Tuesday, June 11, 2013

i'm a feminist. and i won't apologise for it.

i'm apprehensive about blogging about this subject.

it's funny, you'd think that i'd be apprehensive about blogging about my struggles with mental illness, but nope, i'm far more nervous about blogging about feminism.

oh, right, i'm a feminist. hi.

are you?

if you're not sure, here's a simple test.

do you believe that women should have the same rights as men? yes or no?


i tried to find a cake that just said "feminist" or like, "CONGRATULATIONS, KICK-ASS FEMINIST!" but those are surprisingly hard to find on google images.

there's always a group of people that think of feminists as like, extremely angry women with intense leg and armpit hair that burn bras and hate men.

let's be real, feminism isn't about burning bras and hating men. that's called misandry. (the hating men part, not the bra burning part. if you wanna burn your bra, by all means, burn your bra. sometimes they're uncomfortable.)

feminism, in essence, is about wanting equal rights for women. and not just white women, but all women.


there are three types of feminism in this history of feminism, and they go like this.

1. first wave feminism. back in the day, like, the early 1900's, a bunch of badass women were like, why can't we vote? what is this bull? and they fought for a lot of awesome women's rights. and it was really legit.

2. second wave feminism. toward the end of the fifties and the sixties, women were like, why are we always in the house? why don't we get paid as much as men? what is this bull? the second wave feminists are the ones that bra burned. they gave a new meaning to the word woman.
3. third wave feminism. that's like... now. we see that there is still patriarchy all up in the country and we realise that feminism includes all women, not just privileged white women. we're all about intersectionality, which is a fancy word for including all women in our movement toward equality.

post-feminism is a term that should be mentioned, and it's a term that i don't like. post-feminism is the idea that we're passed the feminist movement because we have equality.

things are much better, i am not denying that. but that doesn't mean that we have equality.

quick and dirty fact: the pay gap. yep, that's a thing.

here's a quick look at america's patriarchal culture at work, brought to you by caitlin o'donnell, drake university student.

"Why Society Still Needs Feminism"
Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.
Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.
Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.
Because rape jokes are still a thing.
Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.
Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a college organization.
Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to protect herself.
Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.
Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time?"
Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking expensive.
Because Rush Limbaugh.
Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.
Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist. Could. Not. Fathom.
Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.
Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.
Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings.
Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?
Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.
Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.
Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.
Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation."

thanks, caitlin. 

i've blogged about the patriarchal bullshit as it applies to hair. you can find that here. that's the tip of the iceberg.

today, i went to the pool with my cousin. after we water jogged and had a splash fight, we laid out in the sun on our towels. i had a long day at work and i was tired. the sun was warm.

i fell asleep.

i woke up to two high school boys walking by us and calling, "AY BAY BAY!"

excuse me?

since i was asleep, i didn't wake up in time to respond before they moved off. after they walked away and i had sufficiently woken up, this was the response that instantly went through my head.


there are people that have this strange idea that women like to be catcalled at. that that's something that women want.

and there are women that enjoy it. that's fine.

but a majority of women don't really appreciate it when they're walking to work and some dude coming down the street calls, "NICE ASS!" at them.

catcalling is harassment. sexual harrassment. 

i am a woman. i am a student. i am a novelist. i am a blogger. i am intelligent. i am musical. i am creative. i work with children. i have a relationship with netflix. i don't like my food to touch. i love deeply. i am complex.

you will respect me. not because i am woman, but because i am a person.

that's the thing about feminism, it's the radical notion that women are people. kinda funny, right? that women are people?

and honestly, i get upset when people tell me to calm down. that i don't need to be a feminist all the time. that i don't need to be constantly pointing out patriarchal culture. that i don't need to be upset about it all the time.

why the hell not? i am upset about it. it is there. it needs to be acknowledged.

if we sit here and pretend that this country isn't run by patriarchy and that sexism isn't out there in all kinds of shapes and forms, nothing is going to happen. nothing is going to get done. nothing is going to change.

did you know that we signed legislation to close the pay gap nearly sixty years ago?

guess what, we still have a pay gap.

you know, i don't want to be that annoying person that says, "hey, that's sexist and i don't like it." but i am that person. i've been told that i'm an annoying feminist. sorry. you're annoyed that i'm talking to you about feminism, but i'm annoyed that i live in a sexist world and i'm trying to change it.

sorry for the inconvenience.

i'm an angry feminist. i'm not ashamed of that. i hate living in a world where my parents have the same job and my mother makes less, where i get catcalled at, where one in four women are raped, and when they are, it's their fault and not the perpetrator's. (because obviously being raped has nothing to do with the rapist.) i hate living in a world where a rapist can sue for custody of the child born of that rape.

i hate living in a world where someone gets thrown out of court for saying the word "vagina" in an abortion debate. 

i hate living in a world where advertisements show objectified women AND men. 

i hate living in a world where we teach women not to walk alone at night when we should be teaching men the concept of consent. 

i hate living in a world where we think that we don't need feminism because everything is okay.

well i'm here to tell you that it's not. and if i've annoyed you, i'm sorry. if i've pissed you off, i'm sorry.


and please, by all means tell me to take a chill pill. to relax and take a joke. 

women have been taking jokes at their own expensive for far too long. seth macfarlane's hosting at the oscars was despicable, and if you say that women are too uptight about it, well that's fine for you to say, but we're sick of it. there's only so many times we can be made fun of on national television for being who we are. 

"Can’t you take a joke? Yes, I can take a joke. I can take a bunch! A thousand, 10,000, maybe even more! But after 30 or so years, this stuff doesn’t feel like joking. It’s dehumanizing and humiliating, and as if every single one of those jokes is an ostensibly gentler way of saying, “I don’t think you belong here.” All those little instances add up, grain of sand by grain of sand until I’m stranded in a desert of every “tits or GTFO” joke I’ve ever tried to ignore."

to put it mildly. 

patriarchy is real. and i'm pissed about it. i'm not going be silent about it.

so if my feminism bothers you, i'm sorry. but saying, "jeezus, emily is such an annoying feminist and she's always pointing out how things are sexist" isn't going to stop me.

i'm here to change things. i'm not going to sit back while mitt romney puts me in a fucking binder and doesn't explain why he didn't have any women in high end positions at bain capital. i'm not going to sit here when women are not represented in congress and the senate. i'm not going to take a nap when fox news is telling me that i'm inferior to men and that i shouldn't be out in the workforce because it's "breaking down america's culture."

i'm not going to sit back until EVERYONE has the rights that they deserve. 

so sorry for being annoying. i'm just sick of living in a shitty culture. 

that about sums it up.

(as a side note, i am not merely angry about patriarchal culture. there is rampant sexism againt men and women. there is rampant discrimination against all different types of people. i will not settle until EVERYONE, and i mean EVERYONE, has the rights that they deserve.)

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