Why We Need Feminism

17 Jan

My friend sent me an article today that made me VERY angry.  What I would like to do right now is insult the intelligence of the writer but instead I’ll… keep the profanity to a minimum.  I’m not going to even link to the article because I don’t even want Emily Matters to get the page views.  It’s called Why We Don’t Need Feminism and it’s at Thought Catalogue.  Can you guess why I don’t like it much?

Emily states:

1) We don’t need feminism because it doesn’t quell violence or rape.

Male African chimpanzees raid, rape, and violently beat rival gangs in territorial wars.  This is hardwired into the male apes’ biology, just as it is in the human male genetic configuration.  As a general rule, advanced male mammals are demonic and violent creatures. This violence dosen’t stem from misogyny. It stems from men hating other men… Feminism’s focus on misogyny as a source of rape is important, but its vision is limited, for misogyny is simply a side effect of man’s biological disposition towards aggression and violence.  What needs to change now, it seems, is not how men view women, but rather how men view other men and deal with their own aggression.

2) We don’t need feminism because women don’t need to be patronized or coddled about their career choices.

People love to decry the “injustice” of the wage disparity between men and women. Yet, the wage gap is feminist propaganda. In 2009, Obama created the “White House Council on Women and Girls.” The purpose? To ensure lawmakers took into account the interests of women and girls when drafting legislation. Last year the council released a hallmark report, which concluded the reason for the gender pay gap was because women on average choose to work in less stressful work environments and choose jobs in lower paying industries like education and health care…

Perhaps, though, women are being coerced into choosing lower paying careers by indirect prejudice and the history of sexism? You can believe that. But that line of thinking doesn’t add up with the biological evidenceBiology and evolutionary psychology are proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that males and females are, generally speaking, different from one another for reasons that have nothing to do with the way they were raised. In the womb, men produce testosterone from their own gonad. Women, however, produce little to no testosterone in the womb.

3) We don’t need feminism because we need more, not less, virility.

Throwing a ball like a girl is lame. That’s why most people, male or female, prefer to watch the NBA over the WNBA. Aggression, intensity make sports more interesting and captivating. Male virility isn’t good for just sports, it’s good for culture and civilization. The scientist Richard Alexander notes: “Atomic fission, space travel, and probably most of the remarkable modern advances in science and technology occurred or were accelerated as consequence of intergroup competition or outright war.” Now, we don’t need to balk at traditionally feminine values in the United States like they do in China. But effeminate nations of love and equality don’t produce companies like Google or Apple. We need popular culture, of course, to celebrate the traits of femininity, but we also need it to celebrate the aggression of masculinity and its power of creative destruction, too.

4) We don’t need feminism because we are individuals.

We don’t need feminism because its becoming outdated and we need a new paradigm for the future. One that is not so much a collective movement, but a way of living which respects and integrates men, women, and every beautiful and complex variation in-between.

Anyone else need a nice big scream right about now?

Let’s go point by point.

1) We need feminism because it combats violence and rape.

Human beings are not chimpanzees.  We are… human beings.  rapists rape to assert dominance and to terrorize.  Or sometimes they rape/commit violence against their loved ones because life experiences told them that it was the proper response.  Men are human and can control themselves.  Violence is not the default for anyone born with testosterone.  If it were, we would be living on the Isle of Lesbos.  If it were then there wouldn’t be people in this world who had never been a part of that violence.  If you actually believe any of this crap about biology and chimpanzees and shit then you should immediately go read Sex at Dawn.  In fact the writer of this article really needs to read Sex at Dawn.

2) We need feminism because women make less money at the jobs that they’re forced into.

Women on average make a lot less money than men, about 77 cents on the dollar if she is white and much less if she isn’t.

A study recently showed that even scientists (who, in this society, we like to pretend are immune to our petty cultural biases) are sexist in hiring, being hesitant to hire women and paying them less.  Not to mention how girls are socialized to avoid science and engineering in favor of culturally ‘feminine’ pursuits like baking and beautifying.  

3) We need feminism because we can achieve more through kindness than through violence

I have no statistics to prove this.  Just that “Throwing a ball like a girl is lame.” is the dumbest sentence in the universe and makes me want to punch a wall.  Maybe virility (that word makes me cringe) makes for better sport but better athletes do not a better world make.  The world is not a wrestling match.  Even assuming this is a dog eat dog world, you can probably agree that there are societal causes for it being that way and that we are not naturally just assholes.  If we were then there would be 10 Hitlers to each soccer mom.

Also, I know people who have been courted to work at Apple and Google.  The people who make it at Apple or Google are people who can work in a team, who feel competitive enough do their best work while being decent enough to listen to criticism and suggestions.

 “When men feel inconsequential, it’s easier to blame women than it is to confront patriarchy-the true source of the diminishment and lack of meaning in so many men’s lives. When men feel unloved and disconnected, it’s easier to accuse women of not loving them well enough than it is to consider men’s own alienation from life. It’s easier to think of women as keeping men from the essence of their own lives than it is to see how men’s participation in patriarchy can suffocate and kill the life within themselves. It’s easier to theorize about powerful, devouring mothers than to confront the reality of patriarchy.

Beneath the massive denial of men’s power and responsibility and its projection onto women is an enormous pool of rage, resentment, and fear. Rather than look at patriarchy and their place within it, many men will beat, rape, torture, murder, and oppress women, children, and one another. They will wage mindless war and offer themselves up for the slaughter, chain themselves to jobs and work themselves to numbed exhaustion as if their lives had no value or meaning beyond controlling or being controlled or defending against control, and content themselves with half-lives of confused, lost deprivation. What men lack, women didn’t take from them, and it isn’t up to women to give it back.”
-Allan G. Johnson

 4) We need feminism because we are individuals.

It’s true that many feminists fail to see the intersection of hegemonies, the greater scheme of kyriarchy and can lose sight of the needs of women of color, intersex people and LGBTQ people across the board.  We are all at times guilty of getting too caught up in our own lives to see the damage we’re inflicting on others.  But feminism isn’t outdated.  Feminism is about seeing all people in their own complexity and accepting their bodies, their choices and their desires and wishes as valid because people are valid.  All people, all bodies, all minds are valid.  Feminism evolves.  As Bell Hooks says “Mutual partnership is the foundation of love. And feminist practice is the only movement for social justice in our society which creates the conditions where mutuality can be nurtured.”

Everything Men’s Rights Activists label as “female privilege” is really patriarchy backfiring against men.

The gender-specific rule that men shouldn’t hit women is caused by the misogynistic belief that women are fragile.

The belief that men can’t be raped is caused by the belief that men always want sex and the belief that men must always be strong, which are the same gender norms that enable men to sexually harass women.

The belief that all men are rapists is caused by the misogynistic belief that a woman who is quick to trust a man is asking for it.

The belief that statutory rape is worse with an older man and a younger woman than with an older woman and a younger man is caused by the misogynistic belief that society must protect female virginity.

Custody favoring the mother is caused by the misogynistic belief that taking care of the kids is a woman’s job.

The fact that only men can be drafted is caused by the misogynistic belief that women are too weak for combat. Also, most feminists are against the draft.

The belief that the man must pay for the date is caused by the misogynistic belief that women are helpless and need men to do everything for them, and it’s often used as a way to guilt-trip her into having sex.

Feminists don’t support any of those. All of those are caused by patriarchy. Men’s Rights Activists can stop blaming feminists for the problems that patriarchy causes. [x]

One Response to “Why We Need Feminism”

  1. theravenwine April 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Thank you for this. As a fellow feminist, I was highly offended by that thought catalog article as well and this proves that feminism is still very needed

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