Ranting About Feminism…Badly

Slightly note:  I am currently in the midst of my IB exam period, so I can’t dedicate as much time to this article as I would like to/usually might.  Therefore, this will be extremely rushed, so please bear with me when I start making poorly structured arguments and fundamental grammar errors.

I’m a closeted feminist; since I said this is a “quick” diatribe let’s jump to the conclusion: Slightly hates men, right?

To be honest, all the stigma regarding feminism hasn’t really bothered me because I haven’t really had the time to give it some thought (with my IB exams and everything).  So I don’t know what it was that fuelled all this intense emotion upon reading an article on Times regarding Shailene Woodley and why she “isn’t” feminist.  I’ll make this easy for you:

[I’m not feminist] because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert on feminism.  In fact, I’m not one of the most avid followers when it comes to issues on feminism.  That being said, I do have a rough understanding of what it means based on what I’ve read from Philosophy books, the knowledge of my English teacher and one of my good friends and mentors who was a Philosophy major at the University of Pittsburgh.  You can totally debate with me on this issue (but don’t threaten me to change my opinion like how one blogger did in an earlier entry), but this is what I understand feminism to be:

Feminism is not a matter of disliking or hating men.  Being a feminist does not make you a lesbian; it’s not even a prerequisite.  It’s advocating the equality of the sexes, such as equal rights, equal pay, the right to vote, all that sort of stuff.

If we look at the denotation of “feminism” because apparently that’d be the most reliable thing to do at this point, Dictionary.com defines such:

  1. The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
  2. An organised movement for the attainment of such rights for women
  3. Feminine character

While I don’t necessarily agree with the third point, I’ll need a consensus that we’ll be using the aforementioned understanding of feminism before we continue.

So somebody tell me: does that definition say anything about hating men?  Yes?  Is that so?  Could you explain to me how “advocating […] rights of women equal to those of men” necessarily mean “down with the patriarchy” or anything along those lines?  Does it mean that women want to “take men away from power”?

If not, then why are is that the modern definition of feminism?  Or, should we say, the way feminism is represented, and thus understood by celebrities such as Woodley?

I reiterate how this is supposed to be a quick rant because I’ll have to resume my studies, but here’s another point which I found a little baffling:

With myself, I’m very in touch with my masculine side. And I’m 50 percent feminine and 50 percent masculine, same as I think a lot of us are. And I think that is important to note.

Is feminism about anti-masculinity?  Guys, I’ve grown up a bit of a tomboy, wearing pants and T-shirts and snapbacks instead of your miniskirts and tank tops, but here I am saying that I’m pro-equality for women.  The latter part is (what was the consensus for) feminism; the part about miniskirts is what I think we call feminine.  You don’t need to be the girliest person on earth to be a feminist, do you?  This is essentially why I disagree with the definition for “feminine behaviour…”

I really don’t have much of a conclusion to make, other than my disappointment that something as prevalent as feminism can dwindle down to become a failed debate.  Can’t we just understand it before we talk about it?  I know that opinions count, and that philosophies are philosophies…but when the premise goes wrong then cock-a-doodle-doo, the entire contention falls flat like how I look when gravity gets the better of me.

Nonetheless, I shall quote my English teacher as my parting words:

“If you’re female and you’re not a feminist, then you probably don’t get it…in which case, you’re probably an idiot.”

Thanks for stopping by.  Don’t be a stranger.

Slightly

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One thought on “Ranting About Feminism…Badly

  1. I tend to not necessarily identify as a feminist. Although I believe in the general principles of feminism (those which you outlined in your post), I find that many of the modern mainstream feminist movements fail to recognise the intersection of sexism with different aspects of women’s identities. The feminist movement often fails to address the specific difficulties faced by women of colour, disabled women, poor women etc. That’s really important, because, for example, women of colour are often portrayed as hypersexual in the media, and shamed for it, whereas when white women do the same thing (Miley Cyrus, case in point), they’re hailed as a feminist icon. Disney princess Tiana started her own business, and yet Anna is often considered the most feminist Disney princess. Mainstream feminism also often ignores the fact that disabled women are often treated differently (women are more likely to be misdiagnosed with mental illnesses such as borderline personality disorder, etc, and autistic women are less likely to actually be diagnosed with autism). These are feminist issues (because they deal with women being treated differently from men, and the preconceived notions people have about what it means to be a woman), so we can’t ignore them just because they’re also issues of race, disability, social class etc. Also, there’s an issue with some of the mainstream feminist groups where they exclude trans women from their feminism (because they see trans women as men trying to infiltrate women’s spaces). That’s not a feminism I’m prepared to support.
    tl;dr, I do believe in equal rights for women, but intersectional feminism is the only organised feminist movement I’m currently willing to support. I don’t believe in throwing some women under the bus in order to advocate for more rights for the women who are already most privileged.

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