It's High Time We Stopped Shrinking Ourselves For Men: An Introduction To Feminism
Feminism is a movement arguing that all legal and social restrictions on women must be removed in order to bring about the equality of both sexes in all aspects of private and public life. For so long we've all been sold a lie. What remains of the truth is that the only difference between men and women is our bodies, and everything else is social conditioning. This lie is one that has been designed against women and women only, a lie further implemented by religion and culture.
If you pay utmost attention, you'd realise that most of the people who fight against feminism are those who do not want to lose their privilege. *cough cough*. . .MEN. A lot of men do not realise that feminism is a win-win situation. It aims to destroy patriarchy. Although I am not concerned with a man's support (or lack thereof) of feminism, I'll list some toxic effects of this patriarchy that men protect and defend so fiercely.
- Patriarchy demands that a man be "tough", that a man should not feel or express emotions. Patriarchy will have you (a man), get mocked for crying, as if you are not a human being.
- Patriarchy demands that you, a man, must be very successful in your twenties. It demands that the man must be the financial provider for his family. So that if maybe at some point you cannot afford to be, you are ridiculed. You are then not a "real man". This particular reason is responsible for a large percentage of suicide in men.
- Patriarchy also demands that a man possess a lot of physical strength. If he doesn't, he is called a "woman", a "pussy," a "weenie". (Let's not get into the misogyny of calling a man a woman because of his lack of physical strength).
With all these, I do not see why any sane man would refuse feminism.
Some men have argued that angry feminists do "too much", that they refuse to listen to our cause if we express ourselves in anger (as if we care for their support, as if their support has done anything for the women before us, haha) but I call bullshit. What is a nice way to demand your freedom from someone who believes your oppression is their birthright?
Feminism aims to abolish gender roles. Why should I have to turn into an overnight washman, all because I am a woman? Why should I have to pretend to love cooking, all because I am a woman? Society demands that women learn to (and love to) cook, and not for themselves (because that isn't important) but for their hypothetical husbands and children. When a woman is a good cook, she is told that she would make a good wife. When a man is a good cook, he is told that he would make a lot of money as a chef. Anything a woman is good at, patriarchy devalues it. A woman's labour is unpaid for, but a man's is, which is the reason why most of the highest paid chefs in the world are men.
Do you see a pattern here?
As For The Patriarchy Princesses. . .
If you as a woman are not a feminist, if you are comfortable with gender roles and unequal pay, servitude and unpaid labour, that's perfectly fine. But please, do not undermine the efforts of feminists. You have not been married off today. You can have a job today, vote today and many more because of the work feminists have put in from the very beginning.
Some men have argued that angry feminists do "too much", that they refuse to listen to our cause if we express ourselves in anger (as if we care for their support, as if their support has done anything for the women before us, haha) but I call bullshit. What is a nice way to demand your freedom from someone who believes your oppression is their birthright? If you come in contact with such a man, ask him if Black people sat on a round table with the Whites and softly explained to them why they deserved to be treated as human beings, too.Please. I have these rights today - as few as they are - because a feminist was once angry.
The Good Guys
I see, yet choose to ignore the guys who say "But I'm a good guy, I don't oppress women" because more than half of the time when we really check these guys, they're not actually as "good" as they claim to be. Why are men more concerned with "removing" themselves from the pack rather than addressing the problem at hand? And they say they love us. So then,
- When you see a man harass a woman, do you speak up or do you "mind your business"?
- When your friends make sexist jokes, do you caution them or do you ignore them?
- Are you interested in women's issues or do you not "like to be involved with all that"?
It should also be noted that feminism is not man-hate. Man-hate is called "misandry" which I also find justifiable because I don't see how men can rape us, deny us equal pay, deny us a chance to flourish, hold us to ridiculous standards that they themselves are not held to, murder us for saying no, murder us for ignoring them, murder us for breaking up with them and yet expect us to like them. I don't get the logic at all?
If most of your answers are negative, then baby, you are not "good" at all. And even if you ARE good, you're just an exception, not the norm, sweetie.
It should also be noted that feminism is not man-hate. Man-hate is called "misandry" which I also find justifiable because I don't see how men can rape us, deny us equal pay, deny us a chance to flourish, hold us to ridiculous standards that they themselves are not held to, murder us for saying no, murder us for ignoring them, murder us for breaking up with them and yet expect us to like them. I don't get the logic at all. Do you? Besides, what is the effect of this so called man-hate other than to hurt men's feelings? Women simply do not hold enough power in the society to make their man-hate count.
This article, however, is just an introduction to this subject, and as time goes on I will be discussing the various ways in which patriarchy affects women. Some of the topics I will be discussing are;
- Employment/Fair Rights and Wages
- Sexual Assault
- Domestic Violence
- Emotional Abuse
- Domestic Labour
- Reproductive Rights
- Internalised Misogyny
- Gender Bias
So if you still think women are not discriminated against by society, or that men aren't far more privileged than women, you'll learn as time goes on. This is something we will continue to talk about. Yes it will make men uncomfortable, but time's up. It's high time we stopped shrinking ourselves for men, stopped cutting our pages into paragraphs, paragraphs into sentences and sentences into words because we are afraid of how it will be read into by men, afraid of how it will be taken by them.
It's high time we stopped living for men and started living for ourselves.