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Monday, June 24, 2013

Why I Need Feminism: Because my liberation is not a threat

The quickest way to realize that ignorance abounds would be to read the comments of an article discussing feminism. While I yearn for a day when the internet becomes a way to facilitate healthy discussions, I have to deal with scrolling past comments that completely miss the mark and are often offensive. The most common theme to these comments are often along the lines of "what about men?"

A woman would like access to more clinics.
"What about men, there aren't any male only clinics!"

An author points out a wage gap.
"What about men, we don't want our salaries to drop!"

A student mentions her fear about walking home alone at night.
"What about men, bad things happen to us too!"

The list can extend for days but it boils down to this: Too often people view feminism as a threat to men. The "what about men?" comment ignores the status quo of male privilege. What is male privilege? How society accommodates the needs of a man and as Lucy Gilliam, blogger, states "it's so ubiquitous that it's invisible."*

Let's be clear: Men have relevant issues to discuss. The forced gender role of masculinity, the lack of communication about diseases, and even the silence surrounding sexual assault. However, feminism does not take away from those issues. For example, a male's prostate will never be discussed the way my uterus is in the Texas legislature. My reproductive health rights are always being attacked while the reproductive health of a male is never a topic of controversy. Discussing my issues as a woman does not take away a man's ability to discuss his.

Now, let's talk about my liberation is not a threat:

1. I don't hate men. Feminists hate misogony-not men. Alessia from Kitch-Slapped says it best:
I tell a true story about a dog that mauls a child and, whether I have a dog or not, that doesn't make me a dog hater; but tell a true story about a man who beats a woman and I'm a man hater (Source).
2.  A good man once told me to "reach for the future," and I believe women should not be left out. If that means creating work spaces that are firm on their anti-sexual harassment policy, I'm for it. If that means universities are stricter about educating students about date rape, I'd support it. If that means telling a young woman that she is not defined by her looks, I'll yell it at the top of mountains. Women have to be empowered.

3. If my liberation is a threat, let it be a threat the patriarchal system that demands that I look a certain way, act a certain way, talk, speak, and think a certain way. Let my words be a threat to rape culture and to sexual harassment. I will not tolerate discrimination to alleviate anyone's fears about feminism.


*If you want to learn more about Male Privilege, I suggest you read Finally, A Feminist 101 Blog about the subject.

1 comment:

  1. Christie,
    Do tell about this male privilege.
    Was it a privilege to work in a coal mine hundreds of feet down while your spouse was at home in a sheltered environment?
    Was it a privilege to make up the vast majority of war deaths and casualties?
    How about the privilege of going to jail for the debts of your wife. Is that a privilege?
    How about the fact that the wage gap is a myth put out by feminists for fund raising purposes.
    Is it a privilege to have less spent on your health care than the opposite sex despite dying on average 5 years earlier?
    Is it a privilege to make up around 80% of the suicide rate?
    Is it a privilege to know you are forced to sign up for selective service while women are not?
    Is it a privilege to make up around 40% of the tertiary education system?
    Is it a privilege to know that even if you call the cops on an abusive spouse the odds are you will be arrested due to your sex?
    Is it a privilege to be raped and then forced to pay your rapist child support from that rape?
    Is it a privilege to be forced to pay for a child you want no part of while a woman has can abort, put up for adoption or drop the child off at a safe centre?
    Is it a privilege to have your genitals routinely mutilated while society turns a blind eye to it?
    You are woefully ignorant of the facts Christie and it shows in your and just about every single feminists writings.


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