To be honest, a lot of the issues that third wave feminism critiques are still important and still need to be addressed. I just don’t agree that using feminism as a political movement will ever provide effective solutions for our problems, 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 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. When I looked back, the creepy guy had 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 and 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 with him.
From what I see, feminism pushes man fear to the extreme. My boyfriend’s 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 and had finished school over 4 years ago, so I thought it was a great story to tell my family around the dinner table… then 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 and protect people who need protection, 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. When third-wave feminists claim to uphold equality while displaying blatant sexism and hypocrisy towards males in these ways, I want to stand up and oppose that.