You’ve seen me around. You know that I get into that whole gender, race, and class deal. So it might surprise you to find that I do not consider myself a feminist. Why, you ask? Well here are a couple of examples of issues I have with the feminist movement.
Here the speaker makes the claim that feminism is just about equal rights for women. This is just not true. Feminism has been more than that for a long, long time.
It has been my experience that the majority of contemporary feminists have a particular conception the nature and role of government (for example demanding that maternity leave be codified into law or that pornography be banned), the way society is (“rape culture”), and the way people should interact with one another. I do not agree with many of those principles, so I cannot consider myself to be a feminist. That is pretty simple.
The second group of “gripes” I have with feminism can be anchored to this video:
The speaker here looks at this issue from a female perspective and fails to consider the male. This is a huge problem within the feminist movement. Take the trope in the video. In our society, men are seen as unable to control their sexuality. Because of this, we do not teach men how to control their sexual responses.
This leads to a world in which men may feel out of control of their own sexuality. Imagine being obviously, visibly responsive to a person who is psychologically unappealing, yet you have no control this response. Thus, the evil demon seductress might hit on men’s fears that they cannot control their physical reactions to something that is bad for them.
Considering the above interpretation of the “evil demon seductress” trope makes the discussion a little more dynamic, and we begin to understand things a little better. We get closer to the truth.
There is little attempt to understand the ways in which men are oppressed by gender in the feminist movement, and that deeply disturbs me. While I agree that men benefit from sexism more than women do, I do not think we should ignore the ways in which sexism affects men. Everyone should be able to live free of gender oppression, not just women.
I am not saying, nor will you ever hear me say that feminism is wrong, outdated, or unneeded. All genders owe a great debt of gratitude to feminists for putting down the groundwork for us. They questioned the social construction of gender, pushed for other genders to have voice, and got legal rights for their descendants. But it’s time for feminists to look beyond the tree, begin to see the forest and realize that our gendered society goes beyond the feminist construct of the world. We will never reach gender equality — even for women — if we keep making these mistakes.