It’s really confusing in this day and age for a woman to decide where she stands on this issue. Most women reading this likely are telling themselves that I am completely wrong, because they feel very strongly one way or the other. I have struggled since I was in my early teens with the subject however. I have this intensified situation where I have a husband who would like to believe that we have gone past the need for feminism in the world. He believes that like affirmative action, feminism creates a chasm between the two sides of the issue rather than bringing people together. I can understand that, but as brilliant as he is at empathizing with other people’s situations…he still isn’t a woman.
I believe in the idea of people being humanists rather than feminists, I guess that I have to admit though, when I look at the things that are going on all around the world right now, I don’t think that we are quite ready for that. Here’s the thing: there are some rules about co-sleeping with a newborn, and the number one is that the baby sleeps between mom and a barrier, never next to dad. The reason for this is that in the majority of co-sleeping incidents, the problem is that dad will roll over on the baby in his sleep and not wake up. What I am trying to say, is that maybe men are naturally a little less observant of what others are experiencing. Whether this is because of the way that they are raised compared to the way that females are, or if it is simply instinct…it seems to exist.
It is really, extremely difficult, for me to listen to more than one man discussing the problems that feminism causes…extremely difficult. I do get their point that is pretty bi-polar of women to expect to be taken care of, while at the same time want to do everything for themselves. It is ridiculous for us to expect men to allow us to take the lead in a relationship just because our father’s and grandfather’s all dominated our female ancestors, but these are the petty parts of feminism. These aren’t the real issues that are facing women today, the ones that feminists are working so hard on. I think that most feminists are a lot less concerned about the fact that we still make lower wages across the board, than the fact that Americans seem to care more about battered pets than they do about battered women and girls. Feminists are concerned about the fact that we are living in a situation where we are actually losing rights to our own bodies. We are concerned that women are still jugged primarily on their looks and not their intellect, and that little girls are still playing stupid to attract the attention of boys.
So yes, I am a feminist, and I will put up with any insult thrown in my direction because of it. Just because I enjoy being taken care of by my husband, does not mean that I will be first in line to give up my rights. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t take care of him too. I retain my own opinions, and I disagree with a lot of the feminist ideas that are floating around out there today. I do think that it is very important that the feminist community begin to recognize that there are far higher numbers of men in the world suffering the same sexual abuses as we are than we ever knew before, and they are just now finally speaking up about it. Women are seriously not the only group suffering from rape or sexual abuse. I don’t believe in all of the fluff, all of the “vagina hate” ideas (if any of it were true O’Keeffe never would have sold a painting), or the idea that most curse words are veiled methods of putting down females. All of that stuff is just silly. If feminists would get better at dismissing all of this rhetoric and focus on changing the things that we collectively believe are important, we would get a lot more accomplished, and probably not be so unpopular. And possibly, possibly, empathizing with the issues that men face wouldn’t be such a bad idea either.