There’s recently been a battle of the social media placards. Photos of men and women holding signs declaring they do or don’t need feminism because…
My reasons for being a firm feminist have been covered many times in this blog, so today I’m going to look at the reasons people DON’T need feminism.
I DON’T NEED FEMINISM BECAUSE…
I BELIEVE IN EQUALITY
In my youth I would often say this. I don’t believe in equality for just women, I believe in equality for all. Therefore I am not a feminist, I’m a humanist. It’s all very sanctimonious and self satisfied, and I suspect if I had a blog back then I would have written an article about just WHY I wasn’t a feminist. Time, life experiences and sad wisdom which comes with age has wiped that smug smile off my face, however.
I believe in equality which is why I’m a feminist. Why feminist not humanist? Because to have equality you first have to achieve equality. If we had equality I’d be totally up for calling it humanism not feminism, because yes, we’re all equal regardless of our sex. However, this is not the case.
As soon as there is no glass ceiling for women’s pay, as soon as women are not more likely to be raped, assaulted and trafficked, and as soon as women are represented equally in parliament, top business job and banking, then we can totally call it humanism. Until then, we’re focusing on addressing the huge inequalities faced by women around the world every day, and that means feminism, because it’s women who need to be fought for.
MEN ARE VICTIMS TOO
I see this a lot, and often from women. Outrage that the suffering of men is being ignored because the suffering of women is being focused on.
Yes, they are. Men can be raped, men can be assaulted, men can be victims of domestic violence and men can be treated badly by women. Nobody is going to deny that. However, men are far more likely to be the perpetrators of all violent crimes than the victims, especially on other men. Men are more likely to assault and abuse and rape women than women are men by a huge way.
The world has been focused on any suffering of men forever. Forever and ever. And the abuse of women has been not only socially accepted but actually legal! There were laws that said there’s no such thing as rape within a marriage. Laws dictating how big the stick you can beat your wife with can be. Our society has been so dominated by the protection of men’s rights to abuse women that it warrants attention diverting from men to address it.
WOMEN HAVE ACHIEVED EQUALITY
Back before the suffragettes, of course we needed to fight. But now? We’re doctors, lawyers, we’ve been a prime minister! What are we still moaning about?
I’ll start with the most obvious shall I? A prime minister. A. Singular. How many male prime ministers have there been?
Of the 650 members of parliament we have here in Britain, just 191 are women. In the FTSE 100 companies, just 5 women hold the position of CEO. A woman with the same qualifications in the same position as a man will earn on average 19.7% less.
This is not a picture of equality. This is a picture of progress, improvement. A man’s world being forced to accept that women are part of it and we should be proud of how far we’ve come. But it is not equality.
I DON’T HATE MEN
Feminists are all man haters and I don’t hate men so I can’t be a feminist.
Oh dear. Feminists don’t hate men. What we do hate is the automatic privilege given to men because they’ve been born with a penis, and all the penis havers that went before have left a world specifically set up to give them what they want.
I’m a feminist. I am also a straight woman who enjoys sex and loves her male partner. The two are not mutually exclusive. The problem is, a lot of the anti-feminism people will share things that convince people that the opposite is true. Men who hate women convincing the world that feminists are women who hate men. It’s propaganda designed to prevent women from furthering their quest for equality and every time I see something like that being shared I want to scream.
Ultimately it comes down to this:
Women have been thrown under the bus by society both here and everywhere else in the world for generations. And it continues now. If you want this changed, support feminism.
You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!