Equality is a feat that women have been working towards for years; we are constantly evolving through waves of feminist activists who bravely fight for our rights.
We are women and we want to be taken serious. We wanted to vote, we made it happen. We wanted to work outside of the home, we made it happen. We want to be seen as strong, independent women, and every day we work to make that happen. We have come so far, yet we haven’t quite made it to the finish line. Equal pay, equal opportunities, we simply want equality where equality is deserved. We are women so here us roar! ..right? Or are we growling so loudly that we are scaring everyone who can hear us?
FEMINISTS are not. EXTREMISTS are.
I have been hesitant in the past to call myself a feminist. I would hear the word and visualize women burning their bras and marching around DC naked. I would think about women who refuse to wear dresses and women who hate men. I am happily married with a few too many dresses in my closet so I didn’t think that “feminist” was a group that I belonged to. I was wrong. In this modern time when most hear the word “feminist” they run for the hills avoiding the discussion or they cringe at the thought of crazy ladies. But that is where society has been severely misled – Feminism is strictly: The advocacy of women’s rights being equal to those of men. A feminist can be a person of any sex, age, or race. If you believe that a female deserves the same amount of pay as a male for performing the exact same job – then you could consider yourself a feminist. Feminism is not a cult that some believe it to be.. The antics you read or view on television, for example; these women who believe Valentine’s Day should be changed to “V-Day” to represent “vagina violence”, detract from the simple principle of equality. The added dramatics to the movement by some are simply the extra lumps in a perfect mattress.. unnecessary cushion.. Those lumps (radicals) and bulges (extremists), believe they have purpose, but in reality, they are just breaking down our backbone – our structure. The unorthodox protesting negates the purpose of feminist existence.
By being represented falsely, we have lost our voice.
I stumbled across an article that talked about Meninism. Yes, you read that right.. A Meninist is now a thing. It started out as a joke among men sharing funny thoughts and opinions and has turned into a movement created to “express the difficulties of being a man in the 21st century”. At first I found this to be pretty entertaining, but the more that I read and the more I searched, these men actually make a good point!
I searched the hashtag #meninisttwitter and I came across a few interesting finds; Some that made me giggle, some that made me admit to a little hypocrisy, and some that make me want to scream – at women!
“I need Meninism because the movie “Magic Mike” promotes an unrealistic expectation of how men’s bodies should look”
While some men use this platform as an excuse to mock women, I think that valid points are being made. Why are so many women playing the “victim card” when they are simply not being victimized? I’m not aiming to say that sexual harassment isn’t an issue; sexism is an issue that unfortunately we witness each and every day! But when you look at it from a male’s perspective, it sheds a different light on the hypocritical expectations that some women hold.
Don’t ask about my breast size, but I can ask you about your height. #doublestandard
We (women/feminists) don’t aim to be better than men, we aim to be equal to them. In order to move forward alongside man, we must appreciate the standard in which we desire to walk alongside. We aim to be equal. We have lost respect because of those putting down an entire gender. We are not taken seriously because many men look at the movement and stop to stare at the loose nuts & bolts. There are women who believe that hating men will get them ahead, that all men should be removed from leadership positions and replaced with only females – that will never happen.. and should not happen! There are countless positions in which women are needed just as much as men. We are fighting for that exact opportunity to prove ourselves. However, some groups do not realize that women will never obtain that victory by holding foolish rallies to provoke and bash men. If an organization fights to put an end to the injustice of objectified women who are solely seen as sex-symbols, wouldn’t it be less hypocritical to maybe put a shirt on? Whether their message is good or bad is aside from the point – they give a false visual representation of what a feminist is. Instead of taking leaps forward, we are falling miles behind because of loose cannons that have begun their battle whilst holding the Feminist flag.
Radicals will always be around, but it is important to not let extremists dictate your image of an entire group of women.
As I browsed Twitter and Instagram, my search led me to the jaw dropping discovery of a group of activists who are urging society to #Endfathersday. The hashtag started as a joke created by a 4chan prankster (4chan is a community online where users and activists can post images for discussion anonymously). The hashtag began to circulate social media after a few fake activist accounts used the tag to get the hoax rolling. #Endfathersday quickly took Twitter by storm and many were outraged. Some used the platform to advocate their hatred towards men, and others spoke about their hatred of feminists. At the end of the day, the trolls did exactly what they had planned – they started an internet war between the sexes. After viewing the ongoing social media battle that still ping-pongs back and forth, I became very upset that many seem to be extremely miguided.
The question is not; Should we #endfathersday? The question is; Why is this even a discussion? The even larger question is: WHY are we FIGHTING? How is tweeting hatred going to get your point across? How is it that blame is immediately put on the opposite sex? I can understand how a woman may not appreciate a few specific males because of her personal hardships, but why condemn an entire gender? Yes, there are radical women who chant craziness, but why insult an entire movement that simply wants an equal opportunity? WHY should we disregard a person’s opinion because of their sex? Praising one gender more than another is NOT equality. That is not what feminists fight for;
A true feminist appreciates and understands the value of men. A true feminist wants to work alongside man – as his equal.
We may be sensitive and emotional. We are sometimes mothers and that can make us a bit weak at the knees. The phrase “Anything boys can do, we can do better..” is inaccurate. (Except for birthing.. We definitely do that better ;D) I had a discussion with my husband while working on this article and he explained that he simply “does not find women equal to men”. I presented him with a scenario; A man and woman have the same job that require them to deliver a certain amount of weight to their customers. The man delivers 100 lbs. in a day and the woman also delivers 100 lbs. a day – should they be paid the same salary? My husband answered, “Absolutely!” I laughed and told him he could consider himself pro-feminist because he agreed to a basic feminist desire. His response: “I never looked at it that way”. Now, If the woman could only physically deliver 60 lbs. and the man consistently delivered 100, then they should not be paid the same. Women do not have the same genetic make-up as men. Physically, men are made bigger and stronger. Women are separated from men because there are significant differences that set us apart. Look at the olympics: we swim separately, run separately, we are judged in two separate groups for a reason. Despite a woman’s desires to throw herself in with the wolves, she simply cannot run with the pack. But don’t mistake that for inequality – that is genetics.
I read an interesting article that caught my attention about girls who want to join the Boy Scouts. It is written by a woman who was a “Brownie” growing up and found the Boy Scouts to be bit more thrilling; she wanted to trade tea-time for the chance to build camp fires. She explained that being raised in the UK (which is home to the Scout Movement) she had zero difficulty becoming one of the boys. The country allowed for girls to be involved in every level of Boy Scout programs. Eventually they eliminated the gender specific groups and now refer to the program as a whole – The Scouts. However, the process here in the US has been a bit more challenging. The Boy Scouts just recently allowed females into their Venturing program for young teens. This is the only one out of four levels that a girl is allowed into. You can read the overview of programs here.
I find this issue of Girl Scouts wanting to be be Boy Scouts a bit difficult to digest. Shouldn’t we quit playing the “I’m not allowed because of my sex” card and focus more on the issue of social standards? Of course, I would be upset if I heard that my daughter was only learning how to sew and arrange flowers. But I would also be upset if my son only had the survival skill to set up a tent.. how will he survive if he can’t cook as well? In a social aspect, I think that it is healthy for boys and girls to have separate groups to socialize in. It is important for our children to have safe groups that they can relate to and ask questions that could be embarrassing to bring up with the opposite sex. We should be fighting within the Scouts chain of command to raise the standard of what is being taught. We should not force ourselves into communities in which we benefit from separately. Why don’t we give the cookies to the boys one year?
I understand the subject of women’s rights can be sensitive to most – male or female. The beauty of this nation is that we are entitled to speak our mind. Therefore I will speak mine; Some have taken advantage of this movement, seeking support from those needing a wagon to jump on. My goal is to bring attention to those who believe that they “hate feminists”. We are not scary creatures. We do not bite. Some of us don’t even advocate opinions any further than an enthusiastic nod at a dinner discussion. The psychotic rants circulating social media will never end. So I beg you this: please take a look at where you have based your opinions. If you are basing your view of Feminism on statuses from social media, dive deeper into the movement itself. Look beyond a discussion between friends and colleagues and form an educated opinion that doesn’t exist because someone #madeyouupset.
Feminists aim to coexist – Not overpower.
Image at top: Part of a photo shot by Mario Sorrenti for Paris Vogue, April 2012 (print)