I cannot stand it when women say that they’re not feminists, or when they say they don’t need it.
I get just as annoyed when people say “I’m a feminist/my wife is a feminist”. Um, no shit your wife is a feminist, you should be one too. It means being treated with the same respect as another person, why wouldn’t you be one?? And what’s the opposite, a meninist? Which DOESN’T EXIST?
I used to be a huge fan of Xiaxue, but I feel like ever since Donald Trump she’s become this right wing troll. And I am all for expression of opinion, especially well argued ones, but I just can’t follow her anymore because I disagree with her opinions so badly. I still periodically check up on her twitter, because I believe she’s a strong woman who doesn’t take shit and her blog was the first one I had ever read and loved. But her pinned tweet of her not being a feminist always makes me clench my teeth and go grrr. I sometimes watch her youtube videos but that one is only one that I really can’t bring myself to watch because I disagree with it with every being of my soul.
My interpretation of feminism is that it’s not about a gender being better, or more superior. It’s not even about being treated equally. I believe feminism is about EQUITY, not equality. I believe that women and men should be treated with the same respect and given the same opportunities. I believe that the genders should not be restricted or judged by societal gender roles.
In order to do that, I believe in EQUITY. This means we need to do more to the ones who are disadvantaged to lift them up to the same level as those in privilege. This is applicable to my views on racism and poverty as well. This pretty much sums up what equity is:
Yes, I believe that women should get paid parental leave, guaranteed spots and support in STEM programmes and ones that are disproportionately male, in executive boards/leadership roles and not be judged by their choices of having children or their bodies in a different manner to men. I believe that women of colour are the most disadvantaged in our society, and so I believe in opportunities to uplift them.
But that doesn’t mean I believe women are the only group that benefit- I believe men should get paid parental leave. There needs to be more emphasis on men being able to look after and bond with their children. I believe a man’s vulnerable emotions should be viewed in the same light as a woman’s- suicide in men are so much higher than woman in NZ, and I believe the repression and society expecting men to be strong and not talking about their emotions play a part.
But feminism is more associated with issues for women, as those issues are what people are outraged about (and also the name).
I think it’s disgustingly unfair that women get judged and criminalised for having abortions and men get little to no judgement for not wrapping it up. (side note: don’t Americans picket abortion clinics and then boycott sex ed all the time? How does that even make sense….)
I think it’s disgustingly unfair that men in power constantly take advantage of young women in companies everywhere because they know they won’t tell if they want a job or a career. Sometimes I think men do it unconsciously- not just sexual harassment, but expecting coffees and teas made for them by a woman and never asking a man to do the same. I believe women have to work a lot harder than men to earn the same respect in the workplace.
I think that it’s disgustingly unfair that female athletes are so disproportionately supported than male athletes.
I think it’s disgustingly unfair that for men it’s leadership qualities, and for women it’s bossy.
I can go on forever, but lastly I think it’s disgustingly, disgustingly unfair that girls are bought up being told where to not go, what to not wear, things they shouldn’t say instead of teaching boys to NOT RAPE. I think it’s so unfair that a woman needs to restrict their own life instead of easily teaching boys the importance of consent. I don’t know about you, but I could never rape someone, no matter how drunk I was. I believe rapists need to be held to the same regard, but there is not enough condemnation.
Here are the most common arguments for “not being a feminist” that I don’t understand why they are still considered valid points.
I want to be a housewife and look after my children.
That’s great! In the spirit of true feminism that is fine. You still need feminism though, because it means you get a choice to be a housewife and look after your kids, not that you’re forced to. In many other countries it still isn’t a choice whether you can do this or not. And for the substantial amount of women who don’t want to be a housewife, having children should not impair a career like how it doesn’t impair a man’s. A woman should have paid parental leave and have job security while she recovers. It shouldn’t be equal to a man’s time off as they aren’t the ones physically recovering and nursing this baby, but I do believe that men should be given paid time off to spend time with their new babies for health reasons. And also, as an employer, why would you be shitty and not let a father spend time with their new baby L Sure, you have to pay them but you’re in a position where you’re providing for their family too. Can’t they just think of the paid parental leave as a congratulations gift and acknowledgement of their work and future work?
And that’s thing. You get to be what you want to be. All women should be given the chance to be what they want to be, whether that’s a housewife or a manager. And that second choice can be harder to be because it’s dominated by males or the people selecting leadership positions think they won’t be effective as they have no experience (because male dominated leadership positions…) or they will have kids and leave. This is why there need to be guaranteed spots on boards- it isn’t equal at the moment. Women have been disadvantaged through stereotypes and lack of opportunity. So the opportunity needs to be created specifically.
I like it when a man pays on dates and holds open doors.
I also like it when a guy pays on dates and holds open doors. But, I am sus at any NZ girls who think that NZ guys hold open doors because they don’t. One of the things in America was that everyone holds doors open for the person behind you. I will be like 20 steps away and someone in front is holding a door open for me. I notice when boys hold open doors here. I Iearned to expect people to open doors for me in the US haha
But who should pay on dates? I think we’re all starting to see more and more split bills. But on the grand scheme of things, does this really affect anything at all? Isn’t it more of a polite and sweet gesture when you’re trying to be nice to someone? I don’t see why you don’t need feminism because you want to be treated when girls in other situations are chosen to receive less education than boys. Plus, when a guy is paying for you he’s thanking you for your time and you’re thankful to him. Positive exchanges all around.
Would I buy a guy’s dinner on the first date? Hahaha no. Sorry. I’ll go half though (if I really like you)!
I don’t think women are better than men
Feminism isn’t about that. No one is better, just on the same level. Next!
I don’t want to be a feminazi
Sometimes it’s good to get off the internet and see how many “feminazis” you know in real life. There are some radical 3rd wave feminists, who are angry and can be quite antisocial and judgemental. But if you don’t believe in someone’s opinion, you can just like… not listen to them. Imagine you love peaches. Some obnoxious person you hate also loves peaches. This might dampen your enthusiasm in peaches, and you can reject peaches, but in the end you are only depriving yourself. Not associating yourself with wanting fundamental rights, just because some people you don’t agree with also want fundamental rights, will mean no fundamental rights for you or future girls to come. You don’t have to be radical or angry about it, and honestly the more rational and every day people who proudly say they are feminist, the further we can get to an equitable (and I believe, happier and safer) society.
I want to wear makeup and shave my legs
Feminism is more of a demand that people treat you the same whether you have makeup or not, and that society places less value on the looks of a woman. I don’t know how you can say that you don’t need feminism when men joke about going swimming on the first date. I know it’s supposed to be a funny joke and not to take it too seriously, but the joke is that women aren’t good for anything but their looks. Wouldn’t you be mad if that joke was made at your expense? So stick up for girls who the jokes are made for at theirs.
Gender inequality doesn’t exist anymore and I get treated great
So because everyone around you is treating you well and with respect, it means that others don’t experience discrimination because of gender and we should just stop all efforts to become a better society? “I’m a girl and I get treated fine at my company” doesn’t mean that girls in other companies are. Just because you’ve never experienced something like racial and sexual discrimination doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Look beyond yourself and a spoonful of empathy will make the feminism go down 🙂
It just baffles me that there are people against being treated with respect and equity. That there are people who don’t believe we should work to a fairer society… especially when it’s fairness for them. It’s fairness for all of us.