Feminism is a hot topic right now and it’s great that we as a society are finally talking about so much: GamerGate; #YesAllWomen; cat calling and street harassment; wage discrimination; weak and over sexualized female characters and the epidemic of sexual assault and rape. It’s not so great that it’s apparently a controversial topic.
I have a penis, I’m a male, and I identify as a male, and I’m a feminist because it’s only logical to be one. Here’s why: Are women people? Yes. Should people be treated equally? Yes. See? It’s that simple. Women should be paid the same amount of money for the same amount of work as men. Women should be able to walk down the street without being harassed and without fear of being raped. Women should also be able to play a video game and get to wear armor that actually covers the vital organ carrying parts of their body like male characters. Women should also be able to write about any of this without getting hate mail, death and rape threats- just like a man would be able to do. I’m going to post this online and I feel fairly safe and secure that no one will threaten me.
Let’s dig a little deeper. There are so called “feminazis” out there. But calling all feminists that is like calling all jellybeans black licorice flavored*. It’s just not true. Sure, there are some jelly beans out there that suck, but the vast majority of jelly beans are sweet and delicious. There are black licorice flavored jellybean types in all areas of life and many of them get elected to congress.
“Yeah, but now it’s not even okay to talk to, or flirt with, women!” Sure it is. Just do it normally like you would talk to any other person and if they are clearly feeling uneasy about you talking to them, bid them adieu, walk away and leave them alone. It’s not okay to shout obscenities at complete strangers, nor is it appropriate to touch them, follow them, or get mad at them for them for being mad at you for doing any of those things. Also, it’s worth noting that women, like all people, with have different levels of comfort and tolerance to everything on the spectrum from flirting to harassment. (Just to clarify, know the difference between talking, flirting, and harassment, because one of them is never okay.) If a women deems your advances as inappropriate, apologize for making them feel uncomfortable and move on. I tend to be a flirty person and have made my fair share of women uncomfortable. I didn’t mean to, but you know what I did? I apologized and stopped. On one occasion, the extent of my behavior was complementing a woman’s cooking and calling her cute. At one point she told me over text to “stahp.” However, I didn’t take this to mean “seriously, stop, you’re making me uncomfortable,” but as a more playful form of modesty (part of the problem may be it was in text and you loose a lot of meaning in that mode of communication). Eventually, I did get a serious message and did just that and apologized. And I was okay with that. Which brings me to another point: women, please tell us in a serious and straight forward manner the moment we make you feel uncomfortable because some of us will not know we’re doing it and think we’re doing nothing wrong. We don’t mean any harm. To stop acting a certain way, we have to know it’s not okay or appreciated. Some guys wont listen, but if they care about you and your friendship they will. If they don’t, or become angry, or even aggressive then don’t hesitate to get help and cut them out of your life. And also, guys, just because you don’t mean any harm doesn’t mean you aren’t doing any. BP didn’t mean any harm either, but they did. And it took them a long time to even admit they screwed up and even longer to fix the problem. Just try and have a calm dialogue and understand where the other party is coming from. Don’t be BP or that awful jellybean.
“Not all guys are like those guys!” Yeah, obviously. Most people know and acknowledge that- remember the black licorice jellybean analogy from before? Okay good. Don’t get upset, no one is saying you did anything wrong- unless of course, you did do one of those things then you are the unsavory jellybean from above and you should feel judged. Besides, when you say that you’re missing the point entirely. Kind of like it was the pre-Civil War era and you said “Not all white men are slave owners!” While true, it’s missing the point that there are slave owners and that the slaves had it a lot worse than non slaves, just like women today have a lot more horse excrement to put up with than men.
“What about men’s rights!?” What about them? The only time I’ve said anything like that I was in middle school, or high school, and I said it ironically because we men basically have all the rights and have at least had more throughout history. So, unless you’re joking and trying to make that exact point, shut the fuck up. And notice I said that back in my school days too, so if you do say it, and you are joking, make it point to let it be known as an ironic statement meant to comment about the inequality of the sexes in contemporary society.
“Boys will be boys, though.” Yes they will, but mostly because that’s what we as society teach them, but it’s not an excuse, or carte blanche, to abuse and harass women. There are biological differences between men and women and men tend to be more aggressive, there’s some sexual dimorphism between the sexes too, like men tend to have more robust build. But this doesn’t mean women can’t do the same things men do or that they aren’t physically capable of the same feats that men are. And these biological differences aren’t a reason to pay women less or treat them less than human. Gender roles are mostly arbitrary and set by a culture and it’s people. Obviously, men do not have the role of birthing children, or breast feeding. Those are the only two gender roles that are pretty solid outside of culture. So, if a boy wants to wear a dress, why not let him? If a girl wants to drink beer while shooting guns, read the Bible and deny climate change and evolution then run for congress, why not let her?
*Apologies if you are one of the few who enjoy black licorice flavored jellybeans. Just pretend it said some flavor you don’t like. Or if you enjoy all flavors, then fake jellybeans made of poop.
~David T. Kukulkan~