As controversial as it is to say, I really don’t buy into the whole concept of feminism.
I understand people have died to achieve equal rights over the course of history, but I’m talking about everything since then. Modern feminism.
I am very grateful, and extremely thankful that people have in the past and still do feel so passionate about certain things, such as Votes For Women, but I think other people jump on the band wagon and take it too far.
(Disclaimer: Get ready to be blown away by a whole bunch of sexism.)
I agree wholeheartedly that women should be able to contribute to society, and we should have a say in who leads us politically, etc, but I don’t agree with women burning their bras, and the other extremes feminism has gone to.
Feminism is a massive subject to tackle, and I am just expressing my personal, slightly unformed, opinion here, so please, if you disagree with me, discuss it in the comments, help me to understand your point of view, and it will help me to form my opinion and thoughts on the subject.
I am all for women being equal to men in as much as we are all God’s children, He made us out of His love for us, and therefore we are equal in His eyes. However, He made us different. Very different. Extremely different.
Seriously, just look in a mirror to figure that one out.
We have different strengths, we have different personalities, we have different likes and hobbies, we are completely different.
I guess at this point you could argue that all women and men are different to each other as well, having their own strengths, personalities, likes, and hobbies. Which we do, and that is why the world works.
When people talk about how women should be equal to men in business, my mind jumps straight to boardrooms, parliament, and offices. If I actually broaden my range of thought to other types of work, I realise how stupid it is to be equal in business. What if your business is manual labour? A tree surgeon for instance. There is no way that God created women to be climbing up trees in seconds with saws on her back to be hacking off branches. I know we have the capability to do it, but it doesn’t mean that we should.
I think feminism has actually become an almost glamorous subject to talk about and we don’t fully understand it any more. It’s been Hollywoodised, so it’s hard to talk about feminism now when the original feminist movement has done so much for us. So don’t get me wrong, I am really not tarring all feminists with the same brush here. I’m talking about the modern stance of women thinking “we don’t need men”, and “I can do everything a man can do”.
I agree, like I said above, we are totally capable of doing everything a man can do. We can lift weights to build up our muscles, we can train in pretty much every area to do what a man can do. We can even pee standing up with the invention of the she-wee.
I think that is the perfect example of women gone mad. Just ask yourself the question: WHY?
Why would you want to stand up to pee? So that you can be in the army? Maybe God didn’t design you to be there. So that you can climb cold snowy mountains? Maybe God didn’t design you to be there.
Some people do have passions for these things, and in that case, go for it. God created you to be happy at the end of it all, so if peeing standing up (sorry that I have chosen that as my focus these last few paragraphs) is something you need to do to reach your goal, then I won’t stand in your way.
The flip side of all this modern feminism is women moaning that there are no gentlemen any more (yes, I myself am guilty of this one). Why is this? Because we have ripped it away from them.
In saying that we want to be equal to men, we have chosen to be equal to them in everything. That means the things we liked too.
When was the last time a man held a door open for you? Or let you go through a door first? My guess is that your answer doesn’t make men look too good.
I like chivalry in a man. I think it’s what makes a man a man. Having that caring side that shows respect to a woman. I wholeheartedly blame women for this. Men don’t see the need to do all those gentlemanly things any more and if they do they sand a good chance of being accused of being sexist.
God created us to be a support to man. He created Adam and didn’t think about Eve until later. When it was clear that there was no other animal on Earth suitable as a partner for him, God created Eve, the perfect counterpart to man. To make it really clear that Eve was FOR Adam, God created Eve FROM Adam.
We are here in a supporting role. Which is not derogatory, and not an after-thought. God knew what He was doing. At the Oscars, it’s no better to receive an award for Leading Actress than it is to get Best Supporting Actress. It’s still an Oscar!
Man was made to create and to work, woman was made to make sure man was ok. That’s the most important role that there is. If man doesn’t respect woman, how can he then expect her to support him in his every day life?
We need each other. And we each have our role to play. Neither can survive without the other.
Women need to realise what they are doing when they say they don’t need a man. It’s disrespecting God, because it’s like saying what He did was wrong, and our plans are better. Which they never are.
God did make us to be awesome. He put each of us on this Earth so that we can excel, that we can enjoy what He has gifted us in, and that we can love. We need to accept those gifts with both hands and put God’s glory on display and honour Him in our relationships. That means respecting each other, appreciating our differences, and amplifying each others strengths.
It’s not easy, because, when you are single, (which is another gift from God, but a totally different subject) you have to do things by yourself, and there are some things that you would like to ask a man to do, but when you no longer live with your dad, you learn to do yourself. I personally love DIY, and I really enjoy building furniture. It’s like a man being able to cook. You have to be able to do things that are usually seen as gender-specific roles, because you can’t always depend on someone else. That’s where it’s hard to draw the line, but I think that’s something that you figure out when you have to.
So, to conclude this very long blog, and thanks for sticking with me, I am really very grateful for what women in the past have sacrificed so that I can sit here at my laptop today in my flat that I share with two other girls and write an opinion blog about a subject so controversial, on my day off from job and not suffer any negative consequences as a result of it.
However, it’s the women that use the term feminism to make it ok to say that men are useless and irrelevant that need a shake. Men are really important in society, just as women are, and feminism isn’t about women ruling everything, it’s about being listened to, and respected. In turn we have to give respect back to men, and hope that one day they will realise that this has all gone a bit too far, that we do need them, and that being a gentleman is actually really important, even though it’s not the done thing these days.
2 Comments Add yours
I couldn’t agree with you more, this is fantastic point you have put across about modern feminism. Whilst I have an antagonistic view on religion the facts remain clear. We strive so much to be equal, wanting the same responsibility and stance as men yet complain when they no longer offer us a seat on a busy train or as you mentioned hold a door open. Why should they? Understandably a man and woman in the same job role should be paid an equal wage but there are some jobs aforementioned that women are just not built to physically do. We have babies, we are different and that is why the world works so well. I think now it’s about respect for the opposite sex and enough of trying to prove the world can be run by women. Good post Ellen.
You’re right that it is difficult to talk about feminism in that there is a lot of historical context that we forget, but there is also a lot of emotional baggage that comes with it. The ideal of feminism is not that men and women are homogenous, or interchangeable, but that they should be given equal opportunities. Less than a hundred years ago women were given very restrictive roles to play; housewife, mother, secretary, mistress. The bra burning that you mentioned didn’t actually happen very much, but it was a symbolic gesture made by women who felt restricted by their roles and the hoops they had to jump through to meet the expectations of men. The Miss America pageant at the time was one example of this, and the event around which the bra burnings were held; women even back then complained about the ridiculously high standards of beauty that they were expected to emulate, and the fact that their value as people were based on their expected beauty.
And that is why feminism is still important today. Women have achieved great things in terms of being taken seriously in a lot of fields, but our whole system of society is still very patriarchal, and a lot of the sexism that still exists today is very subtle:
– Even up to the 1980’s, employers were still able to fire a female employee if she became pregnant.
– We still have page three models displayed in a family newspaper
– Beauty is still held as an ideal for women to accomplish, and we tend to feel worthless if we do not possess those ideals – just look at the rise of eating disorders and sales of cosmetics
– The blame is still often placed on rape victims because of the way they dressed or acted, and the perpetrator often walks free as a result. That’s a bit like saying that because someone left their front door unlocked, the burglar who robbed them should just be acquitted.
And this sexism cuts both ways, to disadvantage men as well. My husband had to fight hard to get paternity leave to look after our baby. Instead he is expected to absent himself from the house to work long hours and provide financially, missing out on family life. My son likes the colour pink, but it wouldn’t be socially acceptable for him to go to school wearing it (in fact up until the Victorian era pink was known as a boy’s colour).
Part of the problem is that it is difficult for us to see how much of our gender stereotypes come from natural differences, and how much comes from our conformity to the crowd and established ideas. We know that much of the Bible is filtered through a cultural context (we no longer support either slavery or concubines, for example), so looking back on it, how many of our gender roles are defined by the Bible, and how many are assumed? Are women in the bible commanded to do household chores, stay out of business and political matters, or is it just the role that the culture dictated? In the same way, it is difficult to see the cultural wood for the trees.
This is why it is difficult to say, women shouldn’t be in this type of job. In the past, that list of professions that women couldn’t do was very long, and included politics, science and business. When feminism talks of equality, it isn’t necessarily that we are all equally able to do everything. It just means that we should all have the equal opportunity to try. Instead we are, men and women, labelled and put into these very, very narrow definitions of what “masculine” and “feminine” should look like, and it’s not always right and can leave us feeling inadequate if we don’t fit those labels. I may have been born with a natural, god-given talent for scaling trees, coupled with the physique of an Amazon warrior. By saying that I can’t be a tree surgeon, even though I have the skills, doesn’t just cut me off from a profession that I love, it also defines me as “unfeminine” for wanting that. So not only can I not do what I have a natural talent for, it’s also deemed that I’m not a real woman because of it.
I didn’t mean this to be an essay, I’m trying to keep it as brief as possible! One final point – yes, there are man-hating feminists out there, but in the same way that Westboro Baptist Church exists. In other words, they totally miss the point. Feminism is about women being given the same consideration and chances as men. This is evidenced by the rise in male feminists – these aren’t self-loathing, weak men, but men who recognise that their position in the world is still one of disproportionate privilege and who are willing to stand up and say so. I find these men to be noble and courageous. So please don’t define feminism by the extremists who say men are dogs. Don’t call that feminism, because it isn’t. Instead call that form of man-hating by it’s proper name – Misandry.
I am all for having the door held open for me. But sometimes I like to return the favour. And one day I would like my son to be able to wear pink to school.