One of the unfortunate things about being a feminist is how many fights you get into. I don’t mean physical fights. I mean, like, arguments. Most of the time (but especially on the Internet), when people find out you’re a feminist, the first thing they do is try to poke holes in your philosophy.
A lot of these people do it in a pretty brash way, challenging you outright. Others, though, do it in a softer way – a way that appears as if it’s trying to be tolerant but is actually just another form of prejudice.
So I wanted to take a bit of time today and chat about the number one argument I get into: the idea that feminism is all about beating men.
This is the one I hear the most often. It’s usually something along the lines of, “I’m not a feminist because I’m against anything that’s not equality.” Or, “I just don’t like feminism because I don’t think women should be more powerful than men; I think they should be equal.”
I’m not sure why people think this. Most sensible feminists I know don’t adopt anything close to this philosophy. We don’t want to beat men. We don’t want to have more rights. We don’t want to make more money. None of that business.
Equality is exactly what we want. However, stuff, in general, just isn’t equal. And that’s kind of why we have to fight and advocate and make a little noise.
And, you know, I really can see how that can come across the wrong way to some people. Still, though, I can’t help but think some of that argument comes from people who don’t want to lose the power they have over other people.
So I thought it was worth clarifying. Maybe an example would help.
I think we can all agree that the Civil Rights movement was a good thing. At least I hope so. I’m going to assume we do in any case. Anyway, I don’t think anyone among us would say that African-American folks were trying to beat white people. They were fighting for the same rights.
And that’s kind of what we’re doing. I don’t want more rights than anyone. I just don’t want less, either. The ideal future for me does not involve me making more money than everyone else just because I’m a woman. But it certainly does involve having a fair shake in the corporate world.
It also involves having fair representation in politics, media and executive America. Kind of see what I’m saying? I’d really like to debunk that myth once at for all – because as soon as we destroy the idea that feminists are trying to beat men, we can start operating like we should be: on the same team.
What do you guys think? Do you think we should start debunking this myth? Don’t leave me hanging! Drop me a note!