I’m morbidly curious about feminism backlash. The F word is still not considered very “cool” by mainstream standards – and if you should share your beliefs with others, more than likely they will tell you how “far women have come,” that women have just as many opportunities as men, and stop whining you dirty man-hating hippie.
While these are pretty apathetic and ignorant comments at best, there are far worse still floating around. Something that so many people claim to be “irrelevant” still conjures up a decent amount of defamatory statements.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve recently seen a rebirth of this classic anti-feminist argument: feminism hurts our men.
This is far from a new tactic, but puzzling how an idea so antiquated would rear its ugly head in 2011. Guess the right wing is out of new ideas....either that, or they’re too busy solving the problems of the economy – oh!
To summarize this school of thought: feminism is bad for [heterosexual] men because without traditional gender roles, men…..gosh darn it…..just….don’t know what to do! While women are advancing their education, in their professions, putting off marriage (or rejecting it altogether), and realizing they don’t need a man to ride in on his white horse and fix the toilet – this has somehow turned our men into immature, lost little boys. The Little Boy Syndrome then reinforces the desire for heterosexual women to not seek out a mate, since prospects swimming in the dating pool aren’t very appealing.
And, there goes the neighborhood. The traditional family is lost! Our morality is declining! The sanctity of marriage flushed down that toilet fixed by a female! Zomg.
The most recent and nauseating display of this anti-feminist backlash comes from Tea Party nutjob Allen West (R-FL). Here is what he told the attendees of a Women Impacting Nation (WIN) meeting last week:
Hmmm. Interesting. So, basically the proper role for women is seeing to it that we produce great men – whether it be through birthing them or sacrificing our Selves to make sure they have all they need to be great. If we women demand any type of self-respect or independence, we are in effect “castrating” our men.
And they wonder why we’re such angry types.
Seriously though, for the 6,746th time, feminism is not about “castrating” men, literally or figuratively (nice job at hijacking the message). It’s about mutual respect and having agency. In the words of bell hooks, “feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.”
Feminism is not detrimental to men – in fact, it’s just the opposite. Feminism supports dismantling repressive gender roles, putting an end to required “machismo” and the like. Both sexes are free to pursue interests that are not traditionally in line with their gender. Women and men share the responsibilities of providing for the household. Feminism intersects with issues like race and class and seeks to eradicate their respective -isms.
The fact that Rep. West’s argument paints a picture of men as so god damn incompetent should be just as insulting to them as it is to women. Feminism does not preach that men are inherently incompetent – however, if a man does feel incompetent due to the presence of strong women, that problem lies within the individual (coughAllenWestcough).
No, we liberal "Planned Parenthood Code Pink women" are not the problem – we are the solution.
And please read more bell hooks.