Feminism has been a touchy subject for a very long time so I want to make it very clear that these are my own views and opinions. I know people will probably disagree with a lot of what I have to say, and to those people I say; I understand. Everyone has a right to voice their own opinion, including me. So before you start writing your response to this I want you to remember a few things. 1.) My opinion has been formed through my own personal life experiences. 2.) I am not saying I am right, or that you are wrong. I am simply sharing my thoughts on the matter. 3.) The people I am talking about make up a very small percentage of people who call themselves feminists. I am in no way blaming all of them for the points I make. 4.) I don’t mind you disagreeing, in fact I encourage it. As long as you are polite and respectful of others then I will listen to you. Maybe you might even help me see things in a new light.
So what has put me off calling myself a feminist? Well my main answer to that is: I don’t really like what the idea of feminism has become. A few years ago I definitely would have described myself as a feminist. I wanted men and women to be treated equally in all countries of the world, in schools, in the work place and just generally in life. However the modern idea of feminism doesn’t seem to mean equality, it now seems to mean that women should have more rights than men, and that women can be looked down on for not doing the things that they were previously frowned upon for doing.
What exactly am I talking about? Well I’ll try to give you a few examples. For the longest time, women have been fighting for equality in the workplace. Basically the idea that an equally qualified man and women would be paid the same amount of money for doing the same job and both be treated respectfully. To me that is what feminism wanted. However, now some work places are required to take on a certain amount of female staff (and a certain amount of staff of different nationalities but that’s a topic for another time). Now to me that is unfair. If a woman and a man go for the same job but maybe the man is more qualified than the woman or just generally more suited to it, then surely the man should get the job? Why should the man be refused for something he would be better at just because a company had to fill a quota? Yes the quota may be there to stop employers from being sexist when choosing employees, however consider this: if an entire company is filled with male workers because they were all more qualified than any of the women that applied then surely that is fair? The same goes for if a company was full if of female workers. If they were all more qualified and suited the job more than all of the male applicants then that should be fair.
That isn’t the only thing I find unfair in the modern workplace. These days women get maternity leave for obvious reasons. Now that is something I completely understand, and think that women completely deserve. However some businesses give next to no paternity leave for fathers. I find this wrong as both mothers and fathers deserve time to bond with their child. Now I understand that women’s bodies take time to heal after the experience of giving birth, especially if there are complications. However some places will give the same amount of maternity leave to a mother who used a surrogate or adopted. Again, I think this is fine as its more about the bonding experience and finding a routine. However what if two gay men used a surrogate or adopted a child? Don’t they both deserve the chance to bond with their child and find their own routine? Doesn’t any father whether their partner is male or female?
So in my opinion the workplace is not yet perfect for women OR men. I will admit though that it has come a long way, and is definitely taking steps in the right direction.
The other point I mentioned was the way some feminists look down on women who do things that was once expected of them. One of the things that really gets to me are women who are looked down on for wanting to be housewives/stay at home mothers. Yes, it is a stereotypical job, but it is a job that some women still want to do. I may work now but in the future when I have kids of my own, I would like to be a stay at home mother until my youngest child is in school. Childcare costs a lot these days and personally I would like to raise my children myself and not send them off to at a crèche. I have nothing against these types of places, I think they are wonderful things, it is just not something I personally want to do. I don’t look down on mothers who work, sometimes they just don’t have the option of staying at home as they may have to work to support their family. I don’t in any way feel that they are abandoning their children by choosing to work. I don’t judge them for making that choice so why should some people get to judge me for the choice I want to make. I want to look after my children myself, I want to cook for my family and I want to do the housework. It doesn’t mean I’ll be locked in the kitchen all day, it doesn’t mean I can only identify myself as a mother and a wife, and it isn’t being forced upon me so what is the problem? Men who do so can be seen as “gay” or “unmanly” and now women are being looked down upon for doing it. There doesn’t seem to be a winner.
Now I know people have very strong views on the following topic so I will try my best to make you understand what I’m trying to say. Writing about this topic scares me to death so please read it carefully and don’t jump to conclusions. If you don’t understand what my views are please ask me before ranting that I am pro-female rape.
A big thing that feminists have been fired up about is the idea that if you dress too provocatively, then you deserve to be raped, because you were asking for it. Now before I continue this point I want to say NO-ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED. It is a horrible experience that can traumatize you for life, and anyone who is guilty of it can rot in hell. However I will say this, girls who dress provocatively are not asking for it, but they are not helping themselves either. Everyone has the right to dress how they want but it is a known fact that the less you wear the more of a target you are. Some people will assume that you are a slut and that you are easy to get into bed. Someone might start buying you drinks until you are so drunk that you don’t know what’s happening. I’m not saying that a girl in a cardigan wont have this happen to her, but girls in more provocative clothes are more likely to be targeted by these horrible people. I think that this is what the majority of people are trying to say, but some feminists will say, that people who think this are telling women they can’t wear what they want, and that they are asking to get raped. Again, this is not what I’m saying. If women want to dress in revealing clothes then go right ahead, but be aware of the dangers of doing so.
While on the subject of rape, I want to address something that I think angers me the most about a small percentage of feminists. That is, the idea that men can’t be raped or, don’t go through as bad of an experience as women when they are raped. To me, this is absolutely ridiculous. Rape happens and it is awful no matter what gender you are. At the end of the day you are being sexually violated and that is the same for both genders. A male will feel just as violated, scared and vulnerable as any female that has this horrible thing happen to them.
I could keep writing this blog for days but I think I’ll stick with the few examples I have given. I think women who fight for equality are amazing people, and that the female gender has a lot to thank them for. However the idea of feminism is slowly being tarnished for me by a small group of so-called “feminists” that are ruining it for everyone. At the end of the day these people are taking it too far and making the idea of feminism laughable amongst men and women. So that is why I no longer refer to myself as a feminist. I suppose if I had to put a label on it I would call myself an equalist because that is what I want, equality. I think it is something the whole world should keep fighting for and strive to achieve.
P.S This may be badly written as I found it difficult to get my point across with some of the topics.