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"You're a palsycorn, a unicorn is too general."


March 4th, 2014

Why we can't just "not view men as oppressors" @ 08:01 pm

Current Mood: tired tired
Listening To: When I Was a Boy by Dar Williams

So in the spirit of procrastinating on homework, I was scrolling through the top 15 on LJ and trying to get a more of a feel for how this thing works.  And I came across this piece of awful by ontd_political and because I had the naive hope that a "Feminism 2.0" video might actually make strides toward intersectionality, I clicked. And oh, how I wish I hadn't.



I was barely able to stomach the "MEN INVENTED THINGS THAT LIBERATED WOMEN SO WE SHOULD BE GRATEFUL TO THEM" part.  I started side-eying hard when it was said that women "civilize" men (because obviously men are just too wild to take care of themselves and it's our job to make them presentable for society).  But surprisingly, what got me the most was the end, when we were urged to "view men as partners, and not as oppressors".

Because here's the thing.  We can't just clamp our hands over our ears and go "LA LA LA OPPRESSION DOESN'T EXIST".  It doesn't work like that.  Oppression and oppressors are still going to be there whether we like it or not.  Changing the name we use isn't going to change the essential root of the problem.  Because men are oppressors and we are living in a society that is oppressive towards women,.

Now, before you jump down my throat, I'm not saying that all men are eeeeeeeeevil or hate women or whatever.  Indeed, most men have a lot of respect for women and have no idea that they may be supporting an oppressive system.  That's the beauty of privilege.  But men have been oppressing women for millenia, and ignorance is no excuse.  Anyone who stopped to look would realize that women are still fundamentally unequal to men.  Anyone with access to the Internet can see sexism playing out in infinite forms every day.

Sexism is the expectation that little girls will only want to play with baby dolls and plastic ponies and pink and purple EasyBake Ovens.  Sexism is the belief that women have to cover their faces with makeup in order to look pretty or even presentable.  Sexism is why women who are raped are told they were "asking for it" by being drunk, by wearing revealing clothes, by doing any number of things.  Sexism is why boys are taught to hide their emotions, lest they appear more like a girl.  Sexism encourages men to be "aggressive", yet calls women "bitches" if they do the same.  Sexism is why shirtless men are considered "hot", while a woman breastfeeding is seen as "distasteful" and "disgusting".  And yet, at the same time, sexism plasters women in bikinis all over billboards and TV screens, telling us that women's anatomy is only acceptable if it's eliciting sex appeal.

Dear men, this is your problem too.  Do you really want to be characterized as uncivilized lumps of muscle and flesh that go after women with the ferocity of a dog after a bone?  Do you want a society that restricts and stereotypes your wives, your daughters, your female friends?  Sexism and oppression is not a women's problem.  It's an everybody problem.  If you are a man who respects women, you will acknowledge that you have privilege - that is, essentially starting the game on "easy" mode.  You will acknowledge that, yes, there are certain benefits and privileges that come easier to you than to a woman, because you are male.  And you will work with women to dismantle these systems.  You have the power to ensure that women have a voice.  Do it, if not for yourself, for all the women you care about in your life.

I am a PROUD feminist, because I believe in equality for all.  Many of my friends have stopped identifying as feminists, because of the problems feminism has with intersectionality in queer spaces, disabled spaces, etc.  I have clung tenaciously to that identification, because I still believe in the pure, simple, definition of feminism - the belief that women should be equal to men.  That doesn't mean we should be the same as men - a concept which Tammy Bruce seems to have missed - but that we should enjoy the same rights and privileges.  But if "Feminism 2.0" means that I should be grateful for all the scraps of humanity men deign to throw my way (mind you, while at the same time being grateful for any scraps of humanity thrown my way by abled people; maybe altogether the scraps will almost form a full person!), while sitting around a fire singing Kumbaya and pretending oppression doesn't exist, I don't want any part of it.


Until male congressmen aren't in charge of deciding what a woman should do with her body; until women are earning the same amount as men; until girls can wear suits and boys can wear dresses without harassment; until boys aren't called "faggot" for liking the color pink (there's that there intersectionality again!); I refuse to stop calling men oppressors.  Men created this system, and men maintain this system.  Oppression is real.  Patriarchy is real.  And it's dangerous.  Just because you choose to call a lion a kitty cat doesn't mean it's any less likely to rip your head off.  Words have power.  Call a spade a spade, call oppressors oppressors, and then maybe we can finally move forward with the business of liberty and justice for all.
 
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[User Picture Icon]
From:brightlotusmoon
Date:March 5th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
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Fuck yes, THIS.

"I am a PROUD feminist, because I believe in equality for all. Many of my friends have stopped identifying as feminists, because of the problems feminism has with intersectionality in queer spaces, disabled spaces, etc. I have clung tenaciously to that identification, because I still believe in the pure, simple, definition of feminism - the belief that women should be equal to men. That doesn't mean we should be the same as men - a concept which Tammy Bruce seems to have missed - but that we should enjoy the same rights and privileges. But if "Feminism 2.0" means that I should be grateful for all the scraps of humanity men deign to throw my way (mind you, while at the same time being grateful for any scraps of humanity thrown my way by abled people; maybe altogether the scraps will almost form a full person!), while sitting around a fire singing Kumbaya and pretending oppression doesn't exist, I don't want any part of it."

THIS IS WHAT I MEAN. NNGHKK.

*throwing my arms around you*

The Space Between

"You're a palsycorn, a unicorn is too general."