Full disclosure, I do not now, nor have I ever considered myself a feminist. I do not hate women and I certainly do not think that women are inferior to men, but I reject that label regardless. Rather, I would much rather describe myself as an egalitarian because I want equal rights for all (regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation). My views are not one sided, as many feminists are, and I value logic and reason above emotion and feelings. I haven’t really touched on women’s issues a whole lot here on The Odyssey, but with the recent marches for women’s rights all over the country, I feel that it is important to not only support them in areas in which they have legitimate grievances, but also criticize them in areas where they are misguided by misleading statistics or flat out wrong.
One major talking point for modern feminists is the gender wage gap. I am somewhat shocked when I hear the point get repeated time and time again even though it is constantly disproved. For those who don’t know, feminists often state that women bake 77 cents for every dollar a man makes in the work place. The problem is that not only is this misleading, it is flat out wrong. What the gender wage gap measures is the average earnings between men and women who are working full time. It does not take into account different job positions, different job choices, occupations, education, or hours worked in a single week. It does not take into account that men and women are different. They have different interests. Studies have shown that while men, on average, tend to work in technological fields while women have a higher tendency to work in creative or caretaking fields such as teachers. Women are also more likely to work part time rather than full time jobs and be stay at home parents, which is why the wage gap exists in the first place. Now before you throw the “internalized oppression that causes women to choose different paths” bullshit on me, allow me to propose a question: Is it not possible that women and me have different preferences. Men and women are biologically wired differently, so it is completely reasonable to believe that generally, men and women have different ideas as to what makes them happy. Women are often drawn to more child caring positions (such as teaching or pediatrics) because they generally have a natural motherly bond with children. That’s not sexist, it’s just biology.
Another issue that is a major talking point among feminists is the college rape culture. People who believe in this mythological issue is convinced that 1 in 5 women are rape on college campuses. That false statistic comes from an unscientific survey conducted at Harvard University. While this may sound horrible (the fact that anyone gets raped is horrible enough) it is highly misleading. It is important to note that the survey counted consensual sex performed under the influence of alcohol as rape. If it were true that this is an example of rape, would the man also not be a victim or rape? No, of course not because, according to the feminist agenda, men cannot be raped. Many feminists are angered when a woman who has claimed to have been raped is initially met with skepticism and doubt. This isn’t because she is unbelievable, but because here in America, people on trial are innocent until they are proven guilty. It is completely unethical to condemn a young man accused of rape when there is little to no evidence that the alleged rape occurred.
Catcalling is another issue that gets thrown around a lot in feminist circles and I think that there are some legitimate concerns there, but I would be foolish not to admit that a lot of catcalling and sexual harassment claims are bullshit. In fact, there is a documented incident where a man kindly says “hello” to a woman and then she goes off the chart insane and claims sexual harassment. In the video, she calls the police and when the police come, they decide that no sexual harassment was taking place. Then the bitch cries “racism” or “sexism” or some type of –ism so that she will be viewed as a victim to all her Internet trolling friends. There are countless examples of this, and just like calling someone racist when there is no evidence of them being racist, it severely damages the cause. Catcalling is a serious issue and men or women who legitimately take part in it should be dealt with. However, there are too many of examples of this out there that it is hard to bring any real attention to the issue without it being dismissed.
With all of that being said, there are a few legitimate claims that modern day feminism speaks out against that are legitimate. One of the few legitimate grievances that modern feminists speak out against is reproductive rights. A woman’s right to choose is very much under attack from the right wing agenda and should be stopped immediately. Women have the right to do with their bodies what they choose as long as they are not hurting anyone else. Another is the whole breastfeeding issue. Women should absolutely be allowed to pull her tits out to feed her child. That something so natural and so fundamental that it shouldn’t even be debated. But I would take it a step farther. Women should be allowed to walk around shirtless if they want to and not be harassed. But the GOPers have a tendency to over sexualize everything (both from a female and a transgender rights perspective). It really makes you think what is going on in their heads.
The bottom line is that men and women are pretty equal these days. Both sexes have the right to vote and the freedom to do anything they want with their lives, regardless of the fact that they tend to choose different careers. There are, of course, a few exceptions such as the breastfeeding and reproductive rights issues. But saying that men are treated better than women is false in most cases. In fact, I would make the argument that women, at times, have it easier than men. For example, women tend to serve shorter prison sentences than men, men often get fucked over in divorce and custody settlements, and women currently get to opt out in registering for the draft, while it is mandatory for men. When I say that men and women should be treated equally, I mean it. There should be no difference in the way they are treated. Women should not get theses few privileges that men do not get nor should men be able to walk shirtless in public if women can’t. This is what true equality looks like and the sad fact is that feminism no longer cares about equality among the genders.
Peace, Love, Logic, and Reason!