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Why Society Needs Feminism

Why Society Needs Feminism

I found this through my twitter feed today and think it is appropriate and is a good thought for the weekend.  I think this should answer all the naysayers who think young women aren’t feminists.  This is one of the most feminist things I have read in a long time and it’s from a young woman — Caitlin M. O’Donnell at Drake University.  

This is reprinted with her permission.

WHY SOCIETY NEEDS FEMINISM

Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.

Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.

Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.

Because rape jokes are still a thing.

Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.

Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a college organization.

Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.

Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time of the survey?”

Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking expensive.

Because Rush Limbaugh.

Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.

Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist. Could. Not. Fathom.

Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.

Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.

Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings. Weird, right?

Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?

Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.

Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.

Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.

Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to protect herself.

Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation.

I LOVE THIS!

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Comments

j_b2

Caitlin M. O'Donnell unless you have greater work experience, work longer hours or get along with everybody… I don't think slandering your male co-workers at Drake University with sexism, and stereotypes, isn't going get you a raise. Hiding behind feminism to guise your jealousy just makes you a bigger bully. How do you know about all the late hours they worked or how much they make, what they say, unless you started stalking them?

I don't understand the twisted logic of having a rape quota. Caitlin is upset that there isn't enough people are convicted of rape (even when they didn't even commit the crime)
If a report has contradictions, DNA sample or surveillance videos doesn't match the suspect, we can't false convict people easily. We should rejoice when we have fair trails and we judge people based on their actions and not by their gender. People are innocent until proven guilty. (At least in the states) We try to have laws to protect everybody equally, not just pass Violence Against Women Act only and ignore the rest of the population. Caitlin wants a double standard.

j_b2

Caitlin M. O'Donnell unless you have greater work experience, work longer hours or get along with everybody… I don't think slandering your male co-workers at Drake University with sexism, and stereotypes, isn't going get you a raise. Hiding behind feminism to guise your jealousy just makes you a bigger bully. How do you know about all the late hours they worked or how much they make, what they say, unless you started stalking them?

I don't understand the twisted logic of having a rape quota. Caitlin is upset that there isn't enough people are convicted of rape (even when they didn't even commit the crime)
If a report has contradictions, DNA sample or surveillance videos doesn't match the suspect, we can't false convict people easily. We should rejoice when we have fair trails and we judge people based on their actions and not by their gender. People are innocent until proven guilty. (At least in the states) We try to have laws to protect everybody equally, not just pass Violence Against Women Act only and ignore the rest of the population. Caitlin wants a double standard.

j_b2

Caitlin M. O'Donnell unless you have greater work experience, work longer hours or get along with everybody… I don't think slandering your male co-workers at Drake University with sexism, and stereotypes, isn't going get you a raise. Hiding behind feminism to guise your jealousy just makes you a bigger bully. How do you know about all the late hours they worked or how much they make, what they say, unless you started stalking them?

I don't understand the twisted logic of having a rape quota. Caitlin is upset that there isn't enough people are convicted of rape (even when they didn't even commit the crime)
If a report has contradictions, DNA sample or surveillance videos doesn't match the suspect, we can't false convict people easily. We should rejoice when we have fair trails and we judge people based on their actions and not by their gender. People are innocent until proven guilty. (At least in the states) We try to have laws to protect everybody equally, not just pass Violence Against Women Act only and ignore the rest of the population. Caitlin wants a double standard.

j_b2

Caitlin M. O'Donnell unless you have greater work experience, work longer hours or get along with everybody… I don't think slandering your male co-workers at Drake University with sexism, and stereotypes, isn't going get you a raise. Hiding behind feminism to guise your jealousy just makes you a bigger bully. How do you know about all the late hours they worked or how much they make, what they say, unless you started stalking them?

I don't understand the twisted logic of having a rape quota. Caitlin is upset that there isn't enough people are convicted of rape (even when they didn't even commit the crime)
If a report has contradictions, DNA sample or surveillance videos doesn't match the suspect, we can't false convict people easily. We should rejoice when we have fair trails and we judge people based on their actions and not by their gender. People are innocent until proven guilty. (At least in the states) We try to have laws to protect everybody equally, not just pass Violence Against Women Act only and ignore the rest of the population. Caitlin wants a double standard.

j_b2

Caitlin M. O'Donnell unless you have greater work experience, work longer hours or get along with everybody… I don't think slandering your male co-workers at Drake University with sexism, and stereotypes, isn't going get you a raise. Hiding behind feminism to guise your jealousy just makes you a bigger bully. How do you know about all the late hours they worked or how much they make, what they say, unless you started stalking them?

I don't understand the twisted logic of having a rape quota. Caitlin is upset that there isn't enough people are convicted of rape (even when they didn't even commit the crime)
If a report has contradictions, DNA sample or surveillance videos doesn't match the suspect, we can't false convict people easily. We should rejoice when we have fair trails and we judge people based on their actions and not by their gender. People are innocent until proven guilty. (At least in the states) We try to have laws to protect everybody equally, not just pass Violence Against Women Act only and ignore the rest of the population. Caitlin wants a double standard.

j_b2

Caitlin M. O'Donnell unless you have greater work experience, work longer hours or get along with everybody… I don't think slandering your male co-workers at Drake University with sexism, and stereotypes, isn't going get you a raise. Hiding behind feminism to guise your jealousy just makes you a bigger bully. How do you know about all the late hours they worked or how much they make, what they say, unless you started stalking them?

I don't understand the twisted logic of having a rape quota. Caitlin is upset that there isn't enough people are convicted of rape (even when they didn't even commit the crime)
If a report has contradictions, DNA sample or surveillance videos doesn't match the suspect, we can't false convict people easily. We should rejoice when we have fair trails and we judge people based on their actions and not by their gender. People are innocent until proven guilty. (At least in the states) We try to have laws to protect everybody equally, not just pass Violence Against Women Act only and ignore the rest of the population. Caitlin wants a double standard.

Kristin Thue

I absolutely loved this list! I mean, what is a bigger sign of a patriarchal world than "feminism" being a bad word? In my opinion it is understandable why feminists seem to have something against many (of course not all) men – because what else stands between us and equality. Religion admittedly, but all holy books have been written by men. I suppose at the core of this issue lies a desire for power. Why should any man actually be afraid of "women taking over the world"? Chances are it will not be much worse than it already is! Anyhow, we are not striving for absolute power, all we want is to have full control of what happens to our bodies, for our daughters to have the exact same opportunities as our sons, and for these macho douchebags to relax and realise that we mean no harm. Why this is so difficult you have to ask Tony Abbot, Mitt Romney, any islamist (and unfortunately many muslims, hindus, chrstians, jews ect) and the guy next door.

Sharon

People, I've been a feminist for a few decades now and I'm as appalled as the writer of the above article at how feminism still has a bad name among both men and women.
It's pretty neolithic to think feminists don't like men, that we think men are "the problem," or become defensive when faced with the facts of inequality between the sexes. The goals most feminists have are much more human and kind than we have been credited for in the media or in society at large.
Bravo! if you'd never consider paying a woman less than a man for the same work—you are not part of the problem, you are part of the solution to the problem.
Truthfully we are all still so mired in culturally assumed sexual roles that it's really no surprise that girls are still objectifying themselves in the media—it's what we have been taught to do and a significant percentage of us never break away from our parents' assumptions to think for ourselves. It's tough to take on the role of thinking for yourself—that's why most people don't do it.
Sure we all need to be on the same page but who do you know who doesn't accept a lot of these obsolete ideas through sheer inertia? And when is all of any group on that same page?
Folks, it's an ongoing struggle like all social change so don't give up, give out, or give in.

Mr. Manager

I'm all for equal rights among the sexes, but as someone said earlier, feminists tend to view men as the enemy which really hurts their cause. I know that when I'm characterized as "the problem" just because I'm a guy, I tend to become defensive and lose site of your message. I think that's just a natural reaction from people in general.

My other question is with the salary argument that comes up quite often in feminist debates. I try to picture myself being in a managerial position and I truly can't understand the thought of paying a woman less than a man for the same work. The only, and I mean only reason I could understand that happening is because of the possibility that the male employee had the courage to ask for more money. In my short time in the professional world, I have noticed that managers are often willing to pay more to their employees, but the employee needs to make a case for why they're worth the money. I've also noticed that some of my female coworkers can be a little timid when asking (or demanding) more salary.

Again, I'm just going off my own point of view, and saying that I would never consider paying a woman less for the same work. It just doesn't register as a reasonable practice to me. I can't speak for the rest of the male population, but I do think that men of my generation would probably be more like I am.

One last thing. I've always said that in order for feminism to really work, women everywhere need to be on the same page. For every 1 woman who is fighting for equal rights and feminist values, there are 20 women taking pictures of themselves in bikinis and begging for attention on Facebook. Yes, I've seen men pull the same sort of stunts, but far less often.

FreedomLover

I do not like feminism because most feminists only care for people that are born with vaginas. Even the name “feminism” is hypocritical it is no different to having the name “masculism” then having the gall to say this ideology wants gender equality, sorry but I have no time for these pathetic sexist groups, which lets face it, they are. Even the top of the page has women in big letters with “power” in the middle, and men written relatively small. MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS, AND FEMINISM IS FOR HYPOCRITES.

mhodge

I just wish to make the point that suggesting someone be more careful perhaps doesn't always equal blaming them for some misfortune.

On the whole whoever, I think feminism rubs people the wrong way when many outspoken proponents seem to frame everything about their cause it terms of male criminality, male dominance and male oppression. It turns the whole movement into us-against-them war between the sexes, and I think that's counterproductive. Its that kind of attitude leads to misconstruing every potentially innocent comment into "victim blaming" ("I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?")

I think people like Sheryl Sandberg do much better by addressing both external and internal barriers to equality, and issues like gender stereotypes that both men and women enforce when raising children for example.

It's like of like comparing the attitudes of atheist scientist Edward O. Wilson with that of Richard Dawkins aka "Darwin's bulldog" when it comes to religion. Dawkins berates and antagonizes the religious with his brand of intellectual arrogance in books like "The God Delusion", whereas Edward O. Wilson reaches out to the religious and seeks to build a partnership between scientists and religious leaders to preserve Earth’s rapidly vanishing biodiversity ("The Creation" http://amzn.com/0393330486)

Rather than blaming men at every turn, Sandberg's brand of feminism is full of flexible ideas on working with men to raise awareness of bias at the workplace and at home, on making men better managers of women, and on how to “combine niceness with insistence” as women negotiate for pay rises and promotions.

Sandberg's book is about solutions. O'Donnel's diatribe seems directed at inflaming outrage and perpetuating stereotypes of men as misogynist rapists ("Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.")

Maria Burton

This is wonderfully articulated — thanks for reposting, Melissa!

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