Disclaimer:

For those who have just stumbled upon my blog, I should alert you to the fact that I am a feminist. Do not be fooled by the title of this blog post. I merely want to point out a few issues I have with feminists who have acted irrationally and given the movement a bad name. This is of course, my own opinion and not divine truth.

1. Being sexy or unable to express sexuality– this is where they lose a lot of supporters, telling women they can’t be sexy (not the same as slut shaming) by denying women who appear on the cover of magazines or ads. Yes, they are put there to sell products, but should they be covered up?  It is not men who need to change, but how women are being viewed. Our society, although more open than it was in the past, is still quite conservative. Nudity is reserved for when people are trying to garner shock value. It is the idea that we are being teased by movies and TV shows when they conveniently hide genitals or large amounts of skin but porn, showing the most human of acts, shows people at their most vulnerable. If nudity wasn’t made to be such a big deal, then perhaps women would be able to express their sexuality without being looked down upon or seen as a pair of tits.

Furthermore, female sex workers and porn stars are rarely seen as feminists because they are giving into the male driven consumer culture. Although these women enter into their respective fields for a variety of reasons, women who engage in sexual acts for money should not be looked down upon. This makes feminists a bit hypocritical.

Humans are sexual creatures and there is no reason why women’s bodies should not be looked upon with an appreciative eye. Certainly I do not condone sexual harassment and do not believe that a woman is merely an object to be viewed. But, denying that she is a sexual creature while fighting for the right to be taken seriously is not fair.

2. Jumping to Conclusions – I will admit to doing this myself. Reading a headline or seeing an offensive image and automatically going from zero to rage. Many feminists peruse through the internet and come across the drivel that exists in spades; there is some really awful shit out there. But often times, they will read the first few sentences or watch the first few seconds of something and assume the worst. Case in point, the Amazing Atheist on Youtube (one of his videos slightly inspired this blog post). He detests feminism, something which he discusses quite often. Although he has said many controversial things, he doesn’t actually hate women as some would believe. He is just fed up with feminism as a whole. This is unfortunate that this gentleman has come to these conclusions. He has many followers who listen to his every word. My only hope is that the don’t take what he is saying at face value and do a bit of research, which is something I think feminists need to do.

He has said that he often receives hate mail from feminists who do not agree with his views. Although he is anti-feminist, as I said, he is not anti-woman. But, they assume he is. It is the same with most controversial Youtuber’s or Bloggers; They read the first few sentences and draw their conclusions from that without looking any further.

The internet is full of so many different people expressing their opinion. Herein lies the danger. People are not looking past what they see to find out the truth, they are taking what they see as fact. The internet needs to be approached with a journalistic-like mindset: look for multiple sources.

Going back to feminists jumping to conclusions: they need to READ or WATCH the entire article or video. Who created it, what are they saying in their other videos/articles, was it satire etc. I once watched a video of a woman who challenged street harassers by looking them in the eye when they passed her. I thought it was amazing how she got these men to look away in shame when they realized what they were doing. It was very empowering. But, she also had videos about how owning a pet is akin to slavery, that we shouldn’t spay or neuter them and that cuddling them against their will is rape….

3. Angry Rants- This is connected to jumping to conclusions. The angry rant. Although it is natural and feels so fulfilling to vent on the internet about the sad state of our human society, feminists are getting a bad rap because of it. I have before mentioned the events that transpired at the University of Toronto between feminists and a men’s rights group this past school year. The whole thing just made me quite upset that none of the protesters even went to any of these “controversial” lectures, or stayed long enough to listen to what was being said.

Here is a video of one such angry rant:

It is hard to take someone seriously when they are yelling like a banshee and ignoring any questions.

Tumblr is rife with feminists who spew out as much hate as someone who is in an actual hate group. This has got to stop. It is sending the message that all feminists are irrational bitches who are constantly on their periods and who lack educated opinions. Ask a feminist why she is a feminist and she should be able to give you a pretty good reason why. And by pretty good, I don’t mean, “because I am a woman”, or “because men/society sucks”. If you identify with a social movement such as feminism, you should know why.

It is my one wish that one day feminists will be taken seriously. I am also hopeful that one day we won’t need feminism and that humanism will be the norm, with issues not separated by gender.

Advertisements

About Mighty Damsels

I am a sick and tired nerd. Male characters have dominated the action/sci-fi/fantasy genres for far too long. No more will women be in distress, cast as the "girlfriend" or made to wear tight leather pants. Ladies! Raise up your swords, M16's, phaser guns and pens! Mightydamsels.wordpress.com

11 responses »

  1. Kate Bourque says:

    DEAD on. Thanks for this. That video was ridiculous.
    It’s so frustrating to not be able to be taken seriously as a feminist. I try to tell people that there are radicals of everything. One day maybe it won’t have such a negative connotation.

  2. sosayselizabeth says:

    I definitely agree! The more I learn about feminism and consider what I want and need from it, as well as studying sociology, I’m coming to see some of the flaws in feminism too. I definitely consider myself a feminist (and a humanist for that matter) but I often fall into the trap of jumping to conclusions and raging as well as ranting from time to time. I’m working to not do that anymore, and to think a little more critically about what feminism really, truly means. Thanks for a great read!

  3. Thanks, guys! I wasn’t sure how people would react to this post so I am very happy to be receiving some positive comments!

  4. Hey girl, you might like learning about the Grandmothers Speak via my wordpress blog and the website of the same name. This (spiritual, women-empowering) movement is about “yin power” – that is, learning about what makes women different than men, what women have to offer the world (saving it, to start with), and how women and men in their highest expression complement each other and don’t need to fight. I grew up with a feminist and am so grateful for all feminism has done for women, and at the same time, I don’t resonate to the defensive, aggressive position espoused by so many hard-core feminists. Women in their power – truly in their power – are AWESOME and scary to most men. Unbalanced, scary women are easy to deny, cast aside and derise. A woman in her power is undeniable, a force of nature. And about sex…I recently posted about sex and have a page on my blog about the power of female sexuality. Hope you check it out.

    Big hugs! Here’s to empowered women! Love, Golden Eagle Feather

  5. Armadilloman333 says:

    So if you believe that humanism will be the ultimate form of human rights awareness in the future then why don’t you just be a humanist now? If you believe that all genders deserve equal rights then why only promote/spread awareness for one part of humanism? My question is why are you a feminist if you believe that humanism is superior to feminism. I’m not trying to have a go at feminism, I’m just trying to understand your logic. Thanks.

    • I still identify as feminist because feminism is still needed so it helps to have a label so that people can easily identify what I am fighting for. Humanism is not understood by most people as the norm so I just say I am a feminist, but like to include the fact that I also am humanist.

      I realize that it is very confusing to have two different labels but I think I like to identify as a feminist also because of the history of the movement. And plus, I think that people need to see that there is such thing as a level headed feminist.

      I hope this answers your question, and thanks for the comment!

  6. Oh I love your phrase ‘level-headed feminism’! That is exactly what is needed. I have only dared to use the ‘f’ word as I got older as people’s perceptions of what that meant were very different to what the word meant for me – and the angry nutters who just hate men are not a group that I associate my views with in any way. I just feel there are many issues that need addressing around women’s portrayal in our society – like domestic abuse, sexual assault and rape, and generally being judged by appearance first and mind second. I feel very glad that feminism is sprouting new roots, and feel it is much more inclusive for men, as it should be.

    Don’t know if you’ve seen this, it’s brilliant…

    http://awkwardsituationist.tumblr.com/post/52817821994/cambridge-university-students-were-asked-on-campus

    Also, check out @everydaysexism too – if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a forum for people to share what they perceive as sexism in everyday life.

  7. Lindsey says:

    Oh boy, I really enjoyed reading this for some reasons (you make some very good points), but also I cringed while reading this for a lot of other reasons. This is going to be a long reply, and you can feel free to read it or not, as I know running a blog must keep you busy. I’ll take this bit by bit.

    On point one: I don’t think you are understanding the feminist perspective of why naked women on magazine covers can be potentially harmful. It is not because feminists are afraid of sexuality or sex. Rather, it has to do with the nature of media and the commodification of women. Every day, women are bombarded with images of them as dolls, toys, trash, and props. Women are constantly being portrayed as sexual objects – as things that have no use beyond tits or vaginas. While a magazine cover may seem innocuous, when it is women that are not wearing a lot of clothing (while the men on the same magazines may be wearing suits), it helps reinforce the idea that a woman’s greatest value is her body. This website is a good starting point: http://www.genderads.com/page5/slideshow-22/. You’ll notice that many of these ads depict women without faces, further enhancing the idea that the most important feature of a woman is her body. The American apparel is also a good example: http://www.dn.se/Images/2013/05/15/americanapparel683(2).jpg. I understand where you are coming from when you say nudity is a shock value (and that, as a society, we should be more open with sex), but there is no reason for there to be a shock value here. It is not necessary for a woman to be naked to simply sell a shirt when the male on her left is not. The disproportionate amount of ads that oversexualize women (and this includes magazine covers) is telling how it effects society’s view of women as objects.

    I agree that society should not make sex and sexuality such a big deal. However, the way to having a more sex-positive culture is not by treating women as sexual objects; if we really need to use nudity as a “shock factor”, we would be striving to do it in a way that does not disproportionately treat one gender as a sex object. (Ideally, we would not be treating any gender as a sex object, but alas).

    You say, “female sex workers and porn stars are rarely seen as feminists because they are giving into the male driven consumer culture.” I say, perhaps you are not spending time with the correct feminists, or you are not doing enough research into feminism. Modern feminism has its roots in sex-positivity. The idea of being “sex positive” is that you should be not be judged for your sexual choices and, as long as your partner is consenting, you should be able to indulge in a recreational activity without being labeled as a slut or a prude. This means, as long as female sex workers and porn stars are happily consenting to their job, then their work is valid, and they can indeed be seen as feminists if they choose to be. They would not be sluts; you are correct. What feminists might be telling you is that, despite the women who work in the porn industry, it is primarily directed at the male viewer (even lesbian porn is directed at the male viewer), and many porn actresses are treated like objects during their scenes.

    On the second issue: Personally speaking, I gave the Amazing Atheist a chance a few months ago. I watched his videos, some having to do with feminism and some not, and he does have interesting rhetoric. It is not always as intelligent as I wished it would be, but his treatment of feminism aside, I can see why some people respect him for his quotes. I respect the way he dealt with his submissive videos being posted online; I cannot put into words how disgusting it is that someone would show those videos to everyone without his consent. That being said, I have done a lot of research into TAA, and while I agree that you can be anti-feminist without being anti-women (you may have run into the ‘kill all men’ feminists; I would understand your hesitation if that were the case), I find it hard to believe that feminists are not ‘giving him a chance.’ He has said some absolutely awful things in the past. Case and point: http://i.imgur.com/v8q0J.png (TAA is terroja). Also, http://i.imgur.com/DDWHJ.png. Again, personally speaking, it is not a matter of me not liking TAA for being anti-feminists, but rather, for being a disgusting human being.

    I am very glad that you are willing to do research, and that you are a proponent of other people doing research (instead of blindly following), but it doesn’t seem like you are doing research yourself? Forgive me if I am being rude, but this is my personal assessment thus far. Regardless, I appreciate your sentiment in the blog post.

    On point 3: I agree that the woman is being rude, and in some ways, she is shaming the cause by yelling into the man’s face. I don’t like being yelled at, and I don’t think yelling solves issues. It’s a bit hard for me to defend the MRAs in the video though because I cannot hear what they are saying and doing, and it appears that they are talking over this woman as well. Not exactly great grounds for debate on either side. Understandably so, I do take some offense to this woman being the picture of feminism. In some ways, she is – willing to defend her cause. In some ways, she’s not – yelling over people to get the job done. But just as I don’t use the TAA’s disgusting comments about rape to characterize the entire atheist community, I find it unfair that people take this woman (who, while she makes some excellent points, is very rude in the video) as the face of feminism. I would say more about the video, but I can’t seem to find a transcript to see what exactly the MRAs are trying to say, which is unfortunate.

    Onto your last sentence: Yup! I too hope that, one day, we won’t need feminism, but we’ve got a whole lot of problems to solve, and a lot of people standing in our way.

  8. I completely understand the fact that women are treated as sex objects in most forms of media. Women are only seen as worthy if they have a nice body. It is because of this that when a woman wants to display her own agency and be “sexy on her own terms” that she is judged. In an ideal world, society wouldn’t be so offended when a woman wants to display her body. But currently, if she isn’t doing it under the careful eye of male media producers, then she’s just a “slut”. I keep going back to Miley Cyrus, only because her new look is “trending” right now. I keep reading articles about how her fiance is angry at her sexy new image (probably not true..) which to me sounds like the media is sending the underlying message that as a man, he should be the one to say what she wears or how she acts. Feminists in the days of old, also hated Madonna when she first came on the scene.

    I do think that I may have come across a few “old world” feminists in regards to sexuality. I also believe that I read (or watched something) that said porn stars felt that certain feminists didn’t accept them. I wrote this a few months ago and can’t remember where I got that from (maybe the documentary After Porn Ends?).

    As for TAA, I was unaware of his Reddit conduct. That is extremely unfortunate that he decided to use such disgusting and hurtful language in order to get his point across. As a subscriber, I only watch a few of his videos, mainly the one’s pertaining to feminism and Fem Freq. He seems to have smart opinions about some things, but not everything apparently…

    In my defense, I am a student who also works for a student publication and wish I had more time to dedicate to this blog (meaning spend more time researching each post). Mostly I just find links then post my opinion and hope that it makes sense. When I started this blog, I had hoped to have contributes to help give a more well rounded view of women in the media, but have only had three submissions so far.

    I do appreciate your response though! I don’t mind that it is long, and I really want to thank you for putting in the time to write it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s