People often miss the point when I talk about feminism. I used to think that the world had changed for the better and that the unflattering image of a man-hating shrew had long gone, turns out I was wrong. The amount of counter arguments I get on anything I post that has a remotely feminist undertone is unreal – the defensiveness of some people is beyond me. I’m often reminded and told to “think about the men that..” or “what about the men who…” or “but I’m a man and I…” but the thing is…most of the time my posts are not about men. All I’m usually doing is drawing attention to the overall injustices or making a very general statement on the matter. Perhaps it’s time I got a little less generic and dole out some cold hard truths.
A lot of the comments I’ve had relate back to the fickle and silly nature of what is referred to as modern feminism…the notion that we have nothing to complain about and thus turn our attentions to perceived less important issues like a pair of tits in a magazine. Don’t get me wrong, no injustice or inequality is ever unimportant or small, however this isn’t the sort of thing I’m referring to when I say that women are oppressed. Yes in the West we have our own set of issues that are worthy of being spoken about but what nobody can argue with is that women worldwide are DYING at the hands of their male counterparts simply because their lives don’t matter as much as those of men. This can’t be refuted surely? I’m going to reel off a list of gender issues that have been playing on my mind for a little while and I dare anybody to tell me that we, as women, have nothing to complain about.
Female genital mutilation, forced marriage, honour killings, infanticide, educational inequality, sex trafficking, forced prostitution…the list goes on.
I think I wanted to just make a distinction between the feminism that people think I’m talking about versus the feminism I’m actually talking about. I’m fully aware that I’m fortunate enough not to have to go through any of these things but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel it when others do. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt me and weigh on my mind that people who share the same sexual organs as I do lose their lives for that very thing that ties us together. And maybe Western rape culture (such a sore subject among the special snowflake boys I speak of so often) is a silent predecessor to all of the above issues, rape culture exists in the places where all this stuff happens just as much as it exists in the West – so don’t tell me that it’s not a big deal. If me opening my mouth about rape culture stops one person from being raped, isn’t it worth having to listen to things that you “already know”?
I suppose I’m asking anyone that reads this not to bend when someone tells you that what you’re talking about isn’t important or that you shouldn’t “overreact” when you feel angry or upset at gender inequality. Just remind them that there is a need for feminism beyond our day to day lives, beyond our continent. Perhaps the reason we address issues closer to home so often is because you have to start somewhere, it’s something we have the power to change and if we can change that then maybe we can change things that are seemingly so much bigger than us.