You Are Equal. Sorry Not Sorry.
This is a response to the post making rounds on social media, in response to a different post making rounds on social media. A response to ‘You Are Not Equal. I’m Sorry’ by Sleep.Eat.Write.
This post begins in such a way as to present the narrator as authoritarian and self-righteous. It begins in such a way, and continues in such a way as to make the reader/ person it is directed at, feel belittled and unfairly castigated.
Of course women are grateful for past feminists who fought for what we now consider basic rights. However, these women fought when there was a patriarchal system, when there was a disparity between men and women, when equality didn’t exist. Now, it does. Bear with me so that I can explain.
First, I will explore each point made by Sleep.Eat.Write. on each right we have gained due to activist feminists in the past. You may wonder why I’m going to explain how I feel on each point made in the article. It is to suggest that we use the rights we have in productive ways, and to their full potential to enact the change we wish to see, if any change at all, in the world. There is nothing stopping us and what better way to ‘say thank you’ than to use what we have been born into in the best way possible.
Second class citizen. In western society, this term cannot be applied to women, who have the same rights and opportunities as men. This is due to the list of people you included in your article, and that’s wonderful, just what these women would have wanted. You’re right that I did nothing to ‘earn’ those rights. Why? Because I don’t have to, because I am lucky enough to be born into today’s society where women are treated as equal and are not oppressed. What should I do, when there are no rights I need to fight for? I should use the rights that those women fought for, to my best possible ability shouldn’t I.
I should vote for the candidate I think will do the best when given such a position, after much research and evaluation. I will not vote based on popularity, instead I will vote based on policies which will have a positive impact on society.
I will work hard and enjoy the work I choose, because after university I can do almost anything; except because I chose a humanities degree, I will not expect to be, say, an astronaut. I wouldn’t be qualified. But maybe I will write about the space expeditions and new discoveries those astronauts encounter.
Prenatal care. Now that’s a hard one because I really do not want to have children. But that ties in too, because I am no longer expected to have children and every time someone tells me: ‘You’ll want children when you’re older’, I respond with: ‘Maybe, maybe not, but I want a career that means I could support children if I did happen to change my mind’. I am free to express my opinion on this matter, and no one will force me to have children, not even the husband I don’t want. I love my partner, but marriage doesn’t mean much to me, and I am an individual within the relationship. I have my own identity and I will keep that, married or not.
Humane working conditions are also great, and when I choose my career I will be happy with the hours I work and the facilities provided.
My ability to work in politics and affect policy. That is something I may or may not choose to do. Either way, it’s a wonderful right and isn’t going anywhere, because women are equal and able to choose their career.
Legal birth control is something I am very grateful for, especially due to my aversion to having children. And reproductive healthcare rights are necessary for both sexes, male and female, as is healthcare in general.
Equal education, very important after the bizarre curriculum of needlework and cooking skills over a hundred years ago. I am hugely grateful for this too, as it has allowed me to explore my strengths and weaknesses in academic fields and decide on my career. Yet, women are choosing gender studies, when they could excel in the more lucrative field of science.
Now, it is frustrating to be talked down to in such a manner as this:
‘You can make your own choices, speak and be heard, vote, work, control your body, defend yourself, defend your family, because of the women who marched. You did nothing to earn those rights. You were born into those rights. You did nothing, but you reap the benefits of women, strong women, women who fought misogyny and pushed through patriarchy and fought for you. And you sit on your pedestal, a pedestal you are fortunate enough to have, and type. A keyboard warrior. A fighter for complacency. An acceptor of what you were given. A denier of facts. Wrapped up in your delusion of equality’.
So, the women who marched… which women are you referring to? I hope you are referring to past feminists, not those at the women’s march who don’t know the definition of fascism. And are happy to call themselves nasty women. And are happy to reduce themselves to their genitalia in pussy hats waving uterus signs. And have no facts with which to argue. I could go on but I won’t, if you are interested in my stance on the women’s march you can read my other article.
Earn is a brilliant word for you to use, because I doubt you care what that word means when it comes to the ‘wage gap’. You reference that women are not paid the same as men in the same jobs. That is simply not true and is illegal, so if you truly believe that and are in paid work, then you should complain to your boss and see what they say. I will briefly explain the myth that is the ‘wage gap’ and link two videos explaining it in full here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T09Bx6xoHSQ&index=3&list=PLM9L2W5aOI_1TUcyIs9lJxTlCllkQer7d
Unfortunately, I haven’t written an article on it yet. I will also link the original statistics.
The ‘wage gap’ is a myth. It is more accurate to call it an earnings gap. The data taken from two months’ worth of earnings, from men and women, does not take into account the differing hours worked, the job positions held, or the time taken off of work. The statistics also show that many more women held part-time job positions, which are usually lower paying because they are usually in lower paying positions in general, such as bar staff. Therefore, the disparity in wages, is due to a multitude of factors, not including the notion that women are paid less than men for the same job. They are not, but more women are in lower-paying jobs, so on average, women earn less than men because they are not in higher paying jobs.
I do not sit on a pedestal; you are sitting on your moral pedestal writing the article you wrote that belittles the reader from the very beginning if they have a differing viewpoint to you. You are making assumptions and attacking someone for their point of view from behind your computer screen. You are a keyboard warrior.
‘A denier of facts. Wrapped up in your delusion of equality’. As I have just explained, you deny facts by pushing the bullshit that is the ‘pay gap’. You deny facts by implying that equality has not been reached when women have the same opportunities as men.
I will now address your other ‘points’.
‘You still don’t have full rights over your own body. Men are still debating over your uterus. Over your prenatal care. Over your choices’. No, those in government capacities are debating these things not because they want to deny you your rights, but because there are other factors involved. For example, the outrage surrounding Trump taking away the funding from Planned Parenthood is misguided. He is not defunding abortions, he is following a law that has been in place for 30 years (Hyde amendment), that Planned Parenthood have broken. Federal funding is, by law, not allowed to go towards abortions, and this has been the case for 30 years, so the fact that Planned Parenthood has been using federal funding to fun abortions, means that they have broken a law. It is not always a question of rights, sometimes a question of funding and if you truly have issues with the uncertainty of medical care involving your uterus, start a charity organisation that helps.
‘You still have to pay taxes for your basic sanitary needs’. The notorious pink tax. Oh my goodness, we have to pay more than men for basic products! How could this happen? Sanitary products are no longer basic, they have been transformed over the years, from basic control to control with a pretty pattern, packaged in a pretty way, perfumed and made of the best materials for blood control. They are no longer basic, because women wanted something more than that. So the gap in the market for pretty, nice-smelling sanitary products was filled and companies are making profit on this. Capitalism. Marketing. Business stuff. It is similar to tobacco companies. They do not want to suddenly be made redundant and have their income disappear because the government discovers smoking is bad. The government can’t turn round and ask sanitary product companies to hand out their products for free or for far less than they are charging now. Why? How would the companies keep running? They need money to pay the workers and obtain the materials necessary. If you expect the government to pay for the luxury sanitary products they have become, then you will still be paying for them, in taxes, and it wouldn’t be fair for half of the population to pay the tax toward sanitary products when they don’t use them. I do not expect men to pay for my products.
‘You still have to carry mace when walking alone at night. You still have to prove to the court why you were drunk on the night you were raped. You still have to justify your behavior when a man forces himself on you’. I do not carry mace. I choose safe routes because there will always be bad people, and I choose to drink within my limits because there will always be bad people. Rape is awful and disgusting and I have been lucky to not experience it. However, the 1 in 4 girls will be raped on American campus’ is a lie. The study equated rape with non-consensual sexual contact. Whilst this downplays the severity of rape, it also skews the ‘statistics’ used in the 1 in 4 scaremongering. No, 1 in 4 women are not raped during college, but 1 in 4 women are touched without consent. There is a difference, and while non-consensual contact is also wrong, it is ridiculous to compare it to rape which is infinitely more damaging for the victim.
‘You still don’t have paid (or even unpaid) maternity leave. You still have to go back to work while your body is broken. While you silently suffer from postpartum depression’. What is this? Do women in America not have paid maternity leave? According to this paper: https://www.dol.gov/wb/resources/paid_parental_leave_in_the_united_states.pdf there are indeed no laws to govern this in America, and there should be, I agree. However, FMLA is in place which does require employers to provide maternity leave. It seems a bit murky, and a clear law would likely be better, but the option is there. Also, women do not have to go back to work after childbirth, they are not forced to do so, and are not forced to work in such a state as you have described. It is a hyperbolic description. Do you have to suffer silently? No. Talk to someone. You have the agency to do that.
‘You still have to fight to breastfeed in public. You still have to prove to other women it’s your right to do so. You still offend others with your breasts’. The breastfeeding outrage was ridiculous, and yes, probably stems from the sexualisation of breasts.
‘You are still objectified. You are still catcalled. You are still sexualized. You are still told you’re too skinny or you’re too fat. You’re still told you’re too old or too young. You’re applauded when you “age gracefully.” You’re still told men age “better.” You’re still told to dress like a lady. You are still judged on your outfit instead of what’s in your head. What brand bag you have still matters more than your college degree’. Biological programming will always be there and men and women will always be attracted to each other and objectify each other. You think you’re exempt from this? Have you seen the ludicrous Buzzfeed articles allowing you to drool over a Hemsworth’s abs? I personally find these articles hypocritical and if you want to prevent objectification, then you have to be prepared to stop too. Catcalled… Yea, I don’t like it but it’s just words and can be ignored. Until someone touches me, I will just ignore them. Sexualised. As in my first point, biology has a lot to do with this. Women and men have desirable traits to the opposite sex, and they are sexual traits, they attract a ‘mate’. Basic biology. It’s when people act on the impulses and touch without consent that it becomes a problem. Men are sexualised too. Too skinny or too fat. I have had a lot of experience with this and it is horrible. But I have learnt to brush off inconsiderate comments, that likely come from a place of concern. Everyone is judged by how they age. I am rarely told to dress like a lady, I dress for myself, in what I am comfortable, and other peoples comments or opinions don’t matter on this matter. Outfit over head? Nope. Although presentation is an immediate indicator for professionalism. If you dress in a bin bag and expect the job that’s bizarre. If you attempt to look neat, then you look more professional. Also, looks come before you have a chance to deliver what is in your head. People make assumptions, yes, and you have to speak with them to gain their respect. You cannot automatically expect that. And your college degree? It matters when it matters, and some people like to open conversation with a compliment on what they know about you, which often starts with what they can see, like your bag. Maybe you should wear your degree on yourself at all times.
‘You are still being abused by your husband, by your boyfriend. You’re still being murdered by your partners. Being beaten by your soulmate’. No I’m not. No abuse here. Haven’t yet been murdered. Men also experience this. This has nothing to do with human rights. This is an issue that cannot be solved by rights.
‘You are still worse off if you are a woman of color, a gay woman, a transgender woman. You are still harassed, belittled, dehumanized’. Some people are worse off for these reasons, usually in other countries, not in western society. Anyone who is truly racist, homophobic or transphobic is disgusting and should be ignored. That sort of behaviour is not ok, but those people are few, and these women you have described have no institutional barriers that prevent them from becoming what they want. For example, the mayor of Washington is a black woman.
‘Your daughters are still told they are beautiful before they are told they are smart. Your daughters are still told to behave even though “boys will be boys.” Your daughters are still told boys pull hair or pinch them because they like them’. Yes, the way children are brought up needs revision and change. But, I never experienced this. It is not universal.
‘You are not equal. Your daughters are not equal. You are still systematically oppressed’. No, you are not unequal. You have the same rights as men and now it seems you just want more rights.
‘Estonia allows parents to take up to three years of leave, fully paid for the first 435 days. United States has no policy requiring maternity leave’. So? It’s a different country with differing laws, use the right given to you, work in politics and create the policy you want to see in America.
‘Singapore’s women feel safe walking alone at night. American women do not’. You have provided no evidence for this.
‘New Zealand’s women have the smallest gender gap in wages, at 5.6%. United States’ pay gap is 20%’. Maybe, women in New Zealand occupy a large number of higher paying jobs and take less time off work and are less likely to take part-time jobs.
The United States ranks at 45 for women’s equality. Behind Rwanda, Cuba, Philippines, Jamaica’. Why? Because all of a sudden women are discontent with their rights, their wages (earned), their false narrative, problems that don’t exist?
You’re right though. I don’t want to be a victim. Because I am not a victim. I think feminism is redundant because it fights for nothing nowadays. I think we already have equality. I do not hate the word pussy, and I do not insult men with the word. I think the concept of manhood should be chucked, and the ‘man up’ phrase should be scrapped. I am no one’s woman and can do what I please. Feminists are unreasonable, and I have not seen them leave their echo chambers to debate like rational people. Except those that are outcasts of the feminist community because they dare question it. I am empowered, I am not oppressed. Don’t try to guilt-trip me. I do care about and support women, but it does not involve marching against thin air. My eyes have been open my whole life and unless you have the facts and statistics to prove that equality is an illusion I will not take you at your word.
You will never walk for me, fight for me, or stand for me. I CAN DO THAT FOR MYSELF. I HAVE MY OWN AGENCY AND WILL DECIDE FOR MYSELF WHETHER OR NOT I WANT TO FIGHT AGAINST IMAGINARY OPPRESSORS.
If you have made it this far, thank you. I really appreciate it. I know it’s a very long piece, but I felt the need to respond to this.