I’m Not A Feminist, As I Have Yet To Personally Find Anyone Who Doesn’t Care About Equality

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Growing up I never saw any particular disapproval of gay marriage or having people of another race subject to racism or real stereotypes. This extends to women given equality as well, and I think it is mostly to do with the people I was around growing up to this point in my life.

I have always been able to make strong distinctions between fiction and reality, between what I see portrayed in films, games or what have you as noticeably different to world of reality. I have never assumed anything that I see from the few reflects the many as the idea seemed to defy logic in my mind, for what reason would every individual be the same except to achieve a hive mind status? I notice that much of the bigotry from older generations is easily broken down by a newer generation when we tend to try and find reasoning in their views and I wonder if that is what happened with me. I was raised by a loving mother and a somewhat problematic but on the whole love-filled father. They taught me to look and observe people from their actions, we even have a fridge magnet with the quote from Shakespeare ” They do not love that do not show their love”. It was ingrained into my mind from many angles to judge a person on what they do, things like gender sexual orientation and race are simply just there.

To the topic of this post, I don’t consider myself a feminist because I fail to see how it is something you are. It has been in my entire life a basic concept to have people treated equally in certain regards and the idea of being one seemed alien to me. Imagine saying in perhaps 40 years time you are a a supporter of homosexual relationships, as if at that point it is not as synonymous with any person with half a brain cell as being a oxygen breather or a blood pumper. That is what Feminism feels like to me, everyone around me for 20 years has been in approval of the notion that I saw it as common sense. Perhaps I view the labelling of the thought shows that at one point I was not, that I became one after a revelation. Certainly my first words weren’t “equal rights for women” but it is such a pivotal part of the human being I am that to not be seems almost inhuman at this point in time. I have never seen a person who challenges equal rights for women and seemed like a decent human being, it is something only the scum of our species come to think and at a certain age you should be aware that perhaps whatever you thought or were raised to think might not all there is to it. Forming your own mind is part of that adolescent period of finding yourself in a new body and mind.

So what do you all think? Perhaps as a male I was given the gift of avoiding this pit of hatred as it was never pointed towards me. Do you think calling yourself a Feminist or what have you is important when the promoted and fought for aspects seem like a natural state of mind for people? Maybe I lived a sheltered life for much of my years and I just have a odd perspective from the kind of people I have been around? Thanks you for your input and I know reading all these feminist and Gamergate posts and news articles can be a rather depressing experience. So have a much larger thanks for reading this.

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  1. #1 by The Arbourist on November 1, 2014 - 3:41 pm

    Do you think calling yourself a Feminist or what have you is important when the promoted and fought for aspects seem like a natural state of mind for people?

    Feminism is the about the struggle to remove the systemic, oppressive features of society that harm women and men.

    These structures and norms still exist in society thus negating much talk of ‘equality’ having been achieved in society.

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    • #2 by Mercy McCulloch Hasselblad on November 3, 2014 - 6:58 pm

      What structures? What oppressions? Which society?

      Like

    • #3 by The Arbourist on November 4, 2014 - 6:44 am

      What structures?

      The structures in society that continue to propagate the idea that women are somehow different, and thus inferior to men.

      Prominent examples of this would be in the STEM fields, Academia and the workforce. It is generally the case that woman have to work harder and longer, just to be on the same footing with men.

      What oppressions?

      Female socialization, body policing, sexual objectification…the economic and social barriers to female achievement etc.

      Which society?

      Any that happens to be patriarchal.

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    • #4 by Mercy McCulloch Hasselblad on November 4, 2014 - 8:30 am

      I don’t think America is a patriarchal society anymore. It used to be, I think, but I don’t think my generation (20-somethings and younger) feel it. I lived in a third-world country for awhile where women really were second-class citizens, and it makes America’s feminist “issues” pale in comparison, to the point of not being there…
      Women are different… but that doesn’t make us inferior. People can be different and equal. Take, for example, an ex-military man and an ex-doctor (male). I would hire the doctor before I’d hire the military man to be a teacher, if they were both applying for it and I only had their history to depend on. That doesn’t mean one is inferior. If it were a different job, I’d consider again the skills and aptitude of each. This is equal treatment, even though they are different. You can be different and equal. The idea that you cannot is a bunch of garbage and frankly, a frightening idea to try and carry out.
      I don’t think the limitation of women in STEM fields has much to do with discrimination. I’ve met more boys who like math than girls, even as a kid. This isn’t always true. Girls sometimes like math, too, and I, for one, love science. I never felt hindered from entering that field. I didn’t feel discriminated against.
      People are different. Here’s a question: why is are male genitals a profane symbol, and no female body parts are? That’s discrimination in the most terrible form. Also, women sexually objectify themselves often enough and objectify men, too. It’s indicative of a self-centered “satisfy ME” society.
      Socialization: I know this isn’t true for EVERYBODY, but I wasn’t socialized as inferior to my brother. Toymakers aren’t in some big conspiracy to keep girls liking pink barbies (which I didn’t like growing up, I was a cowgirl). They sell them (mostly to girls) because little girls want them, and little boys want trucks. A classic example of this would be my little brother. He was raised in a houseful of girls, absolutely no male peer influence at all, and my dad had very limited influence. We tried and tried and tried to get him to play “house” with us, but every time he did, he started pretending to blow stuff up. We stopped trying to get him to play. My little sisters tried to get him to play with the Ken doll when they played Barbie, but again, he wasn’t interested unless the story somehow was an adventure instead of just talking or dressing up.
      Anyway: bottom line: women and men are different. They are more different within their sexes than they are from each other, but they are still different. I could give you thousands of examples of people being treated differently but the treatment is still equal. It’s a cop-out to say that different means unequal. There has been historically discrimination against women. But it’s hurtful to our cause if we keep complaining when, in reality, there’s not much to complain about. I’ve seen places feminists should fight. And American feminists’ complaints seem extremely minor and picky in comparison.

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  2. #5 by catb89 on October 31, 2014 - 10:44 pm

    “Do you think calling yourself a Feminist or what have you is important when the promoted and fought for aspects seem like a natural state of mind for people?”

    I think you said that quite well. Because naturally, surely the answer would be “no ofcourse not”.
    I would say I call myself a feminist when I see sexism against women, if I see sexism against a man I also stand up and call the sexist person out on their BS. I think if I had to be very accurate I would say I support male-friendly-feminism. A feminist that cares about male issues too.
    But I don’t feel the need to shout out that I am a feminist just for the sake of it. Only when necessary.

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    • #6 by Prof.mcstevie on October 31, 2014 - 10:58 pm

      I would prefer to think that I simply stand up and fight against someone being mistreated, regardless of the context. It is not as if I specifically choose to defend one thing and not another, I will very basically stand up for what I believe is right. The only name I would like people to call that is the act of “a human being”.

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    • #7 by catb89 on October 31, 2014 - 11:03 pm

      I hear you, I say feminism when I stand against sexism, that doesn’t mean the only thing I stand against is sexism. I stand up for lots of things, though they haven’t invented a new word for it when you stand up to people generally being nasty, but I think “being a decent person” just about covers it. =)

      Like

    • #8 by Prof.mcstevie on October 31, 2014 - 11:07 pm

      Agreed, I admit I greatly despise the growing desire to name and label everything as a movement or a group, when it really comes down to common decency as a society.

      Like

  3. #9 by Mercy McCulloch Hasselblad on October 31, 2014 - 10:05 pm

    No, I was raised in the same era as you, I think, and in a lot of ways I feel like I don’t “get” it. Older people I know are like, “Women are oppressed!” and, although I’ve seen men who treat women as objects, I also see women who treat men the same way. Bottom line, I don’t feel it. I now live in a country where women are more limited by their gender, and I get what maybe feminists were fighting against, way back when. But American women have it pretty sweet and equal. I think some people might just need a cause or something to complain about, honestly. 😉

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    • #10 by Prof.mcstevie on October 31, 2014 - 10:17 pm

      It seems there is a root cause of horrible people just being horrible people, which plays into what I’ve seen in the time we live in now. When whatever issue you talk about started, it was common place, the kindest man in the world would spit at a black person or smack a woman for speaking when spoken to. Now it is only the kind of people who are negative people all around who hold onto these ideas, if only as ammo to anger others with.

      I do think that there is some ground for the complaints of say the problems in video games as they rely upon concept and ideas that became outdated yet still held onto them. Every other medium has moved on and so has gaming to a degree, but there are still far too many lazy people who fall back on the ideas and ways of the old.

      I find myself sometimes contemplating the complexities of the idea of equality. To have equality when the two are noticeably different can be a hard thing to strike, do you consider the female natural talent for something, or do you ignore it and have them treated neutrally? It is shouted about but never really talked about, and that irks me about people who “fight” for these kind of things.

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    • #11 by Mercy McCulloch Hasselblad on November 3, 2014 - 6:57 pm

      That is the problem isn’t it? How do we “do” equality when people are different? Case in point: my sister and I have extremely different personalities. She’s a people pleaser. I could really care less. As a result, my parents had to use very different parenting styles with us. Were we equal? Yes, I think so. My parents did their best. But they COULDN’T treat us the same, despite how hard they tried.

      Like

    • #12 by The Arbourist on November 6, 2014 - 7:05 pm

      @ Mercy.

      I so very glad your experience has been so pleasant. For others, it is not.

      Like

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