Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Feminist's Response to "I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists"

Guess what, Gina Davis. I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man, too. Oh, and I'm a feminist.





  I recently came across this article after some of my "friends" on Facebook had deemed it worthy to be shared. If you haven't already read the article, I'm going to go over some of the main points Gina Davis makes, and do my best to explain why they are false. So let's get into it.

Davis starts out by saying -

"beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. i’m all about girl power, but in today’s world, it’s getting shoved down our throats."

The word choice in Davis' article starts out sour and bitter- it's obvious there is distain in her writing. You can't put out a statement you want people to believe and be behind, and then follow it with "but." It just doesn't work. For example, "I love you, but.." "I'm sorry, but.." "No one was killed in the crash, but.." Now that might seem like an extreme example, but it shows the power of such a little word. In a complex sentence, you're left on edge waiting for the second part to be finished. "I'm all about girl power, but.." contradicts your motive for girl power in the first place. If you're a woman and you are truly all about girl power, you are a feminist. 

Is it a bad thing that equality is being "shoved down our throats"? If there weren't hard-working women fighting for equality today, guess what, we wouldn't have it. We wouldn't even be able to vote. So you should be thanking every woman before you for having the courage to fight for something you now view as a nuisance. Feminist author Roxanne Gay states, "I get angry when women disavow feminism and shun the feminist label but say they support all the advances born of feminism because I see a disconnect that doesn't need to be there. I get angry but I understand and I hope someday we will live in a culture where we don't need to distance ourselves from the feminist label, where the label doesn't make us afraid of being alone, of being too different, or wanting too much." 

She finishes her sentence by saying -

"relax feminists, we're okay."

You are in fact right that women in the U.S. are doing better than ever. (Thanks to previous feminists..) But does that mean we should stop there? Let me enlighten you on some facts regarding women's issues that are still going on.

  1. Globally, about 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime.
  2. According to the U.N., 99.3% of women and girls in Egypt have been subjected to sexual harassment.
  3. Over 130 million women in the world have undergone female genital mutilation, without anesthesia. 
  4. Approximately 1.2 million children worldwide are victims of human trafficking, and over 80% are girls.
  5. In 10 countries, women are legally bound to obey their husbands. Only 76 countries have legislation that directly targets domestic violence; just 57 of them include sexual abuse.
  6. In 2014, an estimated 14 million girls worldwide, some as young as 8 years old, were married.
  7. In Saudi Arabia and Morocco, rape victims can be charged with a crime, such as engaging in illicit sex. Tragically, a 16-year-old girl in Morocco killed herself after a judge forced her to marry her rapist under a law that dismisses rape charges if the parties marry.
  8. Women earn 78 cents for every dollar a man makes
  9. Only 17% of the seats in Congress are held by women.
  10. The U.S. is ranked 98th in the world for women in national legislature, behind countries like Kenya and Indonesia. 
Does this surprise you? Maybe women aren't doing as well as we thought. 

Davis continues..

"my inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). one afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air less female competitions than that of males. as far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings."

I'm a feminist and I value men's ideas just as much as women's ideas. Isn't it ironic that one of the main issues about feminism is that it doesn't include men? The whole point of feminism is women empowerment. So why do we have to spend so much time convincing people this is not a man-hating movement? "Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,”  I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?” - Dale Spencer. I'm so sick of women having to convince society that we don't hate men. Obviously I don't hate men- I just want equality. And maybe the reason that women's sports don't excel as much as men's is because of the pressure we put women under.



"whatever happened to chivalry? why is it so “old fashioned” to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended."

Guess what, Gina Davis. I let boyfriend open the door for me, and I thank him. I let any man open the door for me, and I thank them. I let any woman open the door for me, and I thank them. I keep the door open for everyone- because it's the polite thing to do. I let my boyfriend pay for my meals when he wants to. And if he's running low on cash, I pay for my own meal. I have no idea how to fix a flat tire. And never once have I been "offended" by a person, let alone a man, do a courteous thing for me. And never in my life have I seen a woman become offended because a man wanted to pay for her meal. She might politely decline, and that is her right to do so! What Davis' is doing here is making feminists a villain. "In truth, feminism is flawed because it is a movement powered by the people and people are inherently flawed. When feminism falls short of our expectations, we decide that the problem is with feminism rather than with the flawed people who act in the name of the movement." Feminists aren't man hating, hairy legged, uptight prudes! They're women that love other women. Society must stop painting the picture that feminism is the new f word.The second I bring up feminism, the only reactions I get are rolled eyes and murmurs under their breaths. We can't keep grouping all feminists in the same category- feminism, just like any other group or movement, has vast differences and different levels. I'm a Christian feminist and I don't believe in abortion. "How are you a feminist then?" you might ask. I'm a feminist because I am actively doing my part to make others aware about the inequality that women face. Roxanne Gay states, "I have certain interests and personality traits and opinions that may not fall in line with mainstream feminism, but I am still a feminist. I cannot tell you how freeing it has been to accept this about myself.


fem·i·nism

ˈfeməˌnizəm/
noun
  1. the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
    synonyms:the women's movement, the feminist movement, women's liberation, female emancipation, women's rights;
    informalwomen's lib
    "a longtime advocate of feminism"


"and while i can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let’s consider some historical facts. if we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. up until about the '80s or so, many women didn’t work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families—you go ladies!). we are still climbing the charts in 2016. though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it’s being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. so, let’s stop blaming men and society about how we continue to “struggle” and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark on today’s workforce. we’re doing a kick-ass job, let’s stop the complaining."

This whole paragraph is just wack. Davis is undoubtedly stating that women should stop complaining that we get paid less, and her reasoning is because women didn't use to work as much. What does it matter if women as a gender started working as much as men 200 years ago? A woman and a man can do the exact same job, and a woman will make 77 cents for every dollar he makes. How can we not view this as a problem? Davis' advises we sit down and shut up, and be thankful that we're starting to get paid equal as a man. I don't know about you, but I'm not going to stop "complaining" about how women make less and start praising that we are on the incline. We aren't equal yet, so why would we stop now?

"i consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. but that doesn’t mean that i feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem i endure. not everything is a man’s fault. i am all about being a proud woman and having confidence in what i say and do. i believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. however, i don’t believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant” gender. there is no “dominant” gender."

Feminists don't put down men for every problem they endure. Never, in my life, have I blamed a man for a personal problem I am having. Unless man is at the root of the problem (ex: pay gap) there is no need for men to be involved. I think Davis' is making another assumption that feminists are angry and blaming men for when they stub their toe. Once again, the stereotypical attitude Davis' shows towards feminists shows how vastly she is misinformed and uneducated on the subject. Yes, there may be some feminists in the world that are extreme and get the idea of feminism wrong, just like anything else in the world. But does that mean we should then group all feminists together? Roxanne Gay says, "Two wrongs don't make a right. Feminism's failings do not mean we should eschew feminism entirely. People do terrible things all the time, but we don't regularly disown our own humanity. We disavow terrible things. We should disavow the failures of feminism without disavowing its many successes and how far we've come."

I am a feminist. I love being a feminist. I don't think I'm apart of the "dominant gender". I love opening my mouth and always speaking up for women. And I am sick of having a negative connotation attached to the word feminist. A dictionary definition of a feminist is someone whom fights for the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. And what's so wrong with that? I'm sick of being looked down upon for wanting equality for women. I will never stop fighting. I will never change my mind. I will never back down. I will never shut my mouth. I am a feminist because the very word feminism makes people turn a blind eye. I'm a feminist because equality has become a nuisance to people. I will never stop fighting for the girls on the other side of the world. Just because I am a privileged, Christian, white woman, does not mean I cannot fight for all the women of the earth- regardless of age, sexuality, transgender, religion, etc. 

"I hear many young women say they cant find well-known feminists with whom they identify. That can be disheartening, but I say, let us (try to) become the feminists we would like to see moving through the world." - Roxanne Gay

Some sources if you want to further your reading on feminism- 
why women can't do pull-ups
images to help understand the need for feminism
what is christian feminism?
looking further into christian feminism
roxanne gay's book "bad feminist"

No comments:

Post a Comment