UR DOIN IT RONG ALSO

You know, it’s unusual for me to get this upset about something I see on effbook status updates. I mean, there’s a *reason* I don’t do effbook very much anymore, and the sheer number of idiots posting shite that makes me grind my teeth is one of them. Usually, I read something stupid, and then mute that person’s feed from the list. Or I just stay away from social media for a while.

I can deal with all the moronic things people say about war and politics and religion and parenting. I can ignore the cat videos and the twee “keep your chin up and think about rainbows!” pictures. Nine times out of ten, I walk away.

I’m not walking away from this.

Someone posted this:

Screw Feminism! I do not want to be “the man”, I am a women. I just want to be courted, not expected to pay or put out on the first 5 dates, and why can I not just be a wife, have babies, clean, cook, and make love… I like being a woman, and no I do not feel the need to outdo men! Re-post if your proud of being a women to a good man!

Where. To. Fucking. Start.

  1. It is physically impossible to be a ‘women’. If you are “women”, you have bigger fish to fry than not understanding a very simple concept like plural and singular. You probably have multiple personality disorder and have been in therapy for horrible things that happened to you as a child. If this is the case, you don’t need to read on.
  2. Feminism is not about women wanting to be men. It just…it just fucking isn’t. Whoever told you that should be punched in the mouth. Hard. Then use their teeth to make a necklace. That spells ‘feminism’.
  3. If you don’t expect to pay while on a date, you’re not a “woman”, you’re a con artist. Love, if that’s what you’re getting at here, is not about *paying for dinner*. And nowhere, in any of the feminist literature I have read (which is no small amount), does it say “thou shalt pay for thine date”.
  4. Be courted. Go hard. There are no “how to court” rules in feminism either. In fact, there aren’t any goddamned rules at all.
  5. Nobody cares who you screw, how often you screw, nor when you screw. We just don’t care. It doesn’t matter if you’re a feminist or a misogynist or a bulimic or a bloody Shriner. That’s your business. 5a) If you equate “putting out” with “making love”, you are setting yourself up for disappointment now, and forever. 5b) If your PARTNER equates “putting out” with “making love”, you’ve picked the wrong partner, sweetheart.
  6. Get married. Have babies. Clean. Cook. You have obviously missed the news from the last few centuries, so I’ll let you in on a little secret. Those things aren’t gender specific.
  7. Feminism isn’t about ‘outdoing’ men. Whoever told you this should be punched in the mouth and…oh hell, just go re-read point two.
  8. “You’re”, not “your”
  9.  “Proud of being a woman”, not “proud of being a women”. See point one.

It scares the ever-living hell out of me that there are people out there who think that feminism would support ANY of these arguments. How can you have missed the last two hundred years of cultural change?

Read this:

Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, April 2, 1916
“There is nothing about feminism or in the minds of those who believe in feminism most strongly that will in any way injure monogamous marriage, the private home in the separate house, the motherhood and mother love and mother care of children, to a such degree as is good for them.
“Moreover, woman is not going to leave off being a woman. No matter how feministic she may become, she is never going to stop being feminine. Feminism, in short, is not going to hurt any of the fundamental things of life.
“As you probably know, there has been going on among the women for the last century, notably for the last half century, a movement towards something they have never had before. It is very plain nowadays, and those who cannot help but see it and fear it are indeed mortally afraid. The woman’s movement has been misquoted and misjudged and ridiculed and slandered and garbled until many excellent people without knowing anything about it are fully convinced that it is attempting to undermine the very foundations of society. They hold that the feminist is an unnatural woman. They have particularly nice term for it – a denatured woman.
“Feminism is really nothing but humanism; it is merely the right of women to be persons, instead of females, and to have interests, affairs, and businesses of their own. Women are developing their human traits and characteristics rapidly. When the historians of a new day write the history of this period, the greatest thing in it is going to be the humanizing of women.
“It is a handicap to any man to marry a woman who is behind him. She ought to be beside him, and perhaps even a little bit ahead. It will be better for the race when the woman catches up.”
Q: Would you advise working after a woman is married?
A: Ultimately the woman will be financially independent all her life, married or single. It is necessary if she is to make an independent choice of a husband instead of having to marry any who will feed her and if after marriage she is going to be a human being instead of an owned chattel.

It’s from here.

(“chattel”, by the way, is a word that means “property”.)

If you want to get married and have babies and cook and clean, then by all means do that. What *feminism* has done for you, love, is make it easier, if not simply *possible*, for you to CHOOSE to do that. And if, by some horrible twist of fate, your partner should die in a terrible gasoline fight accident, what feminism has done for you is make it possible for you to inherit your partner’s property, and money. And debt. Because one of the things you get from feminism is *equality*. And that means, I’m sorry to say, that just like every other person in the world, regardless of their gender, you have to pay your own way.

Women don’t want to be men. Well. Some women do, but that’s not feminism. That’s something entirely different and I’m not going to talk about it here because that’s just going to get me going on an entirely different tangent and I really need you to stay focussed on what we’re talking about. And what we’re talking about, in case I haven’t been clear, is how utterly and mind-bogglingly wrong you are.  So let’s just get back to that.

I LOVE being a woman. AND I love being a feminist. I have no desire to be a man. I have EVERY desire to be treated fairly regardless of my gender. I have EVERY desire to have the same rights, responsibilities, opportunities, and benefits as everyone else in my society, regardless of my gender. I have EVERY desire to be paid the same as someone else doing the same work, regardless of my gender.

Feminism has given you the CHOICE whether you want to have babies, or not, without having to visit an illegal abortion clinic because you cannot use birth control because you have no right to choose what happens with your own reproductive system. Feminism has given you the CHOICE of whether to marry, and, if you choose to marry, WHO you get to marry. Your dad doesn’t make that decision for you. Neither does your priest, your landlord, nor your government. YOU get to make that choice. Why? Because of feminism.

Feminism has given you the right to *be recognised as a person* in the legal charter of our country. That means that if someone commits a crime against you, you get to press charges. Because without feminism, if your house was broken into while your husband was away, HE would have to press charges, since you would not be a person. You would not have the right to own any property, which means that if you didn’t have a husband, or if your husband died, you would be homeless and penniless.

It also means that if you DON’T want to rely on someone else for your income, you have the right to go and find work on your own. You don’t need your father’s permission, nor your husband’s, nor your priest’s, nor your landlord’s, nor your government’s. AND if you DO find a job, feminists are working very hard to ensure you get paid equitably for the work you do. Without feminism, you would have no recourse if someone decided to pay you less than what was offered others. Or even if they decided not to pay you at all.

Feminism affords you the choice of whether to date at all, and if you do choose to date, who to date. Feminism provides you the choice of whether you want to make love on the first date, or the second, or the tenth. If you’re someone’s property, they can just take you whenever they want. Feminism provides you the choice.

So instead of posting backwards and harmful statements on Facebook, do something else that feminism has made it possible for you to do. Get an education. I’m assuming you know how to read and write (something else you can thank feminism for), and I’m assuming it’s possible for you to make up your own mind about things. You might think it’s ‘cute’ or ‘funny’ to post things like this on your public profile, but sweetheart, it just reveals to the world that you don’t know enough about the issue at hand to form an informed opinion.

If you choose NOT to be a feminist, that’s fine too. And you get to make that choice because we live in a country where freedom of speech is a right we all get (all of us, because women are ‘persons’ in Canadian law, which means that you, being a woman, get coverage there too -> thank you, feminism) to enjoy. But if you choose not to be a feminist, or if you choose not to be the sort of person who claims that feminism is about misandry (that means “man-hate”) or usurping mens’ power, then please make an informed opinion on the matter, and don’t just spout garbage like this.

I *know* that in the long run, it doesn’t matter what you say on effbook. It doesn’t matter what you say anywhere, because I can (and will) simply decide not to pay attention to you. But, as they say, it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

Consider this candle lit.

 

 

cenobyte
cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.

14 Comments

  1. There was nothing about this post that was anything short of utterly amazing. Ahem sister! Every time I say the “f-word”, I immediately get an eye roll from at least one person there. And every time, someone, typically a male in his early 20s decides that he has a flawless argument against feminism. It is always one of the following:

    A) “I know some guy who got accused of rape when he didn’t do it!” Okay… So what does this have to do with the issue of gender equality? Oh, nothing? Just you being an ass and throwing out anything you can think of that you feel paints the hardship of the white male? What is that? You think this is somehow relevant because you don’t actually know what feminism is? Gotcha.

    B) “I know a guy who lost custody of his kids to a neglectful mother just because he was a dude!” Yes, our court system is unfairly biased against men in custody cases. Luckily, there is the feminist movement that fights for gender EQUALITY. FOR BOTH GENDERS. So thank you for proving my point about the importance of living in a gender equal society. You may now remove your ignorant self from presence.

    These geniuses also tend to type things like, “I am so sick of hearing about womens rights”. Womens is not a word. Until you can master the pluralization of all genders, you do not get to share your opinion on gender quality issues.

    I am not exaggerating when I say that I have heard each of these “arguments against feminism” at least 5 times. This year alone. I posted the Jean Killborn “Killing Us Softly” video about the portrayal of men and women in the media, and it sparked a giant Facebook argument in which both these “arguments” were made.

    Thank your for articulating what feminism is truly about. You have done so far more eloquently than have ever been able to.

    1. Thanks.

      There was a time when I said “I’m not a feminist” (probably even in the archives of this bournal). There were times when I said, “I hate feminists”. Because, and I *readily* admit this, I didn’t understand what ‘feminism’ could be…was…is. And yes, ultimately, my ‘feminism’ means ‘equalist’. Because that’s what feminism is.

  2. Man, all I thought after reading that girl’s post was…

    “Who is ever going to ask her out now when you know it takes 5 dates before she puts out…?”

    My internal “too stupid to read” filter may have edited out the rest.

    I agree with your take on feminism, what I dislike is what I refer to as “pendulum” rights which seek to redress past inequalities with future reverse inequalities. I am an “equalist”, and truly believe that all humans should get equal treatment. Although I am a bit biased against the stupid.

  3. I had a prof who used to do this thing in every class when feminism would come up and there would be this sudden explosion of arguments.

    He’d ask the feminists in the room to raise their hands.

    Me and like … 2 others would.

    Then he’d ask for everyone who wanted everyone to be treated equally regardless of gender to raise their hands.

    Everyone would.

    He’d then go, ‘Everyone who raised their hand is a feminist. Now that we’ve defined the term properly, let’s continue the discussion.’

  4. Right on sista! Feminism is about equality, although there are misandrists who have given feminism a bad name by assuming its mantle to assume its credibility. Feminists, in general, might be accused of not doing enough to isolate the man-haters from their movement so as not to pollute the message.

    There are a couple of conundra, however, to keep the conversation interesting:
    – there are women today, and certainly a substantial number of second-wave feminists, who worked heart and soul for the empowerment, for the greater power and glory of women. Good for them, but they didn’t give a hoot about equality or about men — they just wanted more for women, the more the better. Men were really the enemy only in that they represented the unequal status quo, not that their gender was a problem. They were mostly irrelevant. What to make of this? How not to be agitated by this attitude? We must want to be equal, not be arm-wrestling about who gets to be on top.
    – Is Michelle Bachman a feminist? Sarah Palin? Margaret Thatcher? They represent women freely choosing to be whoever they wanted to be. Even right-wing yahoos. Or are they just “people of unequal power” who happen to be of the female gender? It’s a narrow fence to try and walk. There are women who are fighting for equality in various forms of sexist, repressive religious belief systems (such as right-wing politics). All the while maintaining their belief in the system they are trying to adjust from within. “Putting lipstick on the pig” it has been called.

    There are people I know who used to call themselves “humanists” (ahem) because they believed in the empowerment and equality of all human beings. The fact that they are now allowing that they are actually “feminists” may say something about the endurance of their patience with the pace of change. Or lack thereof.

    1. 1) Yes, anyone who fights for INequality has it wrong, I think.

      2) It behoves us to think of people whose political and ideological leanings we don’t agree with as similar to us in any way. I mean, I wouldn’t want to have a long and heart-revealing chat session with Bachman OR Palin. And I’m not sure Maggie has a soul. But the point isn’t whether *I* consider them feminists. It’s more important to know what *their* position on equality is. I mean, all three of them call themselves Christians, too, but they don’t live up to their labels. So I guess it is kind of dolling up the swine.

      It is an interesting conundrum. I think all I know is that the idea that feminism means “women wanting to be men” or “women wanting to usurp/destroy men” isn’t what feminism is.

  5. Of course, it must also be said that just because the original poster wrote from a “female” point of view does not mean that it was actually a woman who wrote it. Those unreliable narrators will get you every time.

  6. I read the original rant and the first thought was if I read that from someone I was interested in, you couldn’t catch me I’d be headed the other way so fast to get away from that sort of attitude.

    A question on the language though. Is the use of the word “Equal” not part of the problem? I prefer the term “Equitable”, which implies that the sum of the parts adds up to the same, but the values of each part may not be equal.

    I just remember one of the sillier examples in a military SHARP (Standard for Harassment and Racism Prevention) lecture where the presenter made the point that the gender split in Pro and Olympic caliber sports was a relic of Sexist tradition rather than an actual reflection on the differing physical abilities of the two genders. It was pretty obvious he was parotting a “The genders are equal, the genders are equal….” teaching note, but it destroyed a lot of credibility in that class and I think part of the reason that training like that was widely derided within the forces.

    1. That’s a good question.

      “Equitable” means “fair”, but not equal. And certainly something I’m very passionate about is *equal* pay for *equal* work. So if you and I have the same job duties and we both perform them well, you and I ought to be earning the same wage. This isn’t the case yet.

      So, yes, I think in many cases, it’s about equitable (or *fair*) treatment. And I will be the first person to say that males and females are not the same, and that anyone who thinks we are has never studied basic anatomy. But I’m also saying that what happens between your legs oughtn’t dictate how much you get paid, what you’re allowed to *try* to do, etc.. So I also mean “equal”.

      By all means, women who cannot do the work they’re required to do (I’m just harping on this one example because it’s easy, but it’s just as applicable to child rearing, voting, etc..) oughtn’t be permitted to do the work anymore. Just like men who can’t do the work they’re required to do.

      So I think *I* mean ‘equal’ AND ‘equitable’. I don’t know what the person who posted this thinks. Except I’m pretty sure she doesn’t understand what feminism is.

  7. I can’t even add to your post. Just that I think it is perfect. And thank you. And “Sing it, sister!”. And I am so glad that whomever that is, does not show up in my facebook feed. Sometimes it feels good to take out the trash.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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