I was literally just checking on my blog, as you do, and I noticed that one of the views today was on my male natural hair movement post. Lately that post has been getting a lot of views and it got me thinking. I didn’t know there were people who were interested. To be honest I write what I want to write, I don’t write to please others. I appreciate those who are reading that post or who are curious and so click on it.
From there my thoughts wondered onto men’s rights in domestic abuse cases and then women’s rights and feminism. It may seem a bit of a stretch but my mind works in its own way.
My problem with some feminists is that they want to overthrow men or rather they see men as beneath them. I say some feminists… SOME not all. I remember reading a post about a guy who got drugged on a date and some women on the post felt no sympathy for the guy at all, it was almost as if they thought he deserved it. I sat there and thought, “Is that fair?”
It got me thinking about racism. As a kid I thought, “I could fight like with like, when they’re racist to me I could do the same back.” But I immediately shut down that thought because then it would make me just as small minded as they were.
In sociology class we talked about domestic violence. We talked about women who suffer from it and also men. For men it is under reported as men feel shame admitting that they have been abused. I thought that was sad. Abuse is abuse, it shouldn’t matter if the victim is male or female but the fact of the matter is men do get judged. “How could you not defend yourself you’re a man.” So? There are strong women. (I’m talking mostly about heterosexual relationships). Also there is emotional abuse, financial abuse and psychological abuse. Sometimes even if the man is stronger he may not want to defend himself in case he hurts her or because he loves her so he endures it.
In sociology we learnt about the different forms of feminism, from radical, liberal, Marxist to black feminism (as women of colour are often under represented in mainstream feminism). I felt I resonated with liberal and black feminism. I resonated with liberal feminism because for me I don’t desire to be separate from men, I don’t believe that is the solution. I want equality, for us as women to be treated as human beings of worth and to be respected. I don’t think that’s a big ask and yet it seems for some it is. In this world I want women to be equal and to be respected not just culturally but in the eyes of the law and in the workplace.
However in pursuing that I don’t believe in trampling down men. There are bad men out there, for sure. However there are also bad women out there. But as men hold most of the power in the Western world their damage is bigger. Those men require our attention and our fighting power.
However men who are kind, who are just, who actually help women in their fight they deserve my respect. Men who are good fathers, husbands and boyfriends deserve respect. There is nothing inherently wrong with being a man.
I don’t think the problem is with men but rather with society. A man is not born bad. A man is not born viewing women as inferior, he is not born sexist or misogynistic, he learns that. The same way a person is not born racist.
I was talking to my cousin about how I couldn’t believe patriarchal, sexist and misogynistic men existed in our generation. I mean we’re 90’s kids, aren’t they supposed to be woke? Perhaps that was naive of me. My cousin then said, “But you don’t know how those men were raised or what they were taught.” And I realised, that’s true. If a guy isn’t taught to treat women right how will he know? If he sees his parents playing those roles that will feel right to him. It got me thinking about socialisation and nature vs nurthur. I feel nurthur sometimes plays a bigger role in how a person turns out.
Plus there are women who enable misogynistic men. I watched a programme where a woman did everything for her man. I mean she made him breakfast (cereal) and ironed his clothes, he did nothing for himself whilst at home. The kicker was he didn’t force her, in her interview she said she didn’t believe it was a man’s role to do housework or to help out at home. In that moment I realised not all women think the same. I thought we all wanted the same thing but no there are women who are happy with the whole “1900’s” set up.
Even so I still stand by my beliefs that we should be equal. We should help each other and use our strengths to better each other. Just as being a man is not a sin being a woman is not a sin either. It is not a curse to be pregnant or to have children. How else would we reproduce? We do such a great thing and yet we’re punished and then we end up dreading procreating, like no! Children are a blessing. Also it is fine to not want to have children, both ends of the spectrum are fine. It is not a sin to be emotional. Also not all women are emotional and men aren’t emotionless.
Honestly I think men also suffer from this patriarchal world. They always have to be strong and macho. They can’t show their emotions. We women enjoy friendships without boundaries and yet for men showing affection isn’t always easy. Then they end up bottling it up and it causes them problems. On average (last I checked, in recent years the stats may have changed) men die earlier than women. All that stress, pent up emotion and just dealing with problems on their own instead of seeking help… it’s not good for them, for any of us really.
So what can I do about it?
For one it’s good to talk about it. For two it’s good to fight for our rights. However it is important to remember it is not a sin to be a man. I know the world can get hard and you see so many women suffering at the hands of men but just remember even though it seems like it it is not all men. Fight the tossers who are polluting the world with patriarchy and appreciate the ones who are decent human beings like they’re supposed to be. Also realise that not all women are saints. I have heard some cases that shocked me as I realised, “Wow women can do this too”. All in all, fight the patriarchy and uplift the good ones.
Also for me I think it’s important to consider how we raise our children. I don’t have kids so I’m thinking about the hypothetical future. They are like sponges so we should think about the way we socialise them. I for one don’t agree with some gender norms. I have problems with femininity and masculinity. Being macho does not make you a man and liking pink and barbies does not make you a woman. I grew up a tomboy and I am a woman. To this day I still love action movies, martial arts and football. But I also love skirts, looking sexy and romantic comedies. I mean there are many different personalities in this world, why are we all trying to be the same? If we keep passing on the same messed up ideals how do we expect the world to change?
This post has been long and complicated, I’m sorry if it doesn’t make sense. I thought I was just going to say a little bit and then go but it seems I had a lot on my mind.
Thanks for reading,
3 thoughts on “What feminism means to me”
Very good post! I totally agree with everything you write here! 🙂
I started thinking a lot more about gender roles etc since I met my wife, who is very much into martial arts.
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What a very stream of consciousness post! It’s neat to follow your train of thought & there’s no way to comment overall so I’ll just do one.
Yes, I think men get a raw deal. We have a son who’s not “typical” southern — doesn’t like sports, wouldn’t dream of going out for football — and I see people struggle trying to talk to him. It’s like they don’t know what to say when they ask what sports he plays and the answer is none.
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That’s a shame and I’m sure he excels in other things. In the future those same people will see how awesome he is at things other than sport.