn’t it? But to define myself as solely as a feminist would be way too narrow a focus. I don’t define myself by my belief that women and men are equal. It’s much deeper than that, and I sincerely hope that feminists in general would agree with me. I don’t limit my wish for equality to gender. To get trapped in that narrow view is to miss the bigger picture. I believe all races, nationalities, religions, economic statuses, etc. are made up of people who are deserving of equality. Unless, of course, we are talking about violent criminals, fans of free jazz, and other obvious examples of horrible people. I’d never dream of going up to some random person and saying, “Hi there! I’m more important and more worthy of good things than you because I’m white and live in America! Your skin produces way more melanin than mine does, and you don’t live where I live, so your problems aren’t as real as mine are, and you don’t really matter. Sorry, sucker.”
So to the anti-feminists and anti-everybody-different-than-you-are-ists of the world, let me just say: until you can give me a body of concrete, factual, irrefutable research that you as a human being matter more than another kind of human being out there, I will go right on believing that we all matter equally. Oh, and one caveat on that research: it can’t be funded by the KKK or that evil cult leader guy from Texas who protests at funerals. So good luck with that.