Sunday, January 07, 2007

Before being against feminism, you need to know what it means

I like how lately, every fucking jackass person with a keyboard and a voltage stabilizer will come up with an opinion about feminism and feel the urge to communicate it to the unenlightened uneducated masses. For example, this guy (via DP). Who thinks that feminism "preaches that women should compete with men in all walks of life in a bid to prove their point and outsmart men". And then goes on to "prove" why feminism is flawed.

I would like to take this opportunity to request people who think they oppose feminism to first be aware of what the fuck it is that they think they are opposing.

As I commented at this guy's blog, feminism is not about male-female competition. Fuck competition. In fact, when you think about it, feminism has very little to do with men. Feminism is about giving a woman the fundamental birthright over her own body, over her own life and her own destiny. Feminism strives to give women protection under the law (theoretically as well as practically). Feminism tries to make sure that societal norms will evolve to a point such that women will be able to live their lives as citizens who can be self-sufficient psychologically as well as economically.

Feminism would like women to be able to move around freely without being molested by sexually starved men. Feminism would prefer that women be left out of caste warfare and that their genitals and souls not be made to bear the brunt of centuries old religious and social dogma. Feminism would also like women to be able to have control over their own vaginas and not be subject to the diktats of a bunch of righteous old men held hostage by the preachings of a hoary book of indeterminate vintage and relevance. And lastly, feminism would really love it if you didn't kill your fetus just because she's a girl. Instead, Feminism would plead with you to give birth to her, nurture her, educate her and see how she soars.

Feminism is all that and more. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I haven't covered most of it. But this much I can say with confidence : Feminism will not think less of you just because you decide to lug your girlfriend's 80 kilo suitcase. No, Feminism will call that mere common courtesy.

I realize, of course, that I could be one of those fucking jackasses people I mentioned, foisting his asinine opinions about feminism on the world. If such be the case, please do let me know.

Update : As Falstaff points out correctly in his comment, contrary to what I said earlier, Feminism, or just about any other ism, would probably frown upon this particular instance of 80 kilo suitcase handling due to the blogger's motives behind doing it, which is, to avoid the self-manufactured feeling of emasculation that might result, were he to allow his girlfriend to carry the suitcase. In short, it's all about him and his insecurities and little to do with feminism. But the problem here is that far from this being the warped viewpoint of just one blogger, I think that this perception about feminism, about it being merely an instrument used by women to emasculate the male of the species, to make him feel less manly is a pretty common one. And it needs to be systematically eradicated because that is probably the most oversimplified caricaturization of contemporary feminism as we know it.

Update 2 : Looking back, we could probably have done without calling people "fucking jackasses". How about we chalk this one up to Samuel Adams Winter Lager, eh?

Update3 : Strawfeminists and more straw-chewing chauvinists.

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