Feminism and Intersectionality

Yesterday, I wrote about Patricia Arquette’s speech. Afterwards, I looked to see what others were saying about the subject on WordPress. (Instead of youtube comments which are just painful).

What concerns I saw most of was intersectionality.

 I thought I wrote about this at another time, but I can’t seem to find the post. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Either way, I’m revisiting the conversation under the subject of her speech.

Intersectionality comes up as incorrect, but it is a word.

It’s a word that adds a whole new factor to the feminist conversation.

Intersectionality is defined by Wikipedia as “the study of intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination.”

It means that you do not fit into one of the latter categories because of one piece of your being.

You can be black and be the president.

You can be a woman and have a successful business.

You can be poor and rise up to the middle class by the time you’re twenty-five.

There are success stories and those are awesome, but they typically do not contain much intersectionality.

When I hear the “I’m not a feminist because my aunt owns her own business and got it by myself,” I usually ask ‘how?’

Not in the way of it’s a statistical improbability, but in the way of what type of family did she come from? What was her educational background? What race is she? What religion does she practice? Where is she geographically located? Was she born in the United States?

These are all contributing factors to having success or to not having success. This is why you hear white guys complaining that women aren’t oppressed because she makes a lot of money and he doesn’t. Typically, intersectionality isn’t being used. (Or there’s just an assumption of needing a hand-out.)

Intersectionality also adds to the problems of defining oneself as a feminist. Typically, a person who believes in intersectionality and feminism has a hard time in those waters.

I support equal rights whether that be gender, sexuality, race, or religion.

I name myself a feminist first because I’m defined as a woman.

I have a lot more bits of myself that are in a more ‘dominant’ role. I’m white. I’m in a heterosexual relationship. I’m a Christian. I came from a family that was lower middle class (maybe even lower), but I received a good education and have graduated from college.

I’m less oppressed than I am in a dominating class.

This is where people become angry about so-called ‘first world feminism.’ Women in the United States seem to be whining when most of them have a lot more than other countries.

I’m going to talk more about comparisons in a later post, but just because you have successes doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support those who don’t.

I don’t think it’s fair that women are typically seen as more passive, a follower, in need of less money, and are shoved to caretaker jobs that are not paid well.

This doesn’t mean I do not support other causes and in many cases, I almost support them more, it’s just that I can speak for women. I can connect with other women more than I can in any other activist group because I am a woman.

Feminism gets tricky in here. This doesn’t mean all women have to be white and middle class. This is actually a problem. It’s hard to find a space if you’re a woman and don’t fit into these parameters and it sucks.

If you’re black and say you support feminism, what does that mean? Does that mean you think your rights as a person of the black community is less than your rights as a woman?

No!

What it means is that terminology is hard and our society is based on categorizing. We want somebody to define themselves as one thing. We hate intersectionality as a whole because it’s the interplay of many categories and some that cannot be seen immediately.

IT ENRAGES US.

So keep doing it.

I define myself as a feminist. But in my case, that includes equal rights entirely. I will go on a march with anybody, but I will make sure to speak up for my experiences and make sure those who do not get their voices heard are able to speak up for themselves.

Do I wish that Arquette had thrown out that intersectionality word?

Yes.

Do I understand that she was in a limited time frame and might not have had the time to do it?

Once again, yes.

There are strides that we still need to take and we should never start criticizing because there’s always more work to be done. I hope that other people see that she left out a critical part, but are also happy that she said something. Maybe it wasn’t everything, but steps in the right direction will make a change.

We can hope that another celebrity will jump on this and add more to the conversation.

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Some Awesome Things We Saw at The Oscars

I don’t typically watch The Oscars. It’s not that I don’t care nor is it because I boycotted it.

#OscarssoWhite was trending and let me tell you, I think it is important. I’m sure many have seen this around the internet as The Oscars came closer.

It’s important. It really is and I saw some of those problems come to light last night. Notably, the foreign winners who were rushed off stage much faster than the American ones. Bravo to Pawel Pawlikowski for talking through the music that tried to rush him off stage. He kept going and we were loving it.

Neil Patrick Harris didn’t quite do the best as an Oscars host, but in my experience, nobody really does. It’s hard to grab a hold of that crowd. Some of his jokes were a little off color. I thought that he brought attention to the white problem in the Oscars. Maybe he was playing it down by joking, but it’s better to call that out even if the crowd wasn’t accepting it.

Who doesn’t like a good song number? And of course, Anna.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff.

The SPEECHES!

This right here is why I’m glad I didn’t boycott the Oscars. I want to hear what these stars have to say. The Academy has serious problems and it is amazing when their recipients are giving out speeches that empower all sorts of different people.

Attention was brought to ALS, Alzheimer’s, veterans, suicide, black rights, women’s rights, and how the country treats their immigrants.

I encourage readers to watch all the videos if  you didn’t catch them. They are well worth your time and were inspiring. I would also discourage you from reading the comments. The general rule is to not read Youtube comments, but I never can help myself. I read the one for Common and John Legend’s acceptance speech and felt sad. The fact that some people still think that saying “…be happy with how far this country  has come” will appease people is beyond me. Yes, we have a black president and yes, there are successful black people doesn’t mean we are equal. It means we’re getting closer to racial equality, but if people stop fighting, there will only be steps back.

I, of course, am going to talk about Patricia Arquette’s speech, winner of best actress in a supporting role. Here’s a video clip:

The support from the audience was fantastic, most notably Meryl Streep. What I found to be puzzling was some of the shocked faces. Happy, but shocked.

It’s crazy that saying women need equal rights can be so shocking to people. The faces were not angry, they were happy. They were only surprised that this woman would dare say it.

The argument Arquette made was perfect. “To every woman who gave birth to every citizen and taxpayer of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights.” That argument.

Right away, she slams down people who ask ‘what do women really do?’ She uses childbirth as a necessary job that women do for this country. She doesn’t argue that women work and volunteer and give back to their community (which they do), she throws out the fact that women have primary roles in childbirth and rearing. That is fantastic.

I have read the arguments against her speech and each of those would need a blog post in itself. Some I have already talked about, but most I still need to.

-The wage gap
-‘Care’ of women
-Housewifery
-Women in other countries

There are a lot more of course, but these were just some of the problems youtubers had. Unfortunately, most were complaining about ‘first world feminists’ and how they all need to die out. Once again, ignorance breeds hate. It’s unfortunate. I always wish I could argue with them, but I can’t. It’s one of those never-ending battles.

If you have any questions or would like me to comment on a specific problem the community has with feminism, please  let me know. I will not attack you, just answer with the knowledge I have.

I hope readers go and watch the other videos. They are well worth it and were beautiful. Read other blogs that focus on the discussions that those speeches started. Once again, well worth.

Off topic but go watch Lady GaGa’s performance. I was surprised and shocked at how wonderful it was.  Never knew she could actually sing.

Gillian Flynn, a Feminist

**Shouldn’t contain spoilers and if there are, they are small**

For the last four days, I rushed through Sharp Objects and Dark Places unable to put either book down. Sharp Objects captured me with the twisted mother-daughter relationship and the ending that made this a psychological thriller. Dark Places did not capture my attention as well, but I still turned the pages in a rush to see how it was going to end. I read Gone Girl in June of 2013 (thanks Goodreads!) and gave it a four star, but it probably deserved five. After finishing Sharp Objects and before I read Dark Places, I started to wonder, is Gillian Flynn a feminist?

There are a few things that led me to ask this question. I wasn’t passionate about feminism when I read Gone Girl so the review I wrote on Goodreads had not a comment about it. Now,  I am. While reading Sharp Objects, the question of Flynn’s feminist stand started to nag at me. There’s this section where Camille has a conversation with Detective Richard. She asks if an eighth grade girl had sex with four high school guys, would that count as rape. He said hell, yes. The girl is underage, the boys are around fifteen (?) and she was obviously vulnerable. Most feminists would say that this is rape and would say the guys were only out for themselves and they probably were. Camille’s response makes readers take a double take. “And sometimes drunk women aren’t raped; they just make stupid choices– and to say we deserve special treatment when we’re drunk because we’re women, to say we need to be looked after, I find offensive.”

Now that’s a statement.

Time to unravel!

When I went to India, there was a conversation of the backlash of all of the protective measurements for women to stop rape. The backlash was reinforcing the idea that women need to be protected. This is like saying women can’t go out to parties by themselves or they might get raped. Unfortunately as much as I want to say that it isn’t true, it still is. I’ve heard multiple stories. We shouldn’t say ‘why didn’t she bring a friend?’ or ‘she shouldn’t have dressed up like a slut,’ but the problem remains. It sucks and puts women in a difficult situation. It also puts men in a difficult situation. We assume that men only want sex and unfortunately, most men reinforce this idea. I’m not saying that they’re all rapists or even capable of rape, it’s just that we see comments from guys talking about how their girlfriend doesn’t give them sex or they want sex. Okay. I’m going to keep that as a mostly truth though I know it’s not always true because it could be a social construction; either way it exists.

Now to look back at that quote. The boys she was with might not have been capable of rape, but could still be fine with being a guy she had sex with. This is where an argument comes up. If she was drunk and inhibitions gone and they were drunk and she was obviously able to be taken advantage of (considering her home life), does it count as rape? When can somebody make a decision? Of course, she was thirteen and legally, it was rape. What about socially? I agree with her quote. To a point. I’m not sure, but I believe I at least planned a post where I talked about some of the ways men debase women. One of the unintentional ways is “I would never hurt a woman, she needs to be protected.” Ouch. This is a problem and it should be addressed. Women do not need to be protected. We can see this in the characters Flynn creates. You can’t argue that they need protection; if anything the men need protection. Detective Richard is more horrified by everything Camille does than any of the women. Her step-father has no clue what’s going on and is being manipulated without even knowing. Her writing begins to prove that women do not need protection.

Unfortunately, Gillian Flynn’s ideas are progressive. This is good, but it also assumes a world exists that’s out of our reach currently. Right now, we’re trying to rework the relationship between men and women. We’re trying to see people as individuals without grouping them together with similar characteristics just because of their gender. We want women who can be seen as people and not objects and men who can be seen as more than just sex seeking. Gillian Flynn is moving past this teaching men that rape is never okay and women should be able to have sex for fun to the understanding that women do not need protection and can make decisions even when drunk; that protection is not needed. This is a theory that’s difficult to wrap our heads around in a society where we’re trying to reform the idea that when drunk, it counts as rape and victim blaming is not okay. Flynn presents a new argument that is both hopeful (women not needing protection) and harmful (potential victim blaming). It’s progressive but may be too progressive in our current situation.

Gone Girl presents a female character that is more obvious than the others (save for Camille’s mom). I can’t talk much about this book without spoiling it, but the characters are both hated in the book. I asked one of my friends if he liked the movie (still haven’t seen it) and he said yes, but that the woman was a bitch and he hated her. He never said anything about hating the husband who is equally as horrible just in a different way. The husband’s behavior is acceptable in current circles. While it’s bad, we can understand it. Her behavior on the other hand isn’t. She’s called a bitch because she’s manipulative. We don’t see that often and when we do, it’s her fault. He was the one affected and his behavior was a reaction. Her’s is never accepted. She’s seen as the instigator.

Of course, Flynn does not seem to be in agreement. She creates a woman who gets back at her husband with manipulation. A woman will lose in a fist fight (in most cases) but manipulation? That’s harder to fight. People hate her, but when we examine her behavior, it makes sense. What else was she to do? Of course, she is insane. That can’t be ignored. She never tried having a conversation with him, but instead took it to the next, next, next x10 level. She’s a psychopath, but an intelligent one who examines the social contract and uses it for her own purposes. It’s twisted, yes, but it’s difficult to call Flynn a misogynist when she portrays strong women in a progressive, not backwards, way.

Gillian Flynn has said that she is a feminist. She takes assumptions about women and flips them. In Sharp Objects, the detective says the killer has to be a man because women do not kill unless it’s for revenge or from jealousy. All of the perceived notions are switched on the readers, making the writing twist our familiarity to something that we can barely recognize. I do think Flynn is asking for a world that is more progressive and radical than we are at. I’ve heard women and men say that woman shouldn’t be protected when they’re drunk, but it’s with accusatory tones and filled with excuses for behavior that they know was wrong. This type of understanding she is asking for is with respect for the doer, knowing that it was a decision that one person made and it shouldn’t be forgiven when it was her choice.

Flynn is definitely an author that feminists should keep their eyes on and people who blame the woman or say ‘she was drunk; she wanted it’ have to watch or read with more knowledge than what they currently hold. I hope to read more from her in the upcoming years.

The Gender Box

Gender is a huge deal and a bigger one than people typically think. We are born with certain genitalia and that will make us who we are. Sure, you might not be athletic, but you might run a company. You might not be pretty, but you’ll be nurturing. There are expectations that stem from the genitalia we are born with and what people believe that makes us.

Many people are trying to change this, including me. I am not as involved in the transgender community as I should be, so I will not be discussing the change of gender or even gender fluidity. If you are interested in those topics, I am sure you can find bloggers who dedicate their blogs to these topics. These are super important to notice and realize. What I will be discussing though, is how gender can box us in.

I identify as a cis-female. This means I’m (mostly) straight and identify as a woman. So far, I do not subscribe to the idea that all of gender is socially constructed. I do believe for some that it is, but for me, I don’t believe it. I say ‘so far’ because in five years I might decide that gender is fully a social construction. Right now though, I believe that there are some parts of gender that are constructed, but not all of them. I’m sure many of you can argue this or point me to posts that address this situation and please do! I needed to line up some of my thoughts before I go ahead and start talking about this subject.

I am not a wonderful feminist and neither are most people. Do we even know what the perfect feminist is? I don’t think so. Since gender construction is such a difficult conversation to fully understand and grasp, I think it would be impossible. I have been hearing a lot about Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist and I haven’t read it yet (the library’s copy is missing!) but the idea is intriguing. I hope to find out if she addresses what is considered to be a good feminist if there even is such a thing.

Even feminism can be a box when interpreted by people who do not quite understand what feminism is or care to learn about it. Experiences are important to write about.

1) I crochet. A lot. I love amigurumi and making graphgans. It gives me something to do when I feel like watching television. A few weeks ago by boss said: “I’m surprised you do that.” Of course, I had to ask why. His response? “Because you’re all feminist.”

I was hearing the opposite of what I was fighting for. I’m a feminist because I don’t want to exist in a small box that dictates what  I have to do with my life (or well, one of the reasons). Suddenly, I was being placed in a box: the feminist box. I have no clue what I was supposed to be doing. Do you I not crochet anymore because it’s a female thing? Should I not enjoy cooking? Reading horrible romance novels? Should I stop painting my nails and liking the color pink? How would I portray myself as a feminist, I ask. If I act like a boy, I’m a boy. If I get rid of a female and a male identity, suddenly I’m in-between. I don’t consider myself a woman because I like feminine things, I consider myself a woman because I feel like one. Talking about identity or explaining identity is hard. Just as hard as it is for anybody no matter their claimed identity. You could probably talk me into believing that gender is a social construction and the only reason why I think of myself as a woman is because I’ve had these practices pressed on me. Maybe you’re right but I still like them. I started crocheting after I found feminism.

2) I put on make-up and dress up for other people.

This is a difficult one to discuss.  I fully believe that it is possible for dressing up for oneself and feeling good about the way you look and other people liking the way you look is possible. I love to wear dresses. I think they look good and I like to show skin. This is seriously a thing for me. I like to feel textures and air on my skin. I love straps on my shoulders. I also am aware that I can be attractive to other people, but to me, I’m dressing for myself and it just so happens that they look good according to the public.

Now there are times when I dress up for other people in specific. This does not happen often. I love to feel confident and comfortable. I know that if I put on a pencil skirt and heels, I will look good and probably even confident. Guess what? I don’t feel confident. I’m too tall and I am in a tight skirt. It’s not okay. My feminist side of me says “who cares?” I should act confident and pull it off, but at the same time, why should I if I don’t feel right? Same thing with make-up. I’ve had my make-up done and felt completely out of place. Other’s told me I look good, but I wiped half of it off. Overall though, I have put on nice clothes others will like and have left my make-up on because somebody thought it looked nice. I don’t do it often, but I do argue that it can be a coincidence that I happen to like wearing something another person likes me in.

There are tons of contradictions that exist. I squeal in Pitch Perfect when he finally raises his fist in the air for her. This isn’t because I think I look cute making a high pitched noise and jumping up in down, I feel like there’s a bubble that I cannot control inside of me every single time. I read coming of age YA novels and while I try to stay away from the ones that are inherently misogynist, I do sometimes like a few of them. I read Twilight (escapism!). I like it when I get hit on. I like it when my boyfriend takes care of me or buys me things. I wasn’t single through college. I shave my body because I like the feel of my skin.

These are my personal contradictions, but what I find important is to make sure I’m not being boxed in. I have examined most of these to see if they are what I actually want or if they are just constructions. I’ve found most of them are my own choice. Sure, I didn’t choose to start shaving. I had that day when I was twelve and somebody told me I looked like a monkey and my mom gave me a razor and told me good luck. Maybe I only like to shave because I know I’m supposed to and I had to get used it. Still, I like to feel smooth skin and I kind of wish males had to do it too. Contradictions exist in any following, movement, or religion. The list goes on and on but what I find important is to be critical. I don’t mean to put yourself down, but examine your life and don’t just be another happy shiny person. I’m quite the happy person. Nothing traumatic has really ever happened to me. I’m not depressed. I’m comfortable in my body. I see all of this as luck of the draw, or God, or whatever else you believe in. What’s important is to keep fighting for other people if you don’t need to fight for yourself. Don’t let people box you in because you were born with genitalia that is supposed to dictate the rest of your life. If you do like some of those gendered activities, go for it! If you have some gendered qualities, use them! There’s nothing wrong with being nurturing and persistent. Just don’t let somebody call you a pussy or bossy.

Boxes will always exist. That doesn’t mean we need to watch people be shoved into them. We might not see results in our lifetime, but hopefully it will happen eventually. So keep on being a feminist or whatever  movement you believe in and don’t forget to learn more and expand your mind.

Political Lingo and Other Things I Need to Learn

don’t understand need to learn political lingo.

Badly.

Last year if you had asked me about economics, I would tell you I knew nothing. After taking a wonderful course in feminist theory, I know a bit more and even better, I know why it’s relevant to me. I’m taking an Intro Women’s Studies class and many students do not like the discussion of the economy and doesn’t see why it’s relevant. I’m over in the corner saying “use-values people, use-values.” Of course, that doesn’t mean much until you take a class that discusses the importance of use-values, commodities, and the value of housewives. Economics doesn’t seem to relate to the women’s sphere, but boy does it.

Now to politics.

Everyone knows how politics affect them, but not many are involved. It sucks. I am not claiming innocence here. I complain so much about the world and what am I doing? Not feeling qualified to vote as if I am uneducated, un-opinionated, and am not a citizen. People who read this blog should know that I have strong opinions and yet, I did not vote.

I consistently undervalue myself and that is a huge problem. Not just because of my self-esteem, but because I am not contributing and fighting for what I want.

I have been reading Kristen Gillibrand’s book Off the Sidelines (so far, I recommend) and let me tell you, it is making me feel guilty as hell. After I didn’t vote and found out that Republicans are winning out, I was angry. The next day I opened her book and was greeted with “If you leave the decision making to others, you might not like what they do, and you will have no one to blame but yourself.”

Well shit.

This increased my anger and I questioned myself again. Why can I not follow politics? So I tried and unfortunately, I still am a bit lost. I wanted to see what bills have been passed and which ones are in the making. It’s quite confusing, but I’m working on it. It is difficult to not give up. But what I’m learning is that even if I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, I can still weigh pros and cons. If I see two people debated, I can figure out which one I’d prefer even if I don’t like every single policy they’re creating or rejecting. I like to be certain and fully confident, but I cannot. People can change their minds and they can refuse to keep to their promises.

I am still lost. I am still learning, but women fought for the right to vote and I’m doing them a great shame by not participating. We need to stop being so timid to speak up for ourselves or making a permanent decision. The vote has passed, so I can’t take that back, but let me tell you, I’m going to do what I can to let my voice be heard.

Conformity vs. Collaboration

I was notified that it’s my WordPress anniversary! It’s not, that was on the 20th, the day after my birthday, but yay close enough!

I realized that it has been quite some time since I last posted. This blog has done much better than I expected, but not as good as I hoped. This is how much of my life goes and I could make the change, but I’m quite pleased with how the blog has turned out nonetheless.

I’ve been waiting to write this post for some time, but now I’m sitting in front of the computer at work and already tired of the homework coming my way, so I thought I might as well blog. As you probably know (unless you live under a rock to which you probably wouldn’t be on the internet, much less my blog), Robin Williams died on August 11th. It’s a terrible loss and I’m sure there are plenty of blogs that have discussed the terrors of certain depressions. I won’t be talking about that, but if you haven’t looked at the danger signs of suicide and other signs of depression, please begin googling.

What I’m more interested in right now is talking about one of the most inspirational movies that Robin Williams has played in that has affected me: The Dead Poet’s Society.

This movie has so much to it with a number of quotable lines, a love for literature, and the affect a teacher can have on a student. I hate writing summaries, so instead you should just watch it.

I do not know why this needed to be in gif form, but here it is.

This scene is when Mr. Keating brings out his class of boys and does an exercise where they are supposed to begin marching. With Mr. Keating starts counting, they all align and walk with the same step. He delivers the line above afterwards and then has them pick their own walk that differs from the rest. The school is trying to conform them, thinking that they will be more successful being the same than being an individual. This is partially true. Conforming will get you to be successful in the simple way. You’ll have an easier time finding a job and moving up in that job. What’s wrong with conforming?

There are no new ideas. I know quite a few people who think that new ideas are a waste of time and finding a good job is better. That’s a practical idea, but I personally believe happiness is much more important. While money does bring some of that, having an original thought and being able to make a difference if even slight will bring happiness and self-worth.

Now, to stretch this over to feminist movements. I find that people think feminism is all the same and people conform to one mold. Others think that feminism is an individual experience where your ideas are more important than others. This is where collaboration comes in. To be successful as a movement, we need to become one. This doesn’t mean stripping yourself of individuality. In the ideal feminist movement, there will be men, women, other genders, different sexualities, religions, race, cultures, classes, and so on. What will be the same is the result wanted: a society where people are valued for their differences and abilities. This does not mean creating a movement or a society where everybody is the same. Gender is specific whether or not it lines up with your sex. This is the same for all of the other criteria. Collaboration involves these individuals voicing their opinions that come together as one society.

Seems impossible?

That’s because it’s not easy. This isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s more likely going to occur over a few generations even if most everyone saw the possibility of this change. I recently re-read The Giver. In society, they are generally the same. While gender-sex does exist, there is no per-conceived notions of a socially constructed gender besides when girls and boys change their hair. This is not at all what I’m calling for. This society is not one that would be easy to have, but it’s one I feel that we should be working together for as a whole though it won’t necessarily happen. Reaching for the highest desire will get us closer to something more equal that we have now.

Collaboration and cooperation differs from conformity. Conformity is what The Giver has. If somebody doesn’t conform, they’re rejected. If you watch Dead Poet’s Society, you see that the school consists of all white males whose parents have the same goals for their children. When the students do something that does not conform to this ideal, they are punished. We have this in our society though at a wider scale and at a much more difficult level to see. We see it in the wage gap, we see it in the class systems that are racially unequal, we see it in the media if there’s somebody that isn’t within the Christian religion. People are punished because they do not conform.

Do not be afraid of collaboration. Become one while respecting and listening to ideas that may differ from your own. It’s important to have strong opinions, but make sure they can grow and change as the world changes.

Feminism and Imgur

This is not about Imgur, but it’s what brought me to write this post.

Imgur cannot discuss anything. Feminism is one of things unfortunately because if Imgur claims to be friendly to both genders (and all races), they would be lying. Some of the top page posts have crossed the funny line into the area of sexism or racism. Yes those two can be funny in some cases, but a funny person shouldn’t have to resort to these categories just to make a joke. That humor should be used lightly. If that’s all you’re using well good job at taking things off the internet and being an asshole.

Anyway….

There are many types of feminists. There are those that believe in equality meaning men and women get similar or equal rights and are treated similarly, and then there are those that take feminism as in female domination or at least female preference to men. Of course there are many other feminists within these categories, but I’m writing in general terms here. The latter is the type that gets blown up for many reasons. Here is a hopefully concise list:

1) These people are the loudest. If your an extremist or super radical, you make a lot of noise. It’s pretty much in the job description. These are the people that are going to go over what’s seen as acceptable and blow it out of proportion. Why fight for equal rights when we can say we want domination over men? They might just be trying to reach a middle ground by hoping to at least get to equality, but that’s not a definite goal. They’ll go to a rally, post Facebook pictures of them holding a sign (you’ll see a lot of these in a few minutes), and post all over our favorite social media cites including Reddit.

2) They work as a negative figurehead. If the people in control don’t want something, they’re going to advertise it as negatively as possible. This means that my first point might not be a thing and just blown out of proportion to give all feminists a bad reputation. If feminists are calling for a domination over men and people in power (typically white males) want feminism to look bad to prevent equality, then why not bring these small percentage of people to the top? What it does is give fuel to an argument. You say “I’m a feminist” and then they equate you to one of those people. You’re seen as uneducated, emotional, and out of control. Feminists gain a bad reputation and turn people away from supporting a cause that isn’t violent and mostly for equal rights. It creates people who don’t want to stand up for fear that they’ll look “crazy.”

These two problems create feminism to be something that people don’t want anything to do with. There are arguments amongst feminism as to how to solve the problem, but we shouldn’t be denying people rights because of their race or gender. Here’s an example of feminists of questionable motives. They may fall into the radical, but they don’t seem to be showing any signs of “women should be above men.” Also please keep in mind that some of these signs could be fake. The wonders of photoshop has made the internet an unbelievable place.

https://i1.wp.com/i.imgur.com/Pdkyuzl.jpg

So I had found a long list of these images, but they have disappeared (meaning I didn’t favorite it). What they were implying is that stare rape is a thing. It kind of is, but if you can control your internal thoughts then you need an award. If a man was to check me out, it’s cool. You’re from afar. I check guys out all the time. You can feel creeped out; that’s also perfectly fine. What’s not cool is when you touch somebody because you feel like you can or you’re reacting to their attractiveness. That’s when it gets to sexual harassment. Stare all you want (not through my window, but in a public place) just don’t touch me without my permission. People might possibly think this is a thing and if it is, it’s equal on all sides.

I know this was one example, but if you want more go to Reddit or Imgur or anywhere. The internet is littered with this stuff. There’s also the response we have to examine.

My edit button isn’t working, so I can’t crop these peoples’ faces out of these. I apologize for that since I really only care about the sign. If you know her, well I tried, but it’s already on Imgur. She’s fighting a losing battle.

Response to all the points time!

1) You are, but in society some people don’t see you that way. They see you for your gender and your need for help. You can’t take responsibility because you need to be cared for! You’re fragile! I want to be able to take care of myself and I don’t want to have to fight to be able to do so.

2) No? You don’t feel empowered? Do you know what that means? Empowered (vb): to give power to [someone]. To be empowered is to have power to yourself. You don’t want to have your own responsibility and to take control of your own life? I’m pretty sure that just took away your first bullet point if so. Empowerment is not a bad thing. It’s actually an awesome thing. If you want to value yourself by your own standards than patriarchy is inhibiting that. You’re valued in a different way from men. Once again, you are the second sex. It sucks.

3) You’re not a target for violence? If you think feminism is a solitary issue then you are most likely doing it wrong. Yay you didn’t get raped or hurt. Good for you. Guess what? You’re a part of a smaller percentage. There are tons of women all over the world who are being targeted because of their gender. I could throw statistics at you, but the truth is, we don’t know. We don’t know everybody in the world. There are many children who are never accounted for. Please be more aware of the world around you.

4) Good. I’m not demonizing men either. They’re not demons. Some of them have just been brought up in an environment that doesn’t treat women as equal. This includes people who see women as being something tender and in need of care. Nobody’s asking you to demonize somebody because of their gender.

The worse part of this post was that it’s caption was “You’re doing it right” which means at least one other person agreed with this. It was also on front page when it should have been downvoted into oblivion.

I know I could just ignore these two posts as they’re just people holding up signs, but it has a following. Instead of being extreme or reacting to that in the complete opposite way in fear of looking “crazy,” why not work towards equality? If you don’t want to label yourself as a feminist, good for you. Call yourself an equal rights advocate or whatever you would like. It’s only a label. We should be working together as a group anyway. All of these labels only separate us from one another and how are we going to get anything done at that point?