As a follow up to my feminist rant on Monday I wanted to post some of the great replies to the original post got. There are so many strong, independent, kind, and intelligent people in the world it makes my heart smile! ❤
“Somehow I think you are missing the point, although much of what you write is quite true. I appreciate your writing very much even though I often disagree with the “politics”. However. The truth is that despite it being a fabulous thing, having children is something that has been used to keep women under control for a long time. In terms of having a viable world? and healthy children? having no ability to restrict pregnancy does not produce a positive result, either. Poor child health and nutrition is a HUGE problem, and nobody really seems to be talking about that. I guess abortion is more “exciting”. Having reproductive control over herself, and not having some male or insurance company decide what can be done, is crucial to a woman being able to, in many cases, support herself and the family she chooses to have. If you disagree with abortion, that’s fine and you should not have one. But I do not believe it gives you the right to prevent others following their own dictates. There can be concern with late term abortions, for sure. But early term abortions are not terminations of viable human beings, which makes blanket rejection a somewhat specious argument. I generally wonder what people’s positions on the death penalty are, too, when abortion is a question. Also. Women ARE under attack. The pay inequity is stark. The opportunities are, in truth, limited. Health care, child care, basic things like that? are not available to many- it’s all a matter of money and who has it. You may not yet have had your fill of salacious remarks, inappropriate touching, (and not related to provocative dress, to be clear) dismissal of ideas and contributions and downright rip off of same in combination with being trundled off to second class work world unless total obedience to the paradigm is manifested- but all that exists and is getting stronger, and serves no one. Feminism, like every other -ism, and language in general now, gets distorted unimaginably. But women ARE a dispossessed group in many ways and feminism seeks- or should, anyway- to educate everyone in order to rectify a dysfunctional situation. Oppression of women allows men to not be who and what they are, as well. Enabling people to stoop to every occasion is not a recipe for success. I also agree that stridency, name calling, isolationism and intolerance are not acceptable in ANY venue. Patriarchy has been, to say the least, debased over the centuries and it doesn’t serve the highest interests of men OR women. This is what needs to change, and what I believe the essence of feminist action truly is. Responding to your point of view as well, I think the essence of what Christ tells us is: love is the way. Let’s hope we can work on all this together!”
“Just because you aren’t feeling or witnesses the effects of why we need feminism doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
On paper, we all have EQUAL rights. Sadly, reality tells a much different story.
How people are treated for just being a minority or a woman is atrocious. The United States is ruled by old, white men who are out of touch with reality.
I was sexually harassed at a place of work years ago by the boss/owner of company. You know what the general consensus was by my recruiting company/counselor/co-workers? I was wearing something that “showed the shape” of my breasts.
Yes, blouses that completely cover my chest and were plain somehow made this boss of mine bold enough to make comments and stare at my chest for long periods of time (I was the admin assistant/front desk person). I caught him many times and asked him what he was doing. No answer, kept staring. I quit. I fought a mental battle with myself and hated myself.
But that isn’t a unique story: this happens to so many women (and men, too).
Now please, not all men are like this and not all women are constantly angry or threaten/feel threatened by men. What people see when they see feminists on TV is anger and marches; rarely do you see the why’s (or choose not to).
Words like “triggered” get thrown around every time a woman has an opinion that isn’t the general consensus.
It’s fine to have religious beliefs and/or be pro-life; after all, your body is your body! But…in no way, shape or form does anyone have the right to tell another person what to do with their body. More to the point, some of these politicians have zero knowledge of the female anatomy. Some of them actually believe we can hold in our blood and make it come out at will. I don’t want that moron to be in charge of what he clearly knows nothing about nor care (or the life a goldfish, for that matter).
But above everything else I’ve seen on this particular post is the men agreeing with the idea feminism is overrated. It’s almost funny, if not a little sad.
Of course they agree; they have all this privilege and never had to think what others are thinking or feeling or, GASP, what other people might be going through.
They give men with intelligence and common sense a horrendous name. No, it’s more scary than anything else, come to think of it.
I don’t care what religion or lack of anyone has: don’t hide behind any deity(ies) to justify ignorance or bring others down. Don’t hide behind religion and dictate why certain people need to be treated differently.
But, when I also see stuff like this, I have a small sigh of relief. I genuinely don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve gone through. The story is just the tip of the iceberg. I used to have the same opinions, like “we don’t need feminism” and think it was all in someone’s misguided head.
So, I hope you keep your misconceptions about feminism. I hope you never have to see and experience what myself and so many others go through. I applaud you for having your opinion, even if we disagree.”
“Never dismiss as fiction the struggles others face simply because you have not faced them. You lost me at wanting women to take some responsibility for sexual assault in I suppose some percentage related to the amount of our bodies that are not covered. You can say “I’m not saying she was asking for it” but you absolutely said asking for trouble. Having been sexually assaulted in broad daylight at age 16 wearing knee length shorts while walking in a park with a friend, what percentage of the blame would you assign to me based on the amount of clothing I was wearing? I have many thoughts on feminism but if you are still in that place where maybe sometimes we bring our own rapes on ourselves, it feels useless to discuss it more deeply.”
From Vic Crain:
“I enjoy some of your posts, probably most of them, but not this thread. It suggests that you have experienced a relatively sheltered life, and simply have no clue about the rest of the US, much less the world.
A good portion of this country is still in the early 1900s, and some of it craves for the early 1800s from a social perspective — and that means treating women as property, and beating your spouse to where she requires a doctor is a $25 misdemeanor if there is an arrest at all. (Yes, I can cite recent examples for this, and I’m not kidding about the penalty. As one abuser said, the entertainment value was worth the $25.)
Some of the facts are obvious and well known, or should be:
(1) Women are paid roughly 2/3 of what men get for the same jobs.
(2) Women are underrepresented in the C-suite in major companies.
(3) Women cannot become President of the US. They can hold that position in other countries, but enough people will vote against them in the US simply based on gender to prevent them from winning. That was one of a number of factors working against Clinton in the last election, and a factor in analysts saying that any MALE candidate would have won against trump.
(4) The US is behind most other industrialized countries on maternity leave practices. For example, The Netherlands gives women 16 weeks of leave at 100% pay even if the mother is self-employed, plus a home health aide. Where exactly in the US can you find that? (OK, if you are a member of Congress, maybe.)
Domestic violence and incest are far more common in the US than most people are willing to acknowledge. There’s a lot of work to be done. If you haven’t seen it, you need to look more carefully. Even in affluent areas, it’s all around you. Who’s wearing dark glasses when they aren’t needed? Who has a little too much makeup? Long sleeves on a hot day? LOOK.
I’ve no patient for symbolic politics. I don’t care whose face is on the dollar bill. I care about the physical and mental well-being of people. Anything that distracts from that or that might take resources away from that is at least annoying and at worst horrific.
The Declaration of Independence promised “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” If people don’t have the opportunity for that, it’s a problem. If the problem results from their own bad decisions, well, can’t do much about that. But if the problem is based on skin color, accent, gender, sexual preference (which I don’t see as a choice), that’s something that needs to be fixed.
I also disagree with you on maternity choice. The is no role for the government in someone’s womb. What she does is between herself and her Deity. If Congress can tell you that you cannot abort a fetus, someday Congress could change and will be able to tell you that you can only have one child and have to abort the rest. Do you really want to give the government that power?
(I lose patience with so-called “right to life” people. They show no sign of caring for what happens to the child after it is born, so it’s not the life they care about, just birth. And they don’t want to pay extra taxes to help the babies abandoned at firehouses.)
Instead, one of the key issues of the century is what to do with the workers whose jobs are being killed by automation. Are we going to see women with low education pushed into sex work? Store cashiers, restaurant workers, drivers, some medical positions — those jobs are going away. What will happen to the people doing those jobs? That’s going to be a gender battle when people wake to it.
There are a lot of very real issues that will be addressed in the next decade. Whose face is on the dollar bill isn’t one of them. What you do with your womb shouldn’t be one of them.”
From braddahr (in response to Vic Crain and OP):
“I would essentially agree with you and add a couple thoughts:
Pretty sure that true feminism isn’t about dominating a man and emasculating him but I do recall that argument was used to try and keep women from voting and essentially being treated as human beings instead of property.
I think we can be pro-life – for all life and not just fetuses – and still give women choice. Apparently some states are allowing rapists to sue victims to keep them from aborting the baby created from the rape. Somewhere in there we need to allow for hard choices to be made.
I’m not an expert in these matters but I think the advances we see are tempered by sad realities. For example, while more women are in university I believe that the fewer men get more of the jobs and then are often paid more for the same work as a woman is doing (very capably usually).
While more opportunities exist now than ever before I believe feminists see the significant inequalities across society between men and women and the violence against females of all ages as intricacy linked. One begets the other.”