Even As A Feminist, I Can't Deny That Feminism Can Be Toxic Sometimes

Even As A Feminist, I Can't Deny That Feminism Can Be Toxic Sometimes

Claiming to be a "feminist" these days doesn't just entail supporting women for what they choose to do.

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I was at a Starbucks a few weeks ago, meeting up with my best friend after months of separation. The college atmosphere was fairly new to both of us, him being an art school student while I attended one of the most liberal universities in the country. We were talking about our day-to-day activities and lives when he popped one of the questions I've come to dread over the months.

"Aren't you a political science major? Ugh, please don't bring up politics, it's such an annoying thing these days."

I wasn't surprised. Myself and other political science students have been told this many times. Politics have evolved over the decades. There used to be a time when people with different ideologies could engage in civil discussions about current events. Now it's turned into an ongoing debate of what is right and what is wrong. People don't put aside their differences as easily to find their happy medium.

I asked my best friend why he thought of politics in that way when his answer took me by surprise.

"It's all of this feminist talk. I'm sick of it. Since when did some feminists find it okay to blatantly hate men as part of "supporting women?"

I couldn't find myself disagreeing. That's when I knew that feminism isn't always what it strives to be. Claiming to be a "feminist" these days doesn't just entail supporting women for what they choose to do. Many feminists have changed that definition to include degrading the majority of men for the actions of a select few. It's not uncommon for people to claim that all men are rapists, for example. Good men exist too. It's unfair that this thinking extremely present in feminist ideology, and often causes many feminists to debate their stances using flawed arguments.

What many feminists fail to realize, is that equal opportunity does not always relate to equal outcome. Just because women are given the ability to do something men do does not mean they will be treated exactly the same for those things. This is the sad reality that we live in. Look at promiscuity, for example. Why is it that when a man is promiscuous, he is awarded for his behavior? A man could have had many sexual partners in his past and still find it possible to settle down with a female at some point. Look at it from a female's perspective, however. If a woman has had multiple sexual partners and tries to settle down with a man, why is it that many of these women are looked down on? They've only done what men do, after all. This is what I'm arguing. Feminists need to realize that it's a huge step in itself to be able to do the same things men have been doing for years. A woman wasn't even allowed to go to work at one point. Now, the CEO of PepsiCo is a woman! However, it will still take more time for women to be able to elicit the same responses and outcomes as men.

Some feminists also need to understand that just because someone doesn't believe in something they do, it doesn't make that person their enemy. Feminism isn't about just believing what you think is right. Just because a feminist believes that a woman can have sexual intercourse with as many partners as she wants doesn't make it right in everyone's eyes. Yes, that woman has been granted sexual freedom but it is wrong of people to assume that everyone should be okay with it. I certainly believe that a woman can have sexual freedom. Free the nipple! Do I necessarily believe that it's right or do I partake in it? No. But this is what feminism should be about. It's about understanding that different people have different opinions but that it's okay. As long as women are focused on progressing and creating change, that's what is important.

In no way am I undermining the effects of feminism or the strength of feminism in this article; I believe that feminism is a unified force that has allowed for a lot of change to take place. More women are making themselves visible in political affairs as are women in the workforce. It's wonderful, really. Feminism is what has empowered me to write this article. I'm writing this in hopes that feminist ideology will change, that it will become more inclusive. Here's to hoping that when a male calls himself a feminist, he isn't made fun of for it.

Here's to hoping that when people declare themselves a feminist, they aren't looked down for it.

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.
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To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.


Love,

Amy

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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I Am A Feminist And I Don't Hate Men

It's time to let the world know what Feminism truly is.

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I know what you've heard about feminists. You've heard that we're all lesbians, that we hate men, and that we think women are the superior species. You believe that men should be fearing for their lives because "people like us" are making them feel less than worthy. You see us at protests waving our equality flags and think, "Wow, do they really have to do that?"

The answer?

Yes.

And here's why:

For YEARS, women have been struggling to gain the same equal rights as men. We've been dealing with issues such as gender wage gaps, the right to vote, the right to have our own bank account (Yeah. Until 1974, we were required to have a man as a cosigner for our own bank accounts), and so many more.

Of course, times have changed, and women have definitely gained more rights, which is great! But the thing is, there's still inequality between women and men. That's just the truth.

Women are still getting harassed on the street every single day, and women are still being denied jobs because they "don't look" like what the company expects (which is usually, a man).

What does all of this have to do with feminists hating men, you may ask?

Well, for starters, these are the issues that we actually care about. Wait...what?

We, like feminists, care about equality. Hating men and wishing females were the only ones with rights? That's called inequality.

And we aren't here for it.

We stand for equal pay. We stand for women and men having rights over their own bodies. We stand for kindness towards anyone and everyone. We stand for equality.

Now that's what being a Feminist is all about.

So, you can complain about how much we hate men and wish they would burn in hell. But at the end of the day, we know what we stand for.

And hating men, isn't it.

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