A couple of weeks back, I wrote this post: http://myrandommusings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/feminism-not-for-me-1st-april-2015.html
Since then, I have read a lot of feminist articles and blog posts, and I have, in the most part, enjoyed them. I have found myself nodding along with the points they raise. I realise some of the points I made in my original post were based more on the stereotype of feminism, rather than actual feminists. I have also learned that being a feminist, for the majority of people actually isn't about man hating, it's about equality, and who wouldn't want that?
How I see feminismThankfully, I think feminism has moved on massively from the days of Germaine Greer and her statements like "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle". I understand what she was trying to say, women can be independent. We don't need men to support us financially or make our decisions for us.
I do think it was worded horrifically though. The wording undermines the whole theory of feminism. If feminists are truly striving for equality they must accept that woman do need men - in the same way they need women, and the same way men need both men and women. We are, by nature, social creatures - we need other people and men are people too!
What I like about feminism
* I want equality, obviously, especially in the work place. If a woman works the same hours, at the same job, with the same qualifications as a male colleague, its a no brainer she should be receiving the same salary.
*I would like to be viewed as a person with a functioning brain who has opinions, ambitions and can do whatever I want to with my life, even if that means not wanting the 2.4 children and a dog lifestyle. I don't want to be viewed as the "silly little woman" who's only goal in life is to get married and iron her husbands shirts!
*I want my views to be taken as seriously as a man. I don't want to be patted on the head metaphorically, and certainly not literally!
What I dislike about feminism
*The word itself - I think a lot of people still view it as a code for man hater
*The double standards. If we want equality, it has to work both ways. You can't moan that you don't get taken seriously, then flutter your eyelashes when it suits you.
If that was the end of it, I could identify myself as a feminist easily, or more truthfully, an equalitist, but being as how that isn't actually a word, feminist would be close! But like many great things, that isn't the end of it. There is another side to it, and it is the below that makes me struggle with feminism as a concept.
The "Sisterhood" and double standardsThe sisterhood just doesn't exist outside of the feminist community.
In my experience, woman are worse than men for putting each other down. Obviously, the examples I give below aren't true of every woman, a lot of women do support and celebrate each other, but these examples crop up all too often.
1. Women slut shame other women.
2. When a woman walks by in a short skirt, or a low cut top, it's other women that hiss "tramp" under their breath.
3. And heaven forbid another woman is doing well for herself - then the claws really come out!
These examples are from snippets of conversations between various women I overheard while out and about in one day! Surely then, this is only the tip of the ice berg.
It also bothers me that women don't like to be objectified, but are perfectly ok with objectifying men. Go into any busy pub on a Saturday night. I will be amazed if you don't find several groups of women comparing size/shape of their men's penises. And once the drink starts flowing, I would also be amazed if you don't hear comments like "look at the ass on that" and even so bad as "I'd give him one" from women as a man passes them. As a bartender, I have heard those (and much worse) comments from women way too often!
I can't stand double standards and yet women seem to accept this behaviour from other women without comment, but raise holy hell if a man acts in the same manner.
In conclusionIn conclusion, I think if we, as women, spent less time focusing on the problems we perceive men to have with women and more time spent on fixing our own problems with other women, it would be time well spent. I think then I could truly identify as a feminist! And who knows, maybe when we stop giving men permission to treat us like sexual objects to be judged (because let's face while women are treating each other this way, that is what we are doing), maybe they will think twice before making an inappropriate comment towards a woman.
What do you think? Are you a feminist? Are you a man that's sick of being stereotyped?
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