Misogyny and Feminism: Don’t be a whiny bitch.

I’ve already posted my feelings on atheism+ on Twitter and the block bot (Update: They’re all still whiny douchecanoes). But stemming from this, something else has caught my attention, and in typical Mel style, I need to rant about it.

I’ve long considered myself to be a supporter of equal rights, whether it be for women, homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender people, racial minorities, or anyone else who has been oppressed or had their rights taken away. However, I have never, and will never consider myself a feminist. Other people may say I AM a feminist by default, in that I support gender equality. That’s fine. But it’s never a label I’ll apply to myself, for a few reasons.

One main reason, which I may get backlash for, is because whether it is fair or not, “feminism” has a rather negative connotation in my experience. I’m no expert on the feminist movement, but it seems that recently there has been an upsurge in what is colloquially known as “radical feminism”- which, in my humble opinion, is a bunch of whiny bitches making a big fucking deal about things no one should really care about. Many of them go as far as to claim that anything a man says is misogynistic, or “mansplaining”, and that as men they shouldn’t get to comment on women’s issues. This oversensitivity and dramatic behaviour does nothing for the cause of feminism, and nothing for its reputation, either.

The other reason I reject the label of “feminist” actually stems from the word itself. I don’t necessarily support “women’s” rights. I support equality. I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, black, white, gay, straight, trans, or anything else- you are a human being. That in and of itself means you should have equal rights to every other human being. The trouble with focussing on women’s rights alone is that it overshadows the overall goal, which should be of equality. When we focus on women’s rights alone, we ignore the fact that suddenly the opinions of men are being ignored or disregarded simply because they are the “privileged”. Well, here’s a thought- no man decided to be born white, straight, and with a penis. But suddenly as a society we are blaming them for their “privilege”. Maybe instead of trying to bring down men, we should be focusing on trying to make all people equal.

I have never been one to be easily offended by what people say, either as an intended insult to me or just as a phrase. I’ve seen people get upset on Twitter by the phrases “man up”, “don’t be a pussy”, or “don’t be a bitch”. Indicating, of course, that men are strong, and bitches and pussies (ie, women) are weak. I understand this in an objective way. I understand how people can see that meaning and be offended by it. But I am not offended, even a little bit.

The reason for this goes to the greater issue of generalization. Many feminists I’ve seen tend to try and pump women up by saying “we can do anything men can do!”. And that’s a lovely slogan for your campaign, but I must say, I do not support it. Using phrasing like this just increases the generalization of and divide between men and women. Why do we need to always consider these issues as a case of men vs women? Yes, I am a woman, but I am an individual. Some men can bench more weight than me. But so can some women. And I can bench more than some men. So what? I am still just an individual human that happens to fall into the category of “woman”. But generalizing it as if we want to make men and women the same makes no sense to me. Men and women are NOT the same. Why are we constantly trying to force them to be? In general terms, what one sex may be “better” at than the other should make absolutely no fucking difference. If we’re striving for equality, the generalizations shouldn’t matter- you should be judged based on your individual merits and not discriminated against for your sex, gender identity, sexuality, race, or anything else. So to me, getting bent out of shape because someone has suggested you “man up” is just completely nonsensical. Why get offended when someone calls a man a pussy? Do you really lack so much confidence that you think that this label applies to you, that somehow you are weak just because you are a woman? The issue here seems to be more one of self esteem than anything else. I am a confident person. I know what my strengths are, and what my weaknesses are. I don’t identify with some stereotypical version of “the woman” that these “slurs” seem to apply to. I am not weak, quiet, proper, and do not submit to men. I am not the stereotypical woman. If you are confident in who you are and allow your individuality to be the focus, instead of your genitals, these words will remain exactly that- words.

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11 Responses to Misogyny and Feminism: Don’t be a whiny bitch.

  1. just3ws says:

    I swear. I swear a lot. But I also have begun to be conscious out the swears I will or won’t say. There’s a subtle, subversive mindset implied when you apply negative stereotypical traits of another group as a vulgar insult. The important point is to stop thinking of those traits as insulting. I won’t call a guy a little bitch or a homosexual a faggot or a black person a nigger either. Those were all terms used to demean someone other than the person you are addressing. I will call someone an asshole or fucker. I might even say a woman is being a bitch because that is still within the context of describing the attitude and behavior of that specific person without dragging in the whole race, gender, or sexual orientation of a whole group of people.

  2. I like this idea, that you’re not going to let language dominate you or define you in any way. I think that’s the right attitude to have. But I still don’t think that changes the fact that these terms are inherently sexist. That’s not to say that people should never say these things. I think there’s a context where it’s just playing, and there’s no harm in it. What bothers me is that there are people out there that use this kind of language in earnest. Again, you make a good point that we don’t have to succumb to it. But the idea that people out there buy into the idea that men are superior, women are weak, men must be like this, women must be like that, that does bug me. It’s an ugly part of human nature that causes a lot of grief in the world and we need to fight against, somehow. I’m by no means any kind of activist, so I’ll just bitch (ha, see what I did there) about it on Twitter occasionally.

  3. Barry Lyons says:

    “Whiny douchecanoes” is great! I’d like to see Urban Dictionary make note of it.

  4. Well said Mel. Frankly, there is nothing more attractive than a strong woman willing to speak it like it is.

    I think you have touched on an important point (which incidentally I allude to in one of my WordPress.com posts) and it is that the ‘self’ is neither male nor female. Naturally, biology is a strong and entirely understandable basis for self-identification, but as you accurately observe you are an individual person before you are a woman.

    For me feminism is that movement which promotes the cause of women becoming fully themselves. Men cannot be truly themselves without women joining them. Biology not only provides different bodies but it also provides different psychologies and for either gender to realise its true potential it requires that the other does too. Emasculation is only an aspect of ingrained misandry.

    We only realise our true uniting humanity by the full appreciation or realisation of our gender specific functions, and your post has made me more appreciative of ‘woman’. Thank you. 🙂

  5. Secular Lad says:

    I’ve tried to express this as my view on feminism and been Shot down, I’m for human rights too, if a woman’s being oppressed I’ll want to fight for her, if she happens to be being oppressed because of her sexuality, I’ll fight for that. The label ‘Feminism might be a useful one in the middle east or a few decades ago in the West, but now it is redundant and we should leave it for the whingers, humanism and equal rights movements are a much better tag to head campaigns for rights now.

    Men have issues too, and if someone doesn’t think we do you do not know what you’re talking about, but to have a movement about mens rights would seem pointless, they’re one side of human problems and problems don’t get sorted by pushing one side, a compromise where the most amount of people are benefitted the greatest needs to be accomplish.

  6. This is brilliantly put, thanks. I’ve lost or at least had bitter arguments with friends over holding just this position.
    It seems to me that Humanism and regarding people as individuals to be treated humanely is better than ‘picking sides’ in a conflict that seems absurd and does more harm than good.

    I also don’t get the air of permanent offense in existence today, sure some thing piss me off, or even offend me, but hey, freedom of speech and expression is a two way street, at least with that you can just come back at people.

  7. The only real problem with the label “feminism” is that it means different things to different people. I’ve come to understand it as simply the freedom to make choices without the gender restrictions that have been commonplace throughout history. That includes the freedom to choose gender roles that are typical of patriarchical societies, like homemaker, mother, swimsuit model, prostitute, hijab-wearer, etc. The idea is simply that individual women make individual choices independent of gender. This basic kind of freedom is so mundane and near universally supported in most modern discourse contexts that it seems anachronistic to wear “feminism” as a badge of pride. It’s systemic preaching to the choir. There’s still a great deal of gender inequality in the world, but it tends be either culture-wide norms like in the Islamic cases or the inevitable small demographic of buffoons/meatheads/trolls in every society, the people who don’t even share the same standards of discourse as the rest of us. In other words, the people who actually oppose feminism aren’t in the same discourse space as the rest of us. But some people have different definitions for “feminism”, in which they are noble crusaders fighting against some or another form of sexism. I applaud that, but if they are using idiosyncratic definitions for the word, it mainly results in miscommunication.

  8. Pingback: How to Argue Like a Man: Don't Be a Whiny Bitch | Lex Fridman Blog

  9. Pingback: Be a Woman: Stop Saying “Man Up” or “Grow a Pair” | Andrea Works . . .

  10. Perfectly stated! I would like to add that, as a woman, I find feminism to be a weakening of our sex. All this whining and bitching, like I’m owed special treatment because I am a woman. This especially applies to abortion. “A woman shouldn’t be forced to have a child,” makes it sound as if we are weak and emotionally crippled. i had a baby from rape and gave him up for adoption. That baby saved my life; he healed my pain. He did not add to it! Women are stronger than feminists allow for. They DO NOT speak for me!

  11. Jen says:

    Well state! I blame ‘feminism’ for much of the Western PC BS that exists in our society. Everything that comes out of these so called ‘feminists’ mouths reeks of insecurity. They’re contradictory as fuck too. Let’s use the topic of rape as an example, since I recently came across a news article about a guy being raped by a woman. Feminists were ridiculing the whole thing, making comments such as ‘lol he’s lying in the bed naked and he complains about a woman forcing herself upon him?’ and ‘how is it possible for guys to be raped?’, etc. It’s simple, really. The man did not consent to intercourse with the woman. That’s rape. Yet these same feminists are the first to cry misogyny and rape if the situation were reversed — i.e. if a male forced himself upon a non-consenting woman who was naked in bed. Talk about double standards.

    Another example, which some of you may find extremely controversial is the sexualisation of females. Feminists complain about how objectifying women is degrading when a lot of women are sexualised by choice. Feminists say women should be able to make their own choices without facing judgment, yet they judge females who present themselves as sex symbols, e.g. Kim K. I’m sorry, but I can’t take them seriously when they constantly contradict themselves.

    Furthermore, I think feminism actually strives for gender INEQUALITY. Why? Because men and women have unique privileges, a function of social construct. Feminists are constantly harping on about female power, equal pay etc. yet they expect men to pay for dates, open doors for them, lift heavy things, protect them when in danger, etc. How is that fair? They want to have both male and female privileges. If you want equality, then you gotta foot the damn bill.

    Feminists are partly responsible for the ridiculousness of 21st century marriages. They don’t subscribe to traditional gender roles, so they don’t like to do any housework. Fair enough. If we want equality then this duty should be shared. However, because they’re feminists they have the ‘right’ to not work and choose to stay home and do absolutely nothing. We end up with males having to do both house work and work work.

    The feminist movement in practicality is a very selfish and narcissistic movement founded on the desire for power. There is no logic to it whatsoever.

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