It seems to me that a lot of men and women think that we now live in a post feminist America. According to these people, all developed nations are in a post feminist era. What concerns me about this is that these same people are even willing to make claims about the negative social impacts of feminist principles. Unfortunately, their beliefs are incredibly wrong, and stem from common misunderstandings, delusions and self-interest, but mostly ignorance.
There is this common misconception, especially amongst Americans, that women in developed nations are equal to men because they go to college, have careers, and run businesses. I hear men and women in the news, media, in school and at the bar talking about how they do not consider themselves feminists, or how we live in a post feminist world. Some are willing to argue that we should just stop taking about gender inequality and stop blaming white males for whatever is wrong with society because things will eventually fix themselves. Having to listen to such outrageous claims is really frightening because it demonstrates how much people are detached from reality. It makes me wonder if they have the faintest clue of what feminism is or what it stands for. I can assure you that if any of those lovely ladies and gentlemen knew anything about feminism they wouldn’t be so quick to try and detach themselves from this social movement, nor make any of these outrageous claims about a post feminist society.
So what is feminism?
Feminism is the belief that everyone is equal.(Mind blowing stuff.)
Now let’s discuss one of the many reasons why we don’t live in a post feminist world in the year 2013. (Pretty embarrassing, right? Now let’s put our embarrassment aside and move along.)
If anyone has been paying attention to current events it is very easy to realize that not only do we not live in a post feminist world, but that for the most part people willing to make claims about developed nations having post feminist societies, and men and women who prefer to not associate themselves with feminism have an incorrect understanding of feminism and women’s struggles. They fail to understand that to this day women have to defend themselves from all angles. If it’s not the way we dress, it’s the way we speak, the way we choose to live our lives, the company we keep, the jobs we hold. If we have sex, it’s who we’re having sex with, if we have sex purely for pleasure, how many people we have sex with, if we are employed, if we are unemployed, if we are in charge, if we are not, if we don’t have kids, if we have too many kids, if we choose to marry, who we love, if we are victims, if we are survivors, our reproductive choices, our mothering, our domesticity or lack there of. All these social criticisms against women confine us, and what is most disturbing is that other women often perpetuate this. What I’m saying is that if we (women) have to live our lives being judged about things like this we most certainly do not live in a post feminist society.
For example, there is this crazy idea circulating around certain circles that men have been severely affected by the successes of women and especially feminism. They call it “the war on men”. According to Suzanne Venker, “women aren’t women anymore” and feminism is to blame. In fact, she claims that the successes of women have changed social relations between the genders for the worst because men cannot cope with modern women’s new roles. In her opinion, men can only be fulfilled when women exist only to serve them because the minute a woman holds a career, seeks higher education or tries to contribute to their household income something inside men breaks down. It destroys their interest in marrying because their character cannot handle having women at their side sharing ideas, making constructive decisions and contributing to household incomes. In fact, in her attempt to misinform people about feminism, and discredit women for wanting to live lives outside of the domestic realm, she paints a pretty grim picture about men today. She paints them as sexist, emotional wrecks and feeble minded. Don’t forget Suzane Venker is not a feminist, and she’s the one talking all this shit about men, not me.
Unfortunately, for women, Suzane Venker believes that being ambitious and assertive automatically disqualifies you from womanhood. Having a career, a job and higher education apparently makes you this angry and defensive being whose only purpose is the destruction of men. Women wanting to be contributing members of society is what’s fucking men up. Really! Her delusion has led her to believe that we have time for that kind of shit. It’s as if she doesn’t know that a lot of working women who have a career are working to support their families. Some of these women go home and have dinner with their husbands and work to contribute to their household income and alleviate their husbands from the pressures of being the sole providers. Or maybe she was talking about women like me who work to support themselves. Beware my male friends, colleagues, relatives and boyfriend. According to this woman, I am plotting your demise I’m angry and defensive. BEWARE!!! You know all those good times we had getting drunk together talking shit? It was all a plot. A plot to destroy you. Crush your hopes and dreams about ever finding that perfect woman who lives to serve you like a maid would, but with the perk of avoiding sexual harassment lawsuits. Because what’s more attractive than a women vying to tend to your every need, who doesn’t want to think for herself because deep down she knows you are the one who holds all the truths?
The picture that people who share this view paint about men and women is that, well for men, you are all whinny, little beings who haven’t changed your attitudes since the Victorian era, and are having a hard time adjusting. Because according to this non-feminist, your brains cannot wrap around the idea that women are holding positions of power and having access to things they were once denied access to. And because you are sexist you are not having any of this so you choose to live alone and not marry. You poor things living an existence full of fear of accomplished women. You know with your low self-esteem and all. So miserable because no one is going to be there to bake you cookies when you are sad or in need of some freshly baked cookies made from the tender hands of women who have not been tarnished by the evils of feminism. And for women, you should stay at home, not think for yourselves, reserve your opinions and your sexuality, forget it; good women don’t discuss these things with anyone, especially not their partners. Even for current homemakers, if you are not being a submissive woman in all aspects of life, it being ideological or sexual you must be an impostor because women cannot form opinions about any matter.
But in all seriousness, the sheer idea that there is this hatred that the modern educated and working woman is perpetuating against men, this whole battle of the sexes thing is ridiculous and most importantly NOT FEMINIST. Feminism is about equality, and saying that modern women, or unwomen, (because according to Venker we are no longer women) are working very hard to turn men into second class citizens is taking the message of feminism and twisting it to distort real issues. How hard is it to understand the concept of EQUALITY FOR ALL? There is no battle of the sexes. Fighting to take the power away from men and using it to set up a society where men are held as second-class citizens goes against the very tenants of feminism. What many people have misinterpreted as feminists’ hatred towards men is the fact that feminists tried to change people’s attitudes towards a more egalitarian world by addressing the fact that in our society men have more privileges that allows them to have a greater opportunity to hold better jobs, and positions of power in most aspects of life. That is all. Criticizing the realities about the way our society is structured to give greater opportunities to some more than others, is by no means spreading hatred from one group to the other. Pointing out such truths was meant to raise an alarm and educate minds on how our society can let go of such prejudices and move on to a better paths. However, some minds cannot comprehend this and misconstrue ideas to spread divisiveness. They, the non-feminists are the ones promoting the “battle of the sexes” and blaming feminists. This article serves if only to demonstrate who the people waging cultural wars are.
There is no battle of the sexes being waged by feminists. There is a battle though. It is one between those who want to see change happen, who want to make the world a better place for everyone who lives here (feminists), and those who have benefited from inequality and are fearful of living in a world where they have as much as the rest of us. Or how they interpreted ‘live in a world where they lose, everything they have worked to maintain’. This is not a battle where the winner takes all (because that is not feminism). It is a battle with hopes for equality through the employment of truth, logic and reason. This battle can only be won with when we can change such distortions of reality, misinterpretations and ignorance in this matter. (The matter being Feminism, just in case you missed the point). The fact that feminism needs defending and articulating, that delusional people get any credibility is but only one indication that we are not living in a post feminist era.