It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
In a Two for Tuesday, we’ll have two posts. Because gosh, that Jezebel article has me riled up.
Okay, so the article on Jezebel is one of the things that greatly bothers me about the feminist agenda and the movement at large. For much of my life, feminism has taken on a dirty connotation. Guys have asked, with a little bit of disgust, “Are you a freaking feminist?” And the answer is yes – I want equal rights under equal laws, equal pay for equal work and, because this always comes up in any feminist discussion, the right to be able to live without fear of being raped and murdered for being a woman in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact one of the reasons I refused to listen to any military recruiter in high school was the lack of action against the rape of women at the Citadel at the time. I’ve thrown punches when jerks have said to my group that it was hoped one of us got raped. So yeah, I’m a feminist.
It’s just things like this that makes me pull my hair out with frustration. First, as my friend points out, when one writes an open letter using the term “you” to refer to men, it’s really addressed to every man. And gals, we can’t do it alone. We’ve got to be friendly to our allies, the real men out there that respect women. You know, our dads, our husbands, our boyfriends, our male friends, our siblings. So please, let’s play nice. Our allies aren’t calling us crazy women who don’t know what we actually want. (Okay, so they maybe kid, but it’s a loving sort of joking.)
It’s just that I know far too many women who bemoan the fact that the barista flirts with them, and then bitches about how they’re single. Look, I get not wanting the guy with the unusual hygiene habits and the tattoo that says “Bullshit” written across his forehead to slide up to you and start rubbing your shoulder and giving you compliments about your hair. But the nice white collar guy on the bus asking you if you really like that Abigail Adams biography doesn’t deserve to get his head bit off. Chances are he wanted to know if you liked it for two reasons. The first is because he might be interested in reading it. Did you ever think of that missy? The second is that maybe he wants to talk to you about something you might be passionate about. Maybe the guy is interested in what you actually, brace yourself for it, think.
The thing of it is, articles like this make feminists look like man-hating bitches, which the majority of us are not. Certainly we’re concerned about our safety, but we’re also concerned with a million other things – like being able to choose to have a child, like getting equal pay and like every other person in the world, being successful at our jobs and loved by people that respect us. And ultimately those men who love and respect us are also our allies. They’re the ones that vote for democratic candidates that support Roe v Wade even if they personally think abortion is terrible. They’re the ones that donate dollars to organizations that deal primarily with women’s illnesses, like breast cancer. They give freely to women’s shelters.
You don’t shoot at your allies in a war. That’s precisely what this does by lumping all men into creepsters who don’t respect women.