(Trigger warning) First World Feminism
In 1988 I was born.. a happy baby girl with the world laid out before her. I was born with certain rights, expectations, and I was taught my beliefs by my parents.. and hoo boy did they teach me a great many things.
My dad taught me that I don't need a man to be a whole person. He taught me that I don't need to dress like a 'slut' to get attention. He taught me to use my brain, and to think before speaking (though let's be honest, I'm really not great on that one). He taught me to question everything, especially my beliefs and my opinions, because we are always changing and new information is always being presented. Most importantly.. he taught me that with the right motivation and determination I can do and be anything that I want to be.
But my life lessons didn't stop with him. My mother had a whole lot of things to teach me too, about being a woman in a difficult situation, and being smart enough to know when to leave it. My grandparents taught me to think of others, not just in my family, or my neighborhood, they taught me to think globally. They probably didn't realize they were doing these things for me.. but they were. Every day of my life, they were teaching me how to be a whole person.
So maybe that's why I am one of the (not so few) women who gets bothered by what I'm going to call First World Feminists. These are the women, in my mind, who complain about not being offered the same opportunities as men, who aren't getting paid as much, who aren't getting treated fairly. You're 100% right to speak out about these things, of course. Entitled to fight for what you believe in.. entitled even to take it to extremes if you must.....
First World Feminists don't speak for everyone... and they need to stop pretending like they do.
I'm all for equality.. but the last time I checked.. I got the same k-12 education as all the boys of my generation. I'm able to apply for all the same jobs as men are, even those that I'm not actually qualified for. Last I checked.. I have the right to choose who I wish to marry, to choose to vote, to be able to dress and act the way I please. I'm able to own property, and I'm even able to own my own business if I so choose.
I can't honestly say I've been treated any differently than my male counterparts.. unless you count my brothers but that's just sibling rivalry.
There are a great many issues which deserve the attention and energy of such agendas.
Rape is absolutely an issue we need to be speaking out about, and taking a stand for the victims who can't or won't speak for themselves. Rapists should be sentenced to the full extent of the law, and there's no exception in that regard. However.. that doesn't give us the right to label every man as a potential rapist just because he has a penis.
Oh.. and you want to get angry because that guy just checked you out? Yeah? What was your real motivation for putting on that 10 pounds worth of makeup, and that too short skirt with a v-neck top and a push up bra? Push-up bras are uncomfortable, and designed for one thing: Drawing attention to your ta-tas. Don't want that attention? Don't want some strange man (and likely women judging you too) oggling your business? Stop putting it out there for everyone to see, or stop getting mad about it.
People are going to look at you, no matter how you dress really.. and that's a good thing. Be empowered, and wear what you want.. but don't get mad at people for appreciating what you're so proudly displaying. That thong I can see peeking out of the bottom of your skirt is adorable by the way. Victoria's secret?
Feminists speak out about how women are represented in popular culture, from everything to magazines and video games. I appreciate that. I appreciate that we are trying to change the way the world perceives women. This too is a good cause, but are we going about it the right way? Truly? When it comes to the extremist opinions.. I have to say no. I'm sorry. As a woman, I hate that, but I cannot respect any person, man or woman, who takes their beliefs just a little too far.
And it doesn't really stop there. We have thousands of issues that we still need to be making progress in, and some old ones that we thought were resolved need to be readdressed, for sure, but we don't need to debase our own selves in the process by acting like three year olds who just got their lollipop stolen by the little boy who probably just wants to be our friend and doesn't know how to go about it.
The whole thing bothers me for three simple facts.
We're speaking out about rights for women in first world countries... but most of these feminists groups and agendas stop there. They don't push for equality for women in other countries.. third worlds where they are actually still oppressed and need those voices speaking out for them.
We treat our ideals as religion... and take to heart every countering opinion, and it has been a trend lately to degrade and belittle men to this end, and blame them as the source of all our oppression. That's not okay... equality works both ways. We're gaining no ground by stooping to the level of name calling and bashing.
Lastly.. while I think its wonderful to empower young women with the feminist ideals at an early age.. at 19 years old.. you don't even know who 'you' are yet. You don't know what the world holds, or what is going on outside of your own little bubble, and you need to stop pretending like you do and calling yourself a feminist when you don't even really know what it means to be oppressed. As a young woman in the United States of America today, you don't really know what it means. Do some traveling, become a little more worldly before you start making bold claims about how women should be treated. Learn to respect yourself first.
Women are forces of nature.. once we've set our minds to something, we 'can' change the world. We've the power to start and end wars... yet...
We can't see the forest for the trees.