I am all for equality. I want men and women to be equal in the same ways that they are intellectually, and I feel that we have very nearly reached that target here in the UK. However sometimes I feel that modern feminism is less about men and women being equal and more about women being superior. There is sometimes a mindset that only women are allowed to be flawed – when men are, it’s their own fault. Well I say that that we should stop thinking of ourselves as men and women and start thinking of ourselves as human beings. We’re people, and we all make the same mistakes. By allocating certain crimes, traits, and generalisations to a certain gender, we are simply worsening sexism and widening the gap between the genders.
I am, of course, talking about the radical feminists, the ones who are as forceful in their opinions, and the oppression of others’ opinions, as any extreme religious or protest group. Women and men who fight for women to receive equal pay or to stop genital mutilation of young women, who support the choice of abortion or educating teenagers on the dangers and effects of rape – these people are following a moral and admirable cause. This is true feminism. But those who are trying to proclaim oppression of women where it no longer exists, shame women who do not identify as feminists, glorify the victim mentality, and do so in an aggressive, intolerant manner are not feminists. They’re women who thrive off of attention and negative reactions. Anyone who states their opinion in a respectful and open-minded manner deserves to be listened to – these women do not.
So now I’d like to ask: do you feel oppressed? Perhaps you feel that you are taken less seriously in your workplace, but do some men not find themselves met with suspicion if they want to work in primary schools or daycare? Perhaps you’ve had a terrible experience with abuse where you were unable to defend yourself, but do some men not find themselves in abusive relationships or victims of sexual abuse? Perhaps you feel that you are seen as emotionally weak, but are men not expected to be strong all the time and never show emotions? Who’s raising these issues? Admittedly women are subject to such experiences more often, but that’s why we’re still fighting for equality.
The way to show that women are just as ‘good’ as men is to do just that – be strong, be influential, achieve things, do something. Portraying ourselves as victims will makes us look like victims. How is that equal to men?
So I say support equality, not feminism. Equality means the choice to be a housewife or house-husband if that’s what you want to do, to own your own business or work in any field that you want, to have children or to not, to have sex with as many people as you want or wait until marriage without being called a whore or a prude, to live life the way you want without the limitations of stereotypes, expectations, prejudice or societal pressure. Feminism was once revolutionary, but we now have nothing to revolt against.