A feminist perspective about the feminist perspective

Month: February, 2012

Fearing Opinion

The notion that feminism is a dying movement and that those who are left are simply picking inane fights is a pervasive one.  As I said in my first blog, the revolution is still strong, and the fight is far from simple.  But with every move the feminist make, an equal movement creates a backlash of hate.  Fear and disrespect swarm around the revolution, and with the capability to remain anonymous on the internet, the backlash is even more prevalent.

The real power behind feminism is the group as a whole.  We know that there are others out there like us who believe the same things and will back us in nearly any endeavor toward that goal.  But even with the group standing there with its arms open, it can be hard to take that first step toward them.  To me, telling people I was feminist was like taking out my heart and letting them decide if they wanted to spit on it.

I’ve watched from the sidelines for months, and have seen the hate spew forth in disgusting ways.  Feminist expressing discontent are constantly hit with words of violence, threats, and insults that would make anyone cringe.  I know, welcome to the internet and everything, but this unbridled freedom to say things that you would never even think to say in public causes more anger from both sides.  The disturbing truth of the matter is that violence is constantly thrust toward anyone expressing opinions, but especially toward feminists.

These kinds of personal attacks have a negative impact on the movement, causing people to fear being a feminist or expressing any sort of negative feeling toward patriarchy.  It takes a lot to break past the fear, and once a person is marked, they can never say anything without being judged in a gross way.  In a world where “feminist” has always been a bad world, we are left to fend off those who disagree with us, most often through ignoring the person.  However, without strong confidence in the beginning, no one can express who they are on the internet.

Of course, this is not just an internet problem.  The media will devour anyone who is against their political beliefs if they can get away with it, and the world will follow.  I disagreed with Komen about their decision, but I was also shocked by the way that an entire company could be destroyed in just a few days.  People left their careers and lost their purpose in a corporation that they thought was doing the right thing.  It was frightening and made me really question how I represented myself.  If I crossed a line in the future, I could be the target of rage that can only be culminated through mass.  Again, this could make any would-be feminist waver in their confidence.  Who wants to be the single target in any endeavor?  Feminists, just like any other group, have to tread carefully in every movement and expression.  If the side against us is illogical, mean, or does not have facts, they are forgiven and at worst ignored.  But when we’re wrong or show irrational anger, we lose what little credibility we have.  It’s tricky, but we have to stay calm despite the people against us.


The Feminist Issue

It’s a common misconception that feminists simply thrive off the need to bash men and kill babies.  If that were truly the case, many more of us would wind up in jail or in the news.  The truth of the matter is that we thrive on helping each other and everyone around us to make a more safe and reasonable environment.  We are not against religion or politics, but when these threaten our rights and well-being, we have to take a stand.  If you’re wondering what we stand for, let me give you a good idea.

When a woman can’t gain access to the healthcare she needs, it’s a feminist issue.

When women are raped, it’s a feminist issue.

When women are abused, it’s a feminist issue.

When the current political structure finds it necessary to “honor kill” a woman, it’s a feminist issue.

When women are portrayed stereotypically in the media, reinforcing negative ideas, it’s a feminist issue.

When women are arrested for having miscarriages, it’s a feminist issue.

When women can’t gain the medicine that they need, it’s a feminist issue.

When a woman’s rights are disregarded because she is single, young, old, black, Hispanic, gay, etc., it’s a feminist issue.

The range of issues feminists deal with is wide, and when someone becomes a feminist, they take the world up as their burden.  They work every day to understand what is happening, and spend their lives finding solutions to the problems at hand.  We are as diverse a group as a group can be, and we each have our own reasons for being known as a feminist.  So, before you disregard us as a bunch of sexless, murdering heathens, just take into consideration that somewhere, a feminist is working for your rights, and she certainly isn’t doing it for the gratitude.  She’s doing it because she cares.  I look up to all of these women, and I hope that I can work beside them someday.  I just hope that I can help people understand what they are working for until then.

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