It is a strange world we live in; where one could decide they would like all things to be equal, and yet not decide they believe in feminism. The core concept of feminism, being that in a primarily patriarchal society, it is about time that women were given the same rights as men, and not be subjected to petty rules based on a pre-defined gender at birth. Ultimately, it is about shaping the world so that women are not classed as second class citizens. It makes no sense, to pay a woman less, to require she work harder to achieve the same goals, or to assume she must perform “housework”, must put on make-up or go through additional “grooming”, or must perform “womanly duties” because she is a female. It’s creating fictitious rules one must abide by, simply because of their sex. This is archaic, it’s misogynistic, and it needs to change.
In the defence of those who are not yet feminists (one must assume ignorance before maliciousness), it may be that they are indoctrinated by a male dominated media, who have managed to swindle the case of feminism so that it appears all supporters are radical. It’s a common technique, called minimalising. Where you make an issue seem small, and that only extremists could care about it. Of course with all causes there are radicals. But it is important to remember they are called as such because they differ from the norm. It is vitally important, that you do your research, and understand what feminism really means. It is important, that women are given equal opportunity in the field of journalism, professional journalism, so that they may steer the view-point. With more women in the field, in the positions of power and with the ability to make change, so too will this trickle down to the masses, who will be educated on the other side of the the debate.
Now what must be understood, as a matter of physics, is that to start moving an object takes more energy than for it to continue moving. So while it is unfair, the task is upon the world to make an effort, to gain the momentum we need, to reach the place we should be as a society. And that requires the participation of all peoples. Or all genders and sexes.
And yet, what is problematic, is that some are falling into a trope of assuming you must be radical to be true to the cause. What’s more upsetting, is that some vocal speakers, believe that feminism requires misandry. As a male – I come across a common issue when trying to comment on feminist issues, to show support for it. I come across the issue, where I am immediately made to feel not welcome, or when I do enter a forum and read a horrific story a woman has went through, the top and most up voted comments are to the effect of “Typical man.” or “Of course it was a man who did that.”
And when you do try to comment with your own perspective, you are touted as not being eligible to have an opinion on the matter.
Some people are under the impression to be a feminist, you must be a female. This is categorically false – and remarkably short-sighted. This would be similar to saying you cannot believe black people are treated unequally because you are not black. Which would be a very stupid thing to say. If we could only comment on qualities we posses, then one could not believe disabled people require support; unless you are disabled, or that gay people deserve equal rights; unless you are gay.
Long story short; you are allowed an opinion on a matter, even if you are not the direct subject of it. To say “You aren’t X so you don’t have an opinion.” is moronic, and cowardly. We all fit into the society we are creating, which means we are all allowed our takes upon it.
To say, “Typical man” or “Of course you’re a man; you would act this way.” is the very definition of sexism. Do not fall into this trap. I understand, as a male, my struggles to enter the feminism debate does not equate in any way to the struggles of the brave women out there who have had to endure endless ridicule and denigration because of their sex – what I am saying – is that there should not be an additional barrier to being a feminist. Especially an invisible one.
Because the Male Sexists of the world will use it as ammunition. They will be given evidence, however false, that will allow them to spin stories, and tell lies about feminism. They will point to the one negative article surrounding feminism, and ignore the adjacent positive hundred. It’s very easy to convince large groups of people, when you show them a narrowed perspective. This in turn will slow the move towards feminism, which will in turn increase frustrations, which may lead to more misandry, which will in turn slow the transition more, and so on.
The fight for equality requires that we both participate. And while the rules of progress are still debated, please ensure you are moving towards the solution, and not simply creating a problem.
Lastly, if you are a man, and you believe this is a fight. You believe this is a fight, where the women are stealing your power, they are stealing your advantage, they are stealing your ways and the traditions of how the patriarchy has operated for thousands of years, then understand this; this is a fight we must lose.
We are on the side of the privileged – and in a world where we should all be given an equal opportunity, it is important then that we lose this advantage. You are not losing your opportunity – you are just ensuring others have it too. In the race of life, we must all start on the same line, as best we can. We cannot make education, opportunity, work, money, healthcare, safety, politeness, caring, kindness, or priority, different for one sex – and not the other.
This is unfair. Just because it has been the way, and the way for a long time, does not mean it must continue to be. You must not continue making a mistake, simply because you have committed so much time to it. This, is a honey pot.
As we move towards equality – a world where men, women, and children of all genders, ethnicity, and sexual orientations are allowed equal opportunity – we will move towards a world of peace, of understanding, and of a forgetting of past bitterness and unfairness. We do not have to be dystopian children; dystopian dreamers. We can have a future, and a beautiful one at that.
Be sure that in the future, when you look back upon your contributions; you see you fought for the winning side; the side of feminism.