miss-insanity-pants asked: I can see your point, but also with that last post there is the fact that most rapists, abusers, and violent criminals are male. I can see how people can see men as dangerous people because throughout history a man lusting after a woman often (not always) put a woman in danger. I'm not saying that makes it so that men can't ogle when women can, but I understand why it would make women and even other men feel like the women are being threatened when they're looked at that way. Just my POV
I totally get where you are coming from. To be honest, a lot of the issues that third wave feminism critiques are still important and still need to be addressed. I just really don’t agree with labeling it a feminist movement, and I’ll tell you why in a moment. I firstly want to tell you this: The train station I catch my train from is in a fairly sketchy part of town. Coming back home later at night isn’t what I call fun or safe. I once had this guy who sat a few seats down and just stare at me. I’m not going to lie, I felt objectified and scared, and I prayed for most of the trip that he wouldn’t come up to me and try to talk to me. Eventually when my stop came he actually got up as I got up and followed me out. It could have been his stop as well, but just his mannerisms and the way he got up just set me off a little. I got off the train and sprinted over the stairs to the other side of the platform and asked the stationmaster to walk me to my car, and then the creepy guy actually turned around and walked back to the same platform we got off at. I don’t know what creepy mans intentions were, but the fact that I had someone else to protect me which made him turn around and walk off, is a little bit unsettling.
I honestly believe that would never have happened if I were a man… maybe a remote chance, but probably very rare. What if I hadn’t been so aware of my surroundings either? What if I had been wearing headphones and mindlessly listening to music and simply not noticed him? Would have I reached my car? That’s scary. It sucks that I have to be on high alert like that just to be safe.
This is where my critique with feminism comes in. I personally view that person as a creep. Possibly a monster, but he technically never did anything aside from creep me out, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. Now I know I’m using gendered pronouns here but to me he wasn’t a man. I know men, I have great guys friends, a great brother, boyfriend, father, uncle and grandfather… Men don’t act like that. Monsters, criminals and rapists act like that. The kind stationmaster who walked me to my car was a man, and I felt safe.
From what I see, feminism pushes man fear way too much. My boyfriend biggest worry on Halloween was that he was home alone and didn’t want young kids coming to his door. His words: “It’s going to look sketchy if a guy hands out candy to little kids all by himself”. Last year I had a chat to a builder turned architect, as that is my field of interest, and he was asking about what courses I was planning to study after school. I was 20 at the time so I thought it was a great story to tell my family around the dinner table, and my brother told me: “That guy just wanted to know your age”.
I hate the fact that men feel like this about their own gender. I hate that society is even encouraging them to feel that way. Feminism is part of that. We need to teach guys to look out or protect girls as they are physically weaker, but all they are told is not to rape them. How does feminism think that that is going to help anybody. Men don’t want to rape women, rapists want to rape women. When you constantly shame men for being men and tell them all not to rape, even though most of them never have any desire to, that’s destructive. That hurts. I want to stand up and oppose that.
I want to thank you for your respectful question. I do agree with what you said, so I hope my answer sort of explained why I write what I write and how I interpret different situations.
"I need feminism because my straight male teammates call "dibs" on incoming freshmen girl swimmers"
Likewise, the straight, female girls I knew used to “shotgun” the guys from the local Boys College during combined events. Is it somehow inappropriate to even suggest that these two identical situations… are identical and are not gender specific?
But of course, we need feminism because… We need to set double standards that praise and condone women, while demonizing men when they display the exact same behaviours and thoughts. Why is it socially acceptable for a girl to lust over a guy, yet when a guy lusts after a woman it is oppressing, objectifying and humiliating?
Is it because men are so shallow and heartless that they need to control themselves because they are all unstable, and lustful behaviour turns men into rapists and abusers? Is it because woman are deep and thoughtful and never do anything wrong because they are kind, and lustful behaviour turns women into empowered strong beings? This is the sort of thinking that feminism promotes, even though they do not say it outright. Their train of thought is stereotypical and hypocritical.
Feminism claims to fight against stereotypes, to destroy gender roles or expectations for equality for all… So please explain how highlighting the faults of one gender, while excusing the exact same faults of the other gender, is fair, equal or just? I’m sorry, but ‘the patriarchy backfiring’ isn’t a valid argument, unless you are a hypocrite.
"I need feminism because… When I told a friend about this campaign he asked if everyone would be NAKED?
Because that is what feminism in western society has been withered down to. Take for example Slut Walks. That is all people see in the newspapers or television, so that is what people now equate feminism with - Women walking around barely dressed. The whole SlutWalk movement has been really badly interpreted, because the way they communicate their ideologies have been executed very poorly (For example, the fact they call it SlutWalk). It makes me incredibly angry to see feminist movements like that.
Why…? Because there are women out there still who are being targeted with acid attacks because they want an education. There are women out there who are raped repeatedly by their husbands, but because their husbands own them by some religious law it is “acceptable”. There are women out there who aren’t allowed outside without being accompanied by a man. There are women out there who are murdered because their family’s dowry was not large enough for their husbands. There are women out there who are not allowed to vote. There are women out there with no voice, and no rights. There are women out there who actually need feminism. So tell me again, why do you NEED feminism?
Western feminism has stolen the limelight away from those who truly need the real feminism. Real feminism used to be about liberating women living under oppression due to their gender. I have almost forgotten what it means anymore. It is a shambled mess of complaints and straw-man arguments, most of which are based on gender stereotypes and not actual oppression. Western feminism has taken an incredibly important movement and perverted its meaning and then stripped it of the respect it once deserved.
And then you wonder why people ask if everyone will be naked? Good work first world feminists, you’re doing a really great job at doing nothing.
"I need feminism because… I don’t think CRYING makes you weak."
Firstly, crying shows your weaknesses and highlights the things that make you vulnerable. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It shows people that you are human, that you have emotions and feelings that affect you, and that you are not invincible to the words, attitudes or actions of other people. In fact, we call people who don’t cry sociopaths, because of their inability to show emotion or sympathize with others easily. I notice in interviews when parents of mass murderers reflect on their child’s behavior when they were young, they always seem to mention the fact that they rarely cried.
Secondly, crying makes you weak physically. People cry when certain emotions get too overwhelming and the sadness can’t be bottled up inside. When this happens, physical tasks become more difficult as your body is trying to respond to the emotional surge it is going through. I for one find it hard to breathe when I cry. I’ve passed out on occasion because I was crying so hard I couldn’t take enough oxygen in. Crying physically makes you weaker. It can be by a little bit, be that blurry vision from the tears… or it can be a lot, like passing out.
Thirdly, do you know who gets the most shit for crying? Men. Our society has taught men through media and representations of other men, that they must be strong, tough and powerful. Not weak. When men cry it is seen as shameful because they aren’t living up to the harsh standard that society has set for their behavior. Feminists want you to believe it is because men don’t want to be like “women who cry” because of the patriarchy or some deeply rooted hatred for females… but that can’t be any further from the truth. Females actually encourage these harsh standards for men. They swoon about finding a man to hold them, to care and protect them, to be a shoulder to cry on etc. and then they turn around and play victim and blame the patriarchy and male privilege.