“Why I need feminism” … really?

I have wondered for years why people adopt ideologies. What is the charm, the motivation?
This is a new attempt of mine to get to grips with it, by taking a look at the reasons people give for their ideology on http://whoneedsfeminism.tumblr.com.

Victims

I need feminism because my voice as a survivor should be empowered not silenced”

What she wants: “I want my story to be heard”

Understandable.

What she ignores: Her story may well destroy the life of another person. Nobody except her knows if her story is a lie. Too many people lie about stories like hers. It is not a good idea to destroy a person’s life over something that is not true. Nobody but her knows if her story is true. Everyone else needs to be careful.

What other people think

I need feminism so I can get tattoos in places that are considered ‘for tramps.’ Like my hips, breasts, and lower back. My body should be mine to ink as I please.”

What she wants: “I want to do whatever I want (as long as it does not harm others)”

What she ignores: Her body is hers to ink as she pleases. Nobody is preventing her.
On the other hand it is everyone else’s freedom to think what they want. It is not her right to prescribe reactions.

What she probably means: “Do not judge me negatively”

What she ignores: Chosen surfaces are important. When you get tattoos you tell something to the world. That something may be misunderstood and possibly will be disapproved by some.
Free speech comes with free disagreement. There is no other way.

—–

I need feminism because, upon telling people my career plans and that I specialise in felinology, I have been told that I shouldn’t be doing a zoology degree if all I plan to do with it is become a ‘crazy cat lady’. I find it insulting that people feel they can overlook everything I have just said and reduce my worth and passion in my chosen career to an archaic female stereotype.”

What she wants: a) “I don’t want others to make fun of me, even when I am saying something unusual.” or b) “I want female stereotypes to vanish.” or c) “I want a world in which I can get by without a sense of humour.”

Probably a mixture of all three.

What she ignores:
If the reported reaction was indeed not a joke, the other person was an idiot. I do not know how she wants to rid the world of idiots. Euthanasia, perhaps?
If, on the other hand, it was a joke, her entire hopes lies with c). She’s backing the right horse, there. Feminism is working hard to rid the world of humour.
If it is b) the joke question doesn’t enter into it. The open question is if the human mind can actually work without stereotypes.

—–

I need feminism because when I confronted a guy that shamed me for rejecting him, he was praised by both genders, while I was called names and a drama starter.”

Difficult to say, having only her side of the story…

What she wants: “I am never wrong, I never overreact, so I want people to be always on my side.”

What she ignores: Was that really what happened?

—–

I need feminism because when I went to the pharmacy alone to get a pregnancy test, the lady asked me where the baby’s father was. I should not have to feel ashamed to buy a pregnancy test. Ever. ”

What she wants: “Nobody is allowed to give me the impression I was doing something wrong that has to do with sexuality.”

What she ignores: The father of a child is important, indeed. And if having that pointed out shames you, maybe part of you thinks so, too.

—–

I need feminism because I am plus sized and want to be seen as a beautiful individual in the ‘eyes’ of our society!”

What she wants: “I want society to change so I don’t have to.”

What she ignores: Most of the biology of attraction.

—–

I need feminism because… I want to be complimented on my work ETHIC, not my work ATTIRE”

What she ignores: People, women too, are mostly complimented on what is remarkable about them. Maybe her attire is more remarkable than her ethic? Who am I to know.

Gender roles

I need FEMINISM because when I was 7 years old I wanted to go play outside with my shirt off like the boys were doing, but I was stopped because “THAT ISN’T WHAT GIRLS DO”. I didn’t look any different to them at that age…”

What she wants: either a) “Stop treating female sexuality different than male sexuality.” or b) “Stop treating children as if they had a sexuality.”

Since I don’t see what b) has to do with feminism, I’ll assume a)

What she ignores: Heterosexual (i.e. most) men and women DO have quite different sexualities and ways to react to the bodies of the opposite gender. There is plenty of evidence that this is not learned but biologically given.
People who do not learn about these differences or learn too late, run a risk of getting hurt or hurting others.

—–

I need feminism because my friend’s daughter is being called a slut for “having too many boyfriends” throughout the year. SHE’S 11.”

Same as above.

—–

I need feminism because the first time I met my friend’s parents, I was SURPRISED and CONFUSED that her dad stayed at home and her mom is an executive with a six-figure salary.
I was raised in a relatively traditional family—dad works, mom stays at home (though she has a job teaching now)—but this shouldn’t be startling to anyone.”

What she wants: a) “I want things that rarely happen to stop being surprising” or b) “I want that at least every third woman likes to work hard full time (at least 40 hours) on her job and is attracted to a man who runs the home”

Again, only b) has anything to do with feminism.

What she ignores: Working full time to feed your family that you do not see very much because you are working is quite hard. Why would at least every third woman want to do that?

What she hopes for: When women work full time, that means working about 32 hours a week and still earning enough for four.

What she ignores: This is quite unrealistic.

—–

I need feminism because I shouldn’t be told by a six year old that I act like a boy because I don’t like wearing dresses or skirts.”

Same as the tattoo-girl, really.

What she ignores: Acting like a boy is a good thing. 🙂

—–

I need feminism because my gender identity and my gender expression are mine and no one else’s. So no one should be able to say that I am a man if I don’t want them to. I am neither a man, nor a woman, and I don’t care about gender roles!”

What it ignores: How are others to know that it has decided to have no gender? Should we abandon the words “man”, “woman”, “he”, “she” that almost all people identify with just so some small minority has to perform slightly less mental arithmetic?

Bad influences

I need feminism because a local online shop run by a girl sells “Cool Story, Babe” sweaters and hoodies for girls. ”

What she wants: “I want to censor what others are allowed to do.”

What she ignores: Free speech and free thought is good. Censorship isn’t. Even if that means that some people do or say stuff that you do not approve of.

————————-

I’m bored now

All of these have a terribly naive view of the world, see no connections but only their own small gripes.
And somehow The Chosen One or Religion or Ideology X will solve all their problems for them so they don’t have to themselves.

But then: Anyone willing to hold up a sign “why I need ..” to the internet would also be willing to have her picture taken with a monkey on one arm and an oversized cheque in the other.
And that says a lot…
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1 Comment

  1. liked that. too lazy to think english right now.

    Reply

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