Feminism For All!

In recent conversation with a young man, he mentioned that he was afraid that his comments towards female employees could be misconstrued as sexist. This man is quite self aware and educated on feminism, he knows what’s sexist and what isn’t but said that he sees so much backlash on social media that he is afraid that the things he would say to his male employees could cause offense when said to his female employees. He was not talking about chats with mates, he was talking about a work environment.

As another example, he mentioned one of his close friends, a woman, and how he could say to her that she looks “sexy” in a going-out outfit and he knows that she would take it as intended — a compliment (and an appropriate one as he wouldn’t say it if “sexy” wasn’t her intended look, please do not take me to task over the meaning of the word sexy.) When he was younger and social media was less of a battleground, he wouldn’t have thought twice about saying this to her, now he would be afraid that she could find it offensive.

Now, I think this is a good thing. This young man is thinking. He is aware that it can cause upset to make unsolicited or sexist comments and so he is trying to make sure that he doesn’t do it by mistake. However, this is also causing him some anxiety and fear, like all of us he wants an easy and peaceful life, not one fraught with confrontation. Social media shows us that someone can be offended by anything and, in real life, it is this way too.

The recent revelations about Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent #MeToo campaign has brought out the absolute worst in (mostly) male comments. A barrage of “Not All Men”, the roar of “Feminazis” was to be found, as always, not too far below the line. “Political Correctness gone mad”, “Libtard snowflakes” and on and on. This stuff always comes up in reaction to any piece with a feminist angle and I would like to ask men this — why?

Why do you feel the need to state that not all men are abusers? Of COURSE they’re not! We know that, I haven’t ever read anything that suggests that all men are abusers, it’s a ridiculous statement and anyone who says that all men are abusers is, frankly, an idiot.

Why do you need to compare feminists to Nazis? We are trying to support each other, hopefully fully inclusively, and raise awareness of inequality globally, not just on our doorsteps. I feel that this was not the aim of the Nazis Party.

Why do you think that us not wanting to be catcalled is madness? Sex is an intimate act between two (or more) consenting adults, we flirt, we talk, we get there. Telling me my tits are nice is aggressive and rude and highly unlikely to lead to sex — that’s lose/lose my friend.

The heydays of sexual harassment to which Weinstein referred are long gone and the dynamics are shifting faster than I can keep up with. Political Correctness has evolved into something deeper than just being ‘right-on’. We live in a world where if I hurt you or I upset you, you can call me out on it and you might just get support from your peers and your employers and where is your argument against that?

What is a libtard snowflake exactly please?

Now that we have addressed some of the comments likely to appear in reaction to this, let’s ask the big question — why do men feel the need to defend themselves when women express their desire for equality? While you are shouting women down and mocking their attempts to better the world we all live in, your people are struggling. Young men are confused, scared, disenfranchised and it’s not because of feminism. Times are changing and they are changing fast, women are discussing it with each other online and in real life, are you?

Instead of rabidly typing a response to someone who has shared their opinion on Hollywood sexism, why not take a deep breath and see what you can do to support your fellow men in the new status quo. If you feel that feminism is threatening, ask yourself why? If you find that the answer is “because women want to take over the world” then I suggest you do some research on how well things have been going in the equality department while men have been running the gaff (see also — Patriarchy), then ask yourself if maybe it’s women’s turn to give it a lash and THEN have a look at what feminism is actually about and, hopefully, you will realise that we DON’T want to take over the world, we want EVERYONE TO HAVE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES. That’s right, everyone, and, guess what? That includes you.

Ok, so, once you have sussed out that feminism isn’t out to get you then maybe you can have a think about why it felt threatening in the first place — you are not alone, many men are scared and nervous about third wave feminism and this is where you come in. Have a think before you make a comment that might make your colleagues uncomfortable. Be kind if you find someone attractive. Be open to new ways of thinking. Educate yourself, educate your mates, talk about your stuff, open up your lives and support each other so that we can work with you to make the world a better place where we do not attack each other, physically, verbally or virtually.