Well hello there, and welcome to Feminist Fridays. For new readers, this is a fortnightly account of, essentially, how the rage induced by misogyny is likely to send me to an early grave, for regulars, well, no doubt your grave will be next to mine.
This week we turn our attention to online Anti Feminism movement, like THAT’s a new thing. All you folks on Twitter or blogs talking about how feminism isn’t needed cause you think it’s the modern, cool thing to do…aw, bless.
My nieces are online (much in the same way as I breathe, they instagram) and they have come across a lot of anti feminism, but they assured me it wasn’t anti women, it was talking about how feminism is wrong and how men have really hard lives that feminism ignores and sometimes makes worse.
“Is this true Aunty? I thought feminism was about making a better society and that men and women benefited?”
There has been an serge of women declaring how much they don’t need feminism; for some it is because feminism hates men (I mean this is just boring), for some it is because they themselves do not face inequality (because what is a social justice movement, if not solely about the individual…), for others it was simply that perhaps they liked cooking food and being a girlfriend. Well, I hadn’t realised that feminism advocated eating only take-outs and remaining single for the entire duration of your life.
I do not condemn/belittle these women, I point out that this is an example of patriarchy and the use of women against women as a tool of reinforcing patriarchy.
Here’s an easy list of what feminism fights for:
Social justice for women and girls across the world
Tackling institutionalised sexism and misogyny at all levels of the world (small or large scale)
For women to have choice; choice to have children or not, to stay at home or not
Creating a society where women make choices based on their needs to societal expectation or harassment
Here’s what it is not;
telling you not to wear make up
telling you not to wear heels
Telling you to not be in a heterosexual relationship
Telling you to not have children
Telling you to hate men
Telling you, you can’t be a stay at home mum
Telling you that all men hate women
Telling you to that women need to be superior
Telling you that men do not face any prejudice
Are we done? Probably not…FYI I am wearing a floral dress, have long straightened hair and have make up on whilst I write this. In your face.
The Women Against Feminism backlash is build on an ill-informed and inaccurate foundation. And it turns out a foundation which benefits from the destruction of feminism for men’s needs;
The men’s rights movement apparently now has different leaders- women. One of which was the creator or #womenagainstfeminism (who states that “rape culture” means all men are rapists – news to me) She must be so proud. Of course cynical me would say that this is the MRAs trying to legitimise themselves, the cynical me would say that this is another classis attempt to derail feminism, the cynical me would say this just another patriarchal force. Feck it, the non cynical me says it too, because it’s pretty bloody obvious.
Men’s rights activists and these women leaders of the movement have a particular gripe with feminism, in that it only furthers the cause of women. No sh*t Sherlock. The point of it being a cause focusing on women, is because NOTHING ELSE DOES. But here’s the hilarious part, there bits of it that also helps men – yes, in this privileged world men live in, even feminism is helping them.
Simply because feminism is abut creating a more equal place for women and girls, this means erasing patriarchy – and patriarchy creates problems for men too;
Men and mental health – it is often stated that men are more likely to die by suicide and less likely to come forward for mental health support. This is indeed true., Why? Because we have made emotional wellbeing “feminine” and therefore less than. We have created the idea that talking about emotional and asking for help is a female/inferior thing and therefore men must not bow down to that. they must have a stiff upper lip and suppress their emotions. Blame Patriarchy.
Men and Child rearing – an argument used is that men are not given adequate paternity rights or are mocked for being stay at home fathers. Why? Much like the above, because we have feminised caring, being at home and child rearing- it is the women’s job and it is an attitude developed over generations and sustained in our society. An attitude which says “women look after, men go out and work”. Blame Patriarchy.
Men and work stress – another argument is that men are expected to be promoted, to have top successful jobs and make all the monies. We are in a society that has created an identity of men through only a narrow scope of achievements, so much so that when a woman makes these types of achievements it is not recognised or is understated, because it is not expected of her. Blame Patriarchy.
Men and education – A final argument (mainly cause this will get repetitive) is that boys are discriminated against in education, that it is more beneficial to girls. Is it though, because repeatedly we read studies that tell us boys and girls do well at the early stages of primary school and then boys tend to drop off, much in the way girls tend to drop off in science by the time they hit secondary school. I wonder what could be happening here? I wonder if it is social construction? I wonder if girls to less well in science because they are not expected to engage in that subject and I wonder if boys do less well and a younger age, because the expectation is that they “will be boys”, will manage to get by and will be too busy playing outdoors This issue is absolutely about gender stereotyping and you know what? Blame Patriarchy.
It’s not that difficult; man, woman or prefer not to identify in arbitrary gender binary, feminism is a fighting force for good, shouting about how much you hate it, is really just shooting yourself in the foot.