By Kai Teo
Feminism has become somewhat a popular badge to wear these days. So much so to the point that if you’re not a feminist, you’re somewhat worse than a terrorist.
Modern feminism has swept the world by storm, with the help of the mighty internet, and our favourite Harry Potter character, Emma Watson.
So today, women are all herded, regardless of their will, up the feminism bandwagon. “You’re a woman, you can’t be not feminist!” Men want to be called feminists, because they don’t want to be seen as male chauvinist pigs. Even toddlers are not let off, being forced to wear “I am a feminist” T-shirts instead of the more old school and cheesy “I love Mom” ones.
And when someone criticises the faultless, almighty notion of feminism, the world goes fucking Armageddon on him or her.
Yes, so-called feminists are behaving like frenzied Christians during the crusade, adopting a no-questions-asked attitude to their fight for ‘equality’. When someone asks, “If feminism is about equality, why isn’t it called equalism?”, it’s game over. This person is immediately a misogynist bigot living in the 18th century suppressed by the powers of the patriarch. Somewhat of a witch-hunt, don’t you think?
So, let us try to tackle this question:
“If feminism is about equality, why isn’t it called equalism?”
Right girls and boys (in no order of preference with regards to this comment, but still, I chose to put girls first because militant feminists might get offended by the widely used term "boys and girls"), feminism IS about equality.
The reason why it's not called equalism or egalitarianism is because it's essentially a movement that focuses on females. It is about empowering females with equal rights, equal salaries, and most importantly, equal freedom, as their male counterparts. For once, it’s not about the men here. Its main concern is female empowerment.
In the highest form of feminism, the men are not being hated or seen any differently, because it's really not about bringing the other gender down, but rather, bringing our female counterparts up. The word feminism also gives us a pretty good clue that the issue here is about gender, just as environmentalism is about the fucking environment, just to be clear.
Humans are not ready for the bigger idea of “equalism”. In these dark times, when there’re still people who treat fat people differently, or look at cross dressers with a what-the-fuck face, we need to tackle our shit, issue by issue. So, calling feminism “equalism” might actually dilute the message of female empowerment, let alone the idea that equality is a difficult-to-grasp concept for about 90% of today’s human population.
So what’s the problem with feminism these days?
Google feminism, and then click images. There’s a lot of hate going on there. Ok, hate, hate, hate… oh wait, tits, tits, hate, more tits.
The media’s a really convenient entity to blame for all the faults of the human population. “The media is causing us to think that skimpily clad women are sexy. Down with the media!” Well, look, blame the media for the iPhone you’re holding in your hand. Why were you susceptible to the iPhone ads, or compelled to buy Dove products, but not affected by the Hollywood stuff that’s telling you that skinny and big-breasted women are hot?
Because we have the power to choose whatever we want to believe in. Contrary to popular beliefs, there’s no evil men pulling the strings and controlling your mind. How did the media come up with the idea that women in bikinis are appealing? Hollywood didn’t decide that. The media’s job is to tell us what we like to hear, so that they can get the highest viewership / readership. So stop blaming this invisible enemy that we can never take down, and take matters into our own hands.
Back to the hate. Probably the most hated thing on the planet right now, is twerking. “Oh my god, that is such a big dent to the idea of female empowerment! Using our bodies to sell music! Can’t we do better?” Look, tits and asses are turn-ons for everyone who’s attracted to the females as sexual partners.
And if a woman wants to use her own body to make money, that’s her freedom, that’s her choice, that’s her power. That’s empowerment.
And that’s my opinion. The biggest radical icons of feminism today is probably Femen. They’re using tits to sell their message too. If Femen didn’t run around naked, would there be this much media attention on them? How is that female empowerment? It’s the exact same tactic they use to sell Heineken beer in the 90s.
As much as we would like to deny, hot naked people will also make us look, male, female, or otherwise.
Like Buddha Mag always preaches, freedom is the highest human value. And your freedom ends where another person’s freedom begins. Women gotta stop telling women they shouldn’t be wearing revealing clothes because that is sending out the wrong message to young feminists, women gotta stop telling women to stop putting on makeup because that’s what the media has made us believe to be beautiful, women gotta stop telling a girl who exercises to be skinny that she should be comfortable with her own body and not let men judge her.
Because you’re doing exactly what chauvinistic husbands and boyfriends have been doing for fucking centuries. “Don’t wear this, you’re married now.”, or “I like you without makeup. I think you look prettier.”
This instagram/buzzfeed/reddit fuelled form of childish, narrow-minded feminism is basically the same form of oppression, just by a different group of people.
Let a woman do what she wants. Give her total freedom to be herself, makeup or no makeup, plastic surgery housewife or vegan athlete. That is feminism. Please, stop telling women what to do.
When we go home to our parents and hang out with our dads in front of the TV while Mom is in the kitchen preparing dinner, how many of us go up to Mama and tell her, “Look Ma, you gotta stick it up to the man, don’t make dinner. Get Dad to make his own food. Fuck this. Being a housewife is submissive.”?
Not many of us do. Why? Because they brought you up this way, and you turned out pretty ok? And if it’s to your advantage (getting free dinner, reliving your childholld etc.), you let it rest?
And then there’s this other trend going around, cleverly disguised as some girl-power thingy.
The interwebz is plagued with articles like "6 female street artists that are better than Banksy", "What this girl does at work will shame her male colleagues".
You see, while on the surface, these articles seem to celebrate girl power, they also reek of gender discrimination against the females. If you're a good bricklayer, you're a good bricklayer. If you're a good DJ, you're a good DJ. Why would there be a need to point out that a girl is doing something better than a guy, in something that has nothing to do with gender at all?
How is it newsworthy? How is it surprising? What message are we sending out? That females can’t usually do X or Y task better than a dude, and when they do, we need to post an article on ThoughtCatalog about it?
Let’s be truly gender blind about the things that we want to make gender blind. Stop this whole “we need to hire 50% male bands and 50% female bands to show that we believe in gender equality” bullshit. We need to stop telling females that they need a special quota so that they can perform on the same stage as males. If you’re good, you’re good. Even if you’re an androgynous giant panda, if your music can make the crowd dance, you get to play.
If we want a gender equal society, we better start behaving like one.
And on the other side of the spectrum, there are men who start going, “Oh, so let the Olympic events be gender blind as well, make the women compete on the same level as men.” Or some would say, “If I can punch a man who insulted my mom, I can do the same to a woman as well.”
Tough luck, boys. Today’s pop-culture feminism left this part out. True feminism isn’t about saying that there is no difference between a man and a woman. Look down your pants and you’d see an obvious difference. If you believe in evolution, you’d see that males and females have a different physical build – muscular growth, testosterone, and all that biology stuff. Evolutionary mate selection also affects the way we view sex, and what turns us on during intercourse.
What feminism does, is to grant the same rights in political, social and economic grounds. It doesn’t tell the female to stop being female.
There’s nothing wrong with wearing floral dresses, just as there’s no problem with torn jeans and oversized T-shirts. There’s nothing wrong with wanting clean-shaven legs, just as there’s no issue with hairy armpits. True feminism recognises male and female differences, and fights for equal rights in spite of that.
So let’s make some sense. Stop victimising people and be a truly feminist society that respects the freedom of our females, or males, or animals.
Let’s work together towards the day when feminism doesn’t need to exist anymore. Let’s stop arguing about whether the traffic light green man should be a woman instead, or whether men are opening their legs too wide on public transport.
There are gender issues that need to be addressed, such as forced marriage, female infanticide, and rape victim shaming. And we need to act together to make a real change, instead of bickering like a bunch of teenage schoolgirls (oops) and taking selfies while holding an A4 paper saying, “I am a feminist”.
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