I'm Not A Feminist... And Here's Why

I'm Not A Feminist... And Here's Why

I support equal rights of women, but I don't call myself a feminist.
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I've mentioned in previous articles that I am not a feminist. I don't identify as a feminsit. I don't affiliate myself with the feminist movement. I'm not vocal on the subject and I don't partake in debates about abortion, or the right to choose. As a matter of fact I deliberately distanced myself from feminism over the years. It was a combination of certain feministic views I disagreed with and certain stereotypes made by feminists that I found offensive. I am very critical of third wave feminism.

As a result, I have been accused by many, (mostly by feminists) of being anti-feminist. I find this funny because anyone who knows the definition of an anti-feminist would know it is someone who does not believe in the social, economic or political equality between men and women. (I voted for Jill Stein in 2016 Election so that is not the case with me.)

But yet, people ask me: Why am I not a feminst? Well I can say there are a few reasons why. Now some may find this offensive but as I always say in my classes whenever I'm about to say something controversial: If you get offended, its not my fault. You have been warned.

The first reason is the issue involving male victims of abuse. This is the biggest reason why I don't identify as a feminist. I believe the feminist movement has, unintentionally, overshadowed cases involving male victims. There are countless documentaries, scholarly articles and case studies on rape and rape cultures, and what I've noticed with all of them is that they center on female victims. If I didn't know any better, I would think that its a psychological trap, since women are perceived as being more vulnerable and "innocent" we find ourselves feeling sorry for them. Now I know that's not the case, and not even close and I know better then to even believe such an idea. It just so happens that women tend to be targeted as victims more then men. I have watched some documentaries, much to their credit as mentioning that men can be victims too. The problem there, is how brief they tend to touch on the subject of male victims. Most of the documentaries I've watched, where they do talk about men being victims only talk about the subject for five minutes. There is still no study done on male rape victims, therefore no data.

(I tackle this subject more in my article "Wait... Men are Victims too?" so click here if you want to read that.)

The second reason is, I can't hold credibility if I was to identify as a feminist. There are thousands upon thousands of people who will get behind women's rights. It's safe to say this movement has an army, they have the morale, they can fight the oppession. And some of these people can do amazing things. Famed director, Joss Whedon is widely known to be a feminist and one of the things he does is write prominent female roles in his movies, making a role model for young female viewers. The late Swedish journalist, Steig Larrson, wrote The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, raising awareness of abuse, specifically towards women. These people can make a contribution and are capable of expressing their feminist views intellectually and even artistically. I don't have the time, the interest or the energy to get involved in a movment I don't feel I can bring a contribution to. Women are entitled to the same rights and privileges as men, but I can't do alot to advance that idea anymore then the movement itself already has. I feel I would have to do more then just say it, to credit myself as one.

The third and final reason is how extreme feminists can be. Now this only applies to extreme forms of feminism and third wave feminism in particular is where I find the most radical of feminists. . I am well aware that not all feminsts "hate men." But I've had negative experiences with feminists and have read certain quotes from certain feminists that made me rennounce my identity as a feminist over the years. Robin Morgan, the editor of Ms. Magazine was quoted in saying "I feel that "men-hating" is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have the right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them." No it does not. It makes third-wave feminsts seem just as barbaric as the men who have oppressed them. Women have the right to fight patriarchal ideology and should fight it, with Donald Trump in the White House, that gives all the more reason to do so, but when you throw EVERY MAN into the equation, then I have to back off. All I have to do here is takout the words "men-hating", "oppressed", "oppresiing" and "class." Replace those words with "islamophoba," "Americans," "attacking," and "muslim," and you got yourself the perfect anti-muslim quote. If fear doesn't justify prejudice then male oppression doesn't justify hating men all together. We are not all like that!

Then there are the feminsts who patronize men. This is a result of centuries of patriarchy, so I cannot say this isn't understandable, but the problem is that suddenly, all men are to blame. All men are deemed ammoral, self-centered, unable to feel any compassion towards the oppossite sex. Former Congresswoman, Barbra Jordan was one of them. If no one knows who Barbra Jordan was, she was the first African American Women to be elected Texas Senate, and served in the House of Representatives for Texas from 1973 to 1979. She made a name for her self as a leader in the American Civil Rights movement, and was openly lesbian. She once said: "I believe women have a capacity for understanding and compassion, which men structurally do not have, does not have it, because he cannot have it. He is just incapable of it." This is a stereotype and nothing more.

Men are capable of showing compassion and understanding towards anyone. I've experienced getting judged for simply holding a door open for a women because that's saying the women isn't capable of opening the door herself. That is a rediculous arguement, I am sure the woman who was walking behind me is perfectly capable of opening the door on her own. So why did I hold it open? Because I am a nice person and closing the door on top of her would be rude. I hold the door open for anyone, regardless of gender. Not even out of moral obligation because I had the free will to just keep walking, but I stop and hold the door for him or her because that's me showing compassion.

or even just complimenting them. It's become a general assumption to assume then whenever a guys calls a woman beautiful, it means they want to have sex with them. Sometimes I wonder if they use that as an excuse because whoever who complimented them just wasn't attractive, but I can't prove that and that's a different discussion for a COMPLETELY different topic.

I know oppession still continues today. But can you really say there is no hope? With thousands of women AND men, making their voices heard, can you really tell me that I am wrong to voice this kind of opinion? 1 out of 5 women in the United States identify as feminsts, against 85% of the American population who believe in gender equality. I don't have to be feminist to say I believe in gender equality, because I simply do.

At the end of the day, I'm not an "-ist" of any kind. I just like to think of myself as a moral human being who believes in equatily for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, ethnicity etc.) I'll get behind Planned Parenthoond for the sake of women having the right to choose, just like how I advocate for the Syrian refugees, or support LGBT rights. But at the end of the day, my only motive is "equality," and nothing more. Isn't that how we are all supposed to be?

Cover Image Credit: google images

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.
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They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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The Government Can Do More To Stop Human Trafficking

Are there effective laws to help combat human trafficking in the United States?

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Slavery hides within many places in the modern world, including developed countries. Many adults and children are victims of human trafficking in the United States, but just how much is the government involved with extinguishing the issue? Mark P. Lagon and Laila Mickelwait wrote, "The U.S. Government Turns a Blind Eye to Policies That Fuel Sex Trafficking," to convey how they believe that there are currently ineffective laws to combat human trafficking in the United States. On the other hand, Alex Trouteaud wrote, "Anti-human Trafficking Laws Have Made Great Progress," in order to express his views on how he believes that there are enough effective laws in the United States to combat human trafficking. Although their views may differ when it comes to the amount of effective legislation in America in combatting against human trafficking, they reach common ground through one aspect: human trafficking grows with the demand for commercial sex.

To begin, Mark P. Lagon and Laila Mickelwait contend that the government's legislation is not effective in combatting human trafficking. Lagon and Mickelwait express that "year after year, the department sidesteps the most critical aspect" (Langon and Mickelwait 1) of setting sustainable efforts in eliminating the trafficking issue. They claim that although there are laws in place for the purpose of abolishing the issue, "it seems the department doesn't want to ruffle feathers by turning words into action" (Langon and Mickelwait 1).

The authors analyze the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and express that their law is outdated in their methods of reducing sex trafficking crimes because they do not assess sex consuming laws. They argue that "it is high time to stop saying "boys will be boys" and recognize that abolishing sex trafficking requires placing the stigma on the purchaser rather than the commodified women and girls they buy" (Langon and Mickelwait 1).

In other words, they believe that even when the government recognizes the problem, they are not taking enough action to help prevent sex trafficking culture from growing because the negative connotation has been placed on the victims, rather than the traffickers. Their argument in this context appeals to government and legislation because it gives insight over how some people may feel over current human trafficking legislation.

In contrast to Lagon and Mickelwait's article, Alex Trouteaud stands in disagreement with the claim that human trafficking legislation in the United States is not effective. Trouteaud, as a "Director of Policy and Research for Demand Abolition, an organization that fights to combat the illegal commercial sex industry in the U.S.," (Trouteaud 2) notices that the government is taking the necessary action to improve human trafficking legislation. Thus, throughout his argument, he says that "members of Congress… are writing smarter laws that address the problem at its roots" (Trouteaud 1). Traditional laws have not effectively addressed the human trafficking issue because they have not targeted the root of the problem. But, because Congress identified the source, they have since updated their policy. According to Trouteaud, the government established The Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act to help fund operations that seize traffickers. In addition, he claims that they have implemented the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to prevent the demand for sex from women and children from rising. To Trouteaud, he believes that only when Congress had updated their policies by holding commercial sex buyers accountable for their actions, have the human trafficking laws been most effective. Therefore, in this context, his argument gives insight to those who feel as if human trafficking laws are ineffective.

Despite the differing views between Lagon and Mickelwait's claim, and Trouteau's views on whether or not human trafficking laws are effective, there is common ground. Both sides have identified the main source of the growing sex trafficking culture, which is due to the high demand for commercial sex. Lagon and Mickelwait use an economic theory of supply and demand by stating that "when a country allows for the legal purchase of sex, demand increases, as does the supply of women and girls needed to meet that demand" (Lagon and Mickelwait 1). Lagon and Mickelwait have been appalled by the results, and state a call to action for the government to recognize the root of the problem. Furthermore, Trouteaud stated that "high frequency buyers, who purchase sex dozens of times each year, are responsible for three of every four transactions in the illegal sex trade" (Trouteaud 1). Trouteaud has identified that the government has found the root of the human trafficking problem, similar to what Lagon and Mickelwait have identified. By both authors holding the same supply and demand theory, and attitude over the identification of the root of the problem, a common ground is reached.

Although Lagon and Mickelwait's views and Trousseau's claim prove to be opposing ends of the human trafficking legislation argument, a compromise can be reached. Since the concerns between both sides address the effectiveness of the human trafficking legislation and are within the same vicinity, which is over the concern of the effectiveness of the law, a solution can be made. The concerns between both sides may be addressed if they are willing to listen to the opposing point of view. In that way, they may find that because both sides agree in the common root of the sex trafficking issue, people in the United States can continue to push for more effective legislation that targets the problem of the high demand for commercial sex.

Thus, the government can pass more effective bills to create better laws for combatting human trafficking and ultimately, protect those who are most vulnerable as victims.

Works Cited

Lagon, Mark P., and Laila Mickelwait. "The U.S. Government Turns a Blind Eye to Policies

That Fuel Sex Trafficking." The Washington Post, WP Company, 1 Feb. 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-government-.... Accessed 15 Mar. 2019

Trouteaud, Alex. "Anti-Trafficking Laws Have Made Great Progress." TheHill, 17 Aug. 2017,

thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/crime/346642-anti-trafficking-laws-have-made-great-progress. Accessed 13 Mar. 2019

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