Feminism is confused because you keep confusing it

A recent article, discussing feminism and masochism, was so full of assumptions and half-truths, that I just had to respond.

Feminism is, to the average reasonable person, still about equality. Equality for everyone, regardless of gender, race, religion, or disability. Equality for all, and fair treatment of all. And so with that in mind, I will address each point raised in the aforementioned article.

[Feminism is] the most hypocritical and confused of any modern movement

Feminism is confused because you keep confusing it. If you want to really know what feminism is about, do some research. Don’t just rely on whatever you hear or read. Open your eyes, read the wealth of material that’s out there, and make up your own mind. I’m still learning things every day, and discovering my own opinion on different issues. Why not do the same?

The feminist movement recently seems to have started focussing on how society has adapted to this in bad ways by sexualising and objectifying women’s bodies

If you can deny that women are sexualised and objectified, then you still have a lot of learning to do. This is a fact. But feminists do not suggest that ‘women who sleep around and wear inappropriately exposing clothes are sluts’. Feminists encourage women to wear whatever they like, and embrace the ideal that women can do so without the fear of attack.

It has come to my attention that some equality movements want to curb freedom of speech. An example of this is the recent attempt to ban page 3 because it was inappropriate and degrading to women

There is a very big difference between freedom of speech, and offending someone with what you’re saying. Plus, unless I’m mistaken, The Sun isn’t saying a whole lot with Page 3. The ‘No More Page 3’ campaign wants to remove naked images of women in a family newspaper, which sits at a child’s eye-level in most shops. It wants to encourage the next generation to respect women, not treat them as a sexual object. And it wants women to be represented in the same way men are. Many feminists are trying to stop the exploitation of women, and are not attacking women for their choice of career.

A novel idea, I know, but if you want to know about a particular campaign or movement, why not visit their website and read their material, instead of making assumptions about their motives?

Men who look at, admire or appreciate these women or images of nude women, are potential rapists and by the mere act of looking are ‘raping women with their eyes’

I have no idea where that “quote” came from, but this is another misconception. While it is true that some feminists may believe that, they are largely considered to be radical feminists. Just like any other group of people, there will be differing beliefs on certain issues, and this seems to be such a case. As a self-identified feminist, I do not believe that men are ‘raping women with their eyes’ by looking at nude pictures. What you do in private is none of my business, so long as it is not hurting anyone else. A woman has every right to have nude pictures taken, and distribute them however she likes. But I do believe that everyone should have some respect for others, and think about the impact of your words.

It is true that there are men out there who abuse women but why is it that a man can no longer admit to being attracted to a woman without it being called objectification. Try natural human thoughts and an instinct to seek out a suitable mate

Appreciating beauty, in both men and women, is not what’s under attack here. Catcalling, inappropriate touching (as in, any touching that has not been consented to), and obscene comments are not a way of admitting attraction. It is objectification.

Let us be clear about what objectification means. It is when one person treats another as a thing, without regard to their dignity. So when a man is making an inappropriate comment about a woman’s figure or looks, they are doing so without taking anything else into consideration. They are simply focusing on how the woman looks.

To borrow a quote from Tim Minchin ‘We’re just monkeys in shoes’. By that he means that our animal instinct is still to find the best possible mate so that our genes are carried on and improved

The best possible mate, to me, is someone who acts like the best possible mate. Despite our “animal instincts”, we are not completely focused on looks. And objectification is about focusing on certain points for sexual gratification, and has absolutely nothing to do with carrying on the best genes, so let’s not be precious.

If we adhered to the rules of these modern feminists, the human race would die out; if men weren’t allowed to be attracted to women publicly or, God forbid, hit on a woman in case she felt it to be too forward or her friend felt that she wasn’t pretty enough, then no one would ever get married or have children (unless of course we went back to arranged marriages!). Equally if women had to cover up any of their female beauty whether it is their body, hair or face then the same result could be expected

This quote could not be cut up, I had to include it in all its glory. Again, hitting on and being attracted to women is not what’s under fire here. It is the way in which men approach women. Why some men believe that a woman should feel grateful for being groped without her consent is beyond me. When did we become so oblivious to clear sexual assault? Catcalling and wolf-whistling is not, in my opinion, a compliment, though other women may disagree. Approaching a woman, offering her a drink, and actually talking to her, is how you can “stop the human race from dying out.” What feminists disagree with this?

While I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I cannot sit idly by when I see so many wild misconceptions being broadcast to the public. This was taken from a student paper, and, as we’ve seen from recent reports, sexual violence is disturbingly common on university campuses. A report by the Ministry of Justice found that female students in full-time education are at higher risk of sexual violence than the general female population.

And so we have a responsibility to ensure that these misconceptions are quashed, and that women feel as empowered as possible. Because that’s what feminism is about, to me. Encouragement, empowerment, equality, and unity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s