I know an unhealthy number of males who are feminists in spirit, in their deep seated ideologies, however, their actions largely take disgusting, sexist forms. In fact, their ideologies are the very thing that assists them in justifying their detrimental actions. They tend to feel that since they already believe in female empowerment, it makes them immune from acting in ways that harm women, that they’ve somehow become shielded from contributing to a culture of misogyny. Right?
(I thought the message would be more powerful if imparted by your Lord & Saviour Donald)
I’ll give examples. During an interesting political conversation, a male friend of mine touted about female sexual liberty and how much he embraced the women who had the courage to disregard the controlling and demeaning aspirations of the mainstream sexual culture. In fact, it is my understanding that he deeply and genuinely felt that way. Then about half an hour later, in a different conversation, he described one of his past encounters as a ‘whore’. He saw no incongruency in his ideas of female sexual empowerment and calling this young lady a ‘whore’. Another friend of mine routinely posts social media articles and memes that are intended to uplift women and support their cause. In his life away from the internet, he infantilizes his partner by characterizing her as needy and dependent, makes uncomfortable advances towards women with simultaneous & complete disregard for their well-being, and generally entertains sexist remarks for the sake of comedy. He is not a bad person. Then there are just numerous instances of my ‘feminist’ male friends throwing everything they know completely out the window as soon as they have a negative encounter with a female and start describing her with irrelevant physical attributes. The most common ones are ‘ugly’ and ‘fat’. So what’s the point of your beliefs?
That’s right. They’re useless. While it may be good that you can understand on an intellectual level why equality is important and why oppressing females is bad, if your actions still create an experience of hostility, degradation and oppression for your female counterparts, your knowledge is not making any difference. In fact, now you can’t be reasoned with or shown how your actions are harmful because you are already basking in the comfort of your beliefs.
I’m also not sure why this is such a common phenomenon. Perhaps it is because the male culture has started to value the intellectual argument of equality, but it still struggles to give up its privilege and change its actions and language. So, for any given male, it is uncool to actually believe that women are inferior, but it is still not cool to act in ways that uplift women or even, refrain from causing them harm. I’m aware that the quickest way to become unpopular among a group of males is by pointing out their sexism and holding them accountable. But if so many of you have the capacity to comprehend the gravity of the issue, why not start acting on it?
I know I’m not innocent of exhibiting the same flaw. Not only have I believed in feminist ideologies while putting down other women, but I also regularly benefit from the oppression of people in other countries to maintain my own level of comfort. I look for the cheapest goods regardless of where they come from, I support awful corporations and enable them to do awful things, I quite literally contribute to the worsening of the environment everyday. But fuck, we have to start somewhere. I feel we’re at a point where it’s just too late to still be fighting for feminism while still fighting for the environment, while still fighting for international human rights, while still fighting for decolonization, while still fighting for LGBTQ rights. I want to at least be able to cross one thing from the list.
So, do everyone a favor: get the fuck outta here with your beliefs. Nobody needs your speeches, nobody needs your memes, nobody needs your opinions. What women need is the support of your actions, your everyday behaviours, your most frequently used language, and if you can’t use those instruments to reflect your beliefs, then why bother? Enjoy all the power & high that you get from your oppression and don’t let us bitches bring you down!