I Am A Feminist

1 Oct

I am a feminist.

I may not be your kind of feminist. I may not be the right kind of feminist. I may not be a good enough feminist because I am a human and full of failings. But I am a feminist. And there’s nothing you can do about that. I will always be a feminist and I will raise my sons as feminists.

I think feminism is really important. Every day you can see the shit women have to put up with and you may come to the conclusion that people need to change their attitudes. Men have to put up with shit too, but it’s different shit. I’m talking about the shit women have to put with.

I believe there is a line. If you are on one side of it you are in favour of feminism, if you are on the other side of it you are not. I think if I want to change things it’s probably better to concentrate my efforts on those who oppose feminism, rather than those who support it, however flawed they are. Changing those who oppose it is a big job – a very big job and it still needs lots of work. So I find it really depressing and exasperating when I see people who are all basically on the same side fighting against each other. How those who oppose feminism must enjoy that spectacle!

I wish people would direct their energies to where the struggle is needed.

I am fairly certain I will derided for these words, I will be disowned. Who needs my views, what do they matter?

But I am on the right side of the line.

I am a feminist, I will always be a feminist, I will raise my sons as feminists and you will not change that.

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9 Responses to “I Am A Feminist”

  1. Cameron Gazzola Black October 1, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Thank you Allain. Splendidly put.

  2. Jerome October 1, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    I think I’d rather everyone was a humanist, although as a word that’s got a lot of baggage and maybe doesn’t mean what I’d like it to mean. Maybe all the -ist words are a bit divisive? Apart from dentist, maybe. Oh and geologist. Well, basically all the job / hobby -ist words are fine, unless you’re the type of person who’d put ‘racist’ under the Hobbies and Interests section of their CV, like Nick Griffin.

    So yeah, anyway, I think I’m just basically saying “can’t we all just get along and love one another, man?” (check your privilege first though!) and see each other as people without gender being an issue.

    Rather a feminist than the opposite, though.

    • Maxine October 2, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      Brilliant reply to a brilliant article.

  3. Mark Neil October 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    “Men have to put up with shit too, but it’s different shit.”

    Yes. And when Sharon Osborne was laughing a giggling about a man having his penis chopped off and thrown in a disposal unit, she justified it with “it’s different”. And when white folks said it’s not right to make black folks sit at the back of the bus, or attend different schools, that was justified with claims “it’s different”. When Jews were being herded into concentration camps, and people were asking “is this right?”, they too were told “it’s different”.Nothing has ever justified bigotry and prejudice quite like “it’s different”, and then leaving it at that. No explanations on how it’s different, or why it’s different, or if that difference actually matters in the end.

    “But I am on the right side of the line.”

    Man-hating, the right side of the line.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=HIs0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=fqEFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2254%2C3798721&dq=we+have+a+moral+cause+for+hating+men+for+they+have+taken+away+all+our+power&hl=en

    Or is that different too?

    • mooseallain October 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      Being a feminist doesn’t make you a man-hater. But check out Everyday Sexism if you want to see why it’s different for women. We are not equal. (By the way I’m a man. Some of my best friends are men).

      • Mark Neil October 4, 2013 at 6:07 am #

        “Being a feminist doesn’t make you a man-hater.”

        That is actually debatable. Claiming the feminist label doesn’t automatically make you a man-hater, but subscribing to feminist theory does have a tendency to lead to man-hating, or at the very least, utter apathy to the concerns of men.

        “But check out Everyday Sexism if you want to see why it’s different for women.”

        And what source for the issues of men do you offer as a counterexample? Or is your “it’s different” based solely on a one sided examination of issues?

        “We are not equal.”

        No… we’re not. But I don’t think you quite realize just how unequal we really are. But consider this. The majority of tax dollars are paid by men, but the majority of gender specific spending goes to women. How many different government funding health organizations are there for men vs those for women? Despite study after study showing domestic abuse being about equally perpetrated between the sexes, men have no resources. Not even less, NONE. Even if you don’t accept that DV is equal, can you seriously tell me the ration is 100% female victims, IE proportional to the resources men are provided? Then their is the clear bias in courts (both family and criminal courts), as well as the ever increasing failure of boys and men in education (yet we still only ever see programs to advance girls in education, such as STEM)…But sure, the systemic discrimination is purely directed against women. All the above issues aren’t really issues, because “it’s different”. I’m curious… what issues do women have the demonstrates the same kind of systemic discrimination as any of the above?

        “By the way I’m a man.”

        And you’ve already used your “I’m a feminist” to try and elevate yourself above other men. Seeing yourself as a superior example of a man does not demonstrate compassion, or lack of hate, for men. Quite the opposite, really.

        “Some of my best friends are men”

        Ones ability to find exceptions does not negate what ones default assumptions or positions are. You have dismissed and marginalized men’s issues, simply by claiming “it’s different”, and then not even bothering to examine those issues.

        This isn’t necessarily hate, but it does demonstrate an utter lack of compassion. Seeing a group of unworthy of compassion due to who they are and what they are presumed to do/have is just a short step away from hating them for who they are.

      • feelthesunshyne October 5, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

        I agree with both of you. I am a feminist and a female, but I also agree that men are unfairly treated as well. These types of unfair treatment are “different,” but neither is good. Men do have the upper hand in things such as authority, work, money, government, strength, body expectations (shaving, for instance), and even religion. (There are more, of course.) It is also true that women are given the benefits in welfare, treatments such as those for domestic violence and eating disorders, and custody battles. However, can’t it be said that negative effects on men are actually because of persecution against women? Our societal issues about both men and women are caused by the same roles, regulations, and expectations put in to keep women subordinate. Think the “woman’s role”: We are expected to have all of these bodily proportions, shave, etc. (Don’t even get me started.) We are also expected to “submit” to men, forfeiting our bodies, minds, abilities, and emotions to someone who is not only physically capable of harming us, but also now financially, legally, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Because of this idea that women have to submit, we are given roles and expectations to take care of children, do housework, and cater to our husband’s every whim. This then becomes the female ideal for men, and leads to the male role, which is, of course, specifically designed for the purpose of keeping women subordinate. Men are expected to be strong leaders and protectors, masculine in every way from football to cars to separate “manly” shampoo. When men are not this way, they are insulted in ways that imply either androgyny (“You shoot like a girl”) or homosexuality (“Don’t you think that [that being their other hobby or interest that is not considered manly] is a little gay?”). Back to the woman’s role: Women are given custody of children in family court more often because “it’s our job,” given welfare more than men because it is considered the man’s role to provide for us, not ours, and seen as weak and helpless, leading to more mental illness, domestic violence, and other aid for women. So, I ask you this: Do you think that men would have the problems that they do if it weren’t for the original sexism: oppressing women?

        (This is really just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the idea, I presume.)

        Also, it’s great to raise your sons as feminists. Young men need to know how to respect a woman (and everyone else), and I am grateful for parents like you who are helping to further respect toward myself and others.

      • Mark Neil October 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

        “Men do have the upper hand in things such …work”

        Entirely depends on what you mean by “work”. Most men “work” in jobs they hate in order to provide enough money for their families. If you are defining mandatory labour as some kind of privilege, well, not sure what to say there. I question your definition of “having the upper hand”.

        “…money…”

        While men may EARN more money than women, more bulk of money is sent on, by or for women. Just as in the past, the bulk of money was earned by the black slaves, but was spent on, by or for the plantation owners. Not sure when the earning of money became the upper hand over the control of it. But again, I need to question your definition of “having the upper hand”.

        “…government…”

        Men pay more taxes than women. We earn more and we are the larger bulk of the work force (as we don’t generally have the stay at home parent option available to us). And yet, the bulk of government spending goes to women. Social security, health care, even cancer research focuses on “women’s cancers” over men’s cancers or even non-gendered cancers such as lung or brain cancer. Women have government bodies (such as the ministry for status of women Canada) with a mandate to promote women’s interests, and a budget to accomplish that mandate. and various health departments specifically for women) while men have no similar agency, and the remaining ministers must be gender neutral (or favor women) or they get called out as misogynists and sexists. And given the majority of voters are women (due in large part to men being incarcerated at higher rates (an area where gender bias plays an even greater role than race does), and thus having their voting rights removed), and given such examples as the recent labor party leadership opening (in the UK) having only one woman vie for the position (and not even major feminist Harriet Harman stood for it), it can be argued women don’t want those positions of responsibility (and why would they? They get the same outcomes, and fewer consequences, by controlling through shame from the background), the claim it’s men holding the positions of power is dishonest at best.

        “It is also true that women are given the benefits…”

        I will presume you realize that list you provided is not an exhaustive one, and not add to it unless you suggest otherwise.

        “However, can’t it be said that negative effects on men are actually because of persecution against women?”

        One can frame things however they wish. But it can likewise be framed in such a way that all men’s advantages are a result of their persecution. It all depends on where you choose to start (and presuming you are persecuted is a sure way to ensure you come out looking like a victim).

        “We are expected to have all of these bodily proportions, shave, etc.”

        Men likewise have expectations placed on them. Those expectations have less to do with beauty than women’s, so when you choose to focus on beauty specifically, you unreasonably skew the comparison. Men are objectified as success objects, just as frequently as women are sex objects.

        “We are also expected to “submit” to men, forfeiting our bodies, minds, abilities, and emotions to someone who is not only physically capable of harming us, but also now financially, legally, emotionally, mentally, and socially.”

        That is a very bold assertion to make. And it relies upon feminist theory in order to accept. This is what I was talking about when I said subscribing to feminist theory leads to hating men. In order to accept this claim to be true, you must view men in a very negative light. You must see them as sociopaths and megalomaniacs… as the default position (and just write men you approve of off as exceptions).

        That said, could it not also be argued that the traditional, legally enforced requirement that men’s earnings ad property were deemed marital assets (but women’s property and earnings were hers and hers alone and she didn’t even have any responsibility to her own children, or to herself even. a woman that owed tax’s on her own earnings was not responsible for paying those taxes from her own earnings, the man in her life was responsible for those taxes.)… wouldn’t that suggest it was men who were financially subservient to women? Wouldn’t this legal requirement, in a time where the vast majority of “work” was back breaking and dangerous labour that, even today, women generally choose to avoid (95%+ workplace deaths being male), explain why it was men who work, thus explaining men’s advantages in a way that is a result of their persecution to women? So once again “it can likewise be framed in such a way that all men’s advantages are a result of their persecution”.

        Lastly, I need to point out just how one sided this examination of yours is. When you only examine the societal influences that affect women (as you perceive them), and come to conclusions based solely on that one sided examination, then of course you are going to come to a result that positions you to make more and more demands.

        “This then becomes the female ideal for men, and leads to the male role, ”

        This is what’s called gynocentrism… the assumption that everything revolves around women. You have presumed women’s roles came first… but use a modern societal base to make such an assertion… Last I checked, women have been having and raising babies much longer than houses (and thus housework) have existed. Your starting position is flawed. Male and female “roles” evolved naturally and simultaneously.

        “specifically designed for the purpose of keeping women subordinate”

        Again, a pretty hateful generalization of men and the male role. I could just as easily say the male role to provide and protect women and children evolved first, and women’s subordination was a result of that expectation (after all, even the POTUS is expected to obey his security team when they take action. Doesn’t make them the dominate group though).

        “When men are not this way, they are insulted in ways that imply either androgyny (“You shoot like a girl”) or homosexuality ”

        And who leads most of this gender shaming? I’m sure you’ll say men do… but is that really true? If men are valued for what they can provide to women, then homosexuality would be a significant insult against their value… they no longer have anything to offer that is of value. As would the androgyny insult… after all, if the man is no better than a woman, then the woman could simply provide the same things for herself… he has no value. One of the most common insults I get from feminists when debating gender issues is presumptions that I can’t get a woman…that I have no value because I can’t even give my value away. Who’s the subordinate one here?

        “Women are given custody of children in family court more often because “it’s our job,””

        That’s actually not true. Men were traditionally given custody because providing for children was THEIR job. The feminists came along and proposed the tender years doctrine. And so, child support was established to ensure men continued to perform their role as provider, but women got the children they wanted, and the continued resources (in addition to alimony) of their FORMER spouse… a structure that continues to this day, especially since the implementation of no fault divorce (again, by feminists) ensured that even when a woman was caught cheating, or simply got bored, she was still entitled to the financial benefits of marriage, without the responsibilities.

        ” given welfare more than men because it is considered the man’s role to provide for us,”

        Or perhaps, simply because a man that can’t provide for himself has no value to anyone, and should not have resources wasted on him that could be going to the inherently valued women? I’m also curious… as a feminist, how are you opposing this? Because from what I’ve seen, most feminists call for even more government spending on women’s personal needs.

        “and seen as weak and helpless, ”

        Well that’s just a hateful assertion tacked on to make you seem victimized by being given more compassion. It’s like tacking “the courage to…” onto anything to make it sound noble.

        “Do you think that men would have the problems that they do if it weren’t for the original sexism: oppressing women?”

        “the original sexism”… wow. How dismissive of you. Are you suggesting sexism against men is a modern thing?

        “but you get the idea, I presume.”

        Yes, I do… you aren’t capable of seeing beyond your own vagina… and you certainly aren’t capable of rationally and unbiased examining history.

        “Young men need to know how to respect a woman”

        But raising your daughters to believe men want to rape and oppress them (as you have argued in this very post), in other words, to fear and loathe men (not to respect them) is the equal thing to do, right? That’s the problem… if you’re going to raise boys to respect women and everyone, you should do the same with your daughters… but you don’t. The expectation is only on men to be respectful. How is that equal? How is that one sided double standard going to bring about equality? And doesn’t the assertion that women should be respected, by default, based solely on their genitalia, only play into the very stereotypes you claim to oppose? Cause it sounds an awful lot like chivalry to me.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. johnsalmonsworld - October 1, 2013

    […] But then, today (October 1st) he posted this: https://mooseallain.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/i-am-a-feminist/ […]

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