Ugh, Dad. Excuse me while I seethe for a bit. I just read some hateful screed on Thought Catalog. Yes, that Thought Catalog.
The article doesn’t start promisingly, with the title “How Feminism Disempowers Women.” So you don’t have to read it, I’ve summed it up. The author’s gist is this: In the good old days, and in countries where the evils of feminism haven’t taken root yet, women are WAY better off. Men are men, and the ladies keep their legs together until the men have bought them enough chicken dinners for marriage. Happily ever after. In “Western” countries, unfortunately, women will just put out for any mildly entertaining man who buys them a cup of coffee. So now, sure, we can have careers, but no one is marrying rich businessmen boo hoo.
There are a couple things wrong with this article, all of which make me a little nauseous. I’ve made you a list:
1. Women are not sex machines into which you put kindness tokens (and actually money, according to the author) until they put sex out. Feminism has not lowered the cost of these sex machines.
2. This article ignores that women have their own bodily autonomy. In its rose-colored-glasses view of pre-feminist Western culture, it seems to forget that women were still harassed, assaulted and raped by strangers, suitors and husbands (apparently in countries without feminism, everyone just holds hands until marriage).
3. Apparently feminism is tearing down gender roles (which I agree with) which means that naturally masculine men and naturally feminine women aren’t allowed to be themselves. This is just wrong! The feminism I believe in says, “Hey, everyone, do you. Want to wear a flower crown? Go for it! Want to play rugby? Rock on! Gender doesn’t matter! Follow your heart!”
4. Finally, the author says sure, women have careers and cash flow, but shucks, they don’t have a love life! And honestly, my love life has not always been great. But I love the higher education I’ve received, I love my jobs, and I love the income I earn. I can deal with being single. I’m following my dreams. (Also apparently men are super easy to come by, according to the author.)
If there’s one upside to articles like this, it’s that for me, they do the exact opposite of what the author intended. Instead of denouncing the evils of women’s lib, I’m reminded how much good has been accomplished, and how much more there is to do. Women can now report spousal rape, instead of it being their husband’s right. Children are being encouraged to pursue the gender presentation they are comfortable with, instead of being forced into rigid standards. And women are climbing higher than ever before, as we discuss breaking the “highest, hardest glass ceiling.”
Anyway, I gotta go wash the ick off me from reading that article. Hope I’ve given you something to be hopeful about.