The Case for Feminism

Nowadays, there are two kinds of people who comment on internet articles: those looking to offend, and those looking to be offended. These two groups become one and the same when it comes to one special topic though: feminism. People get offended by feminism like their lives depend on it, while at the same offending women’s struggles for equality and justice. They feel oppressed that these “feminazis” have the balls (or ovaries?) to demand that they be treated like human beings and not be dehumanized. I know that a lot of you probably clicked on this with a really offensive comment in mind about how men are the real victims and women suck and blah blah blah. I’ve heard your rhetoric, now let me state my case for feminism.

The thing is, the term “feminism” has been unfortunately sabotaged in recent years by people who don’t get what it really means. So, let’s get that out of the way right now; feminism is a movement that advocates for the full equality of the sexes. Basically, if you believe that people should be treated with equal respect and decency, whatever their gender may be, you are a feminist. Welcome to the club, we’ve been waiting for you! And if you want me to be even more clear; if you know all this and still say you’re not a feminist, you’re probably a horrible human being.

“But do we even need feminism? Don’t women have enough rights already? What are they whining about?”

Well, my dear reader, allow me to explain. Yes, we do need feminism; not only that, we need it now. We live in a world where women are shamed for having too much sex, or for wearing skimpy clothes, or for drinking too much. In some countries, women aren’t allowed to vote, or go to school, or can be subject to female genital mutilation (FGM). We live in a world where feminism is so taboo that people think it’s totally normal and even kind of funny when politicians like Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil tell a colleague, “I won’t rape you because you don’t deserve to be raped, you tramp” on live TV. I went into more detail on Brazilian sexism and rape culture in a past article, which you can find on my Facebook page, so you guys can just read that.

And, of course, I can’t leave out the classic wage gap issue. On average, women earn around 82 cents for every dollar a man earns for doing the same job, which is incredibly disturbing. And, I know there are a bunch of arguments that say that women actually deserve to be paid less because they get pregnant and take time off (because God forbid women take a few months off work after pushing a literal human being out of their bodies), or because they don’t work as hard, or because they’re less ambitious. You’ve also heard that “if women earn less than men, why don’t companies hire only women?” Well, again I return to the (incorrect) notion that women are less ambitious and, therefore, less productive. Basically, women need to work twice as hard to earn four-fifths the pay and half the recognition.

These whiny feminazis are oppressing me by demanding things they don’t deserve! What about my rights?

OK, first let’s discuss the term “feminazi,” because this really gets under my skin. First of all, what is it about feminism that reminds you of the Nazis, exactly? What about women asking for equal rights equates to a mass genocide that killed millions of people? I’ve yet to hear an explanation for this and honestly, I don’t think I ever will. Because there is no argument that can justify comparing a movement for justice and equality to literal Nazis.

Now let’s get to the “special rights” argument. What if I told you that, when black people were fighting for equal rights in apartheid South Africa, for example, white people thought they were being oppressed too? It’s totally normal for a majority group to feel oppressed when their privilege is challenged; I’m not holding it against you at all, it’s human nature. What you need to recognize is that women aren’t asking for special rights they haven’t earned, they’re fighting for the equal rights they deserve as living, thinking, human beings. They deserve to be paid the same as men, and to not have to worry about being sexually assaulted every time they get into a cab, and to not be called goddamn Nazis every time they want to be treated with dignity. What you’re thinking of is misandry (hatred of men) or matriarchy. VERY DIFFERENT THINGS.

The ironic thing is that the people who sit behind messaging boards demeaning women online are the same people who complain that they can’t get laid in real life. Any guesses why, geniuses? If you spend every hour of every day saying that women are horrible, or that they deserve to be raped, or that they’re Nazis, don’t be surprised if they don’t want anything to do with you. Or, let me put it this way, if you shame girls for having sex with random guys, they’ll stop having sex with random guys, i.e. YOU! If you really want to hook up with women, try respecting them for a change. Seriously, it really isn’t that hard, and your credibility will go through the roof. And, if you can read all this and still compare women to the mass genocide of millions of people, I hope you enjoy never being taken seriously.

This story was originally posted here on August 9, 2016

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