Beware these 10 Types of Feminist Women

Dear blogworld,

This made it across my facebook-feed this morning, and the subsequent frustration with the post was enough to wake me up entirely.

Never mind the constant tendency for gender feminists to attack men whether said men are for or against actual feminism (equity feminism). Never mind how gender feminists always add to the already vast gulf between “men” and “women”, trying to widen it and generate these two “factions” with their every contribution to the gender-discourse.

What made me truly angry was the unintentional irony of the piece. There was, for instance, the delightful paradox of the following:

7. Beware Male Feminists Who Resort to Toxic Communication Patterns Because It Benefits Them

Beware men who place a premium on sharing your feelings and thoughts – because that’s “communication” – but don’t share any of theirs.

Beware men who dump their emotions on you and pretend that their “vulnerability” (in asking you to bear their burden) is a feminist act.

Basically, beware men who try to be sympathetic and unselfish by listening to your feelings and thoughts, but if they DO share their feelings and thoughts, then that’s “dumping their emotions on you”. This is a classic example of

1. Beware Female Feminists who turn any male action into a negative action

Beware female feminists who interpret ANYTHING a man does as negative.

Are you complimenting her looks? You are trying to control her. In fact, you are trying to undermine her self-confidence, and indicating that she should care about your opinion of how she looks.

Are you not complimenting her looks? You are trying to control her. In fact, you are trying to undermine her self-confidence, and indicating that she should care about your opinion of how she looks.

2. Beware Female Feminists who disregard men’s emotions

Beware female feminists who feel that, while men should take women’s emotions and feelings very seriously – and somehow manage to not ask them about them and ask them about them at the same time, apparently – men’s emotions are irrelevant. They will quickly lodge an insult against a man/men in general as a “harmless joke”, and when pulled up on this, resort to “male privilege” or “years of oppression” as a reason why it is all right for a woman to be verbally/mentally abusive toward a man, but not the other way around. This type of feminist will generally hold all men responsible for the actions of any other man, or their ancestors. If all else fails, this feminist will excuse her insults and aggressions with how much worse women have it, as if that somehow makes anything happening to men less bad. So you lost your leg? Well that woman over there is dying of cancer. Stop whining.

3. Beware Female Feminists who express opinions about other women’s clothes/appearance

Beware female feminists who express ANY opinion about the way other women look. This wonderful cartoon sums it up. This also applies to female feminists who comment, positively or negatively, on other women’s makeup choices, whether they choose to wear heels or not, how they wear their hair etc. If men do not get to comment on women’s appearance without it being oppression, women do not get to comment on women’s appearance without it being oppression.

(OR men’s appearance, for that matter. Can you imagine men commenting on a gender-swapped version of the facebook-post below along the lines of: “Women with glitter-roots: yes or no?” Yeah, talk about oppression. But not when women do it to men.)

beardsyesno

4. Beware Female Feminists who try to control you sexually

Beware female feminists who feel that a relationship is all about the man pleasing the woman sexually, them only having sex when the woman wants it, and that the man more or less has to get a consent-form signed from the woman to ensure that he hasn’t misinterpreted her interest, while a woman having sex with a man in his sleep is funny, or a woman stopping a burglar and then raping him is hilarious.

These female feminists always consider pornography to be oppressive/derogatory toward women, but in their world only men watch pornography/pornography is only made for men, so if you enjoy watching pornography you are a) a man, and b) contributing to female oppression. If you are, against all odds, a WOMAN watching pornography, that’s because you are liberating yourself and anyway, men have done it for thousands of years, so that excuses everything. Good for you, girl.

Oh, and did I mention that though the sex is all about the woman/when the woman wants it, the man should somehow know what/when this is? And whilst it is perfectly fine for a woman not to want to have sex, if a man doesn’t want to have sex, it is an insult to the woman’s physique, and another attempt to undermine her self-confidence.

5. Beware Female Feminists who try to dictate what you should do with your life

Beware female feminists who indicate that it’s not all right to be a stay-at-home mum, as in their world, all women should want a career. Beware female feminists who at the same time expect you to be a stay-at-home mum, as sending your children to day-care “too soon” or getting a nanny will apparently destroy your children’s lives forever. Often, these same female feminists will fight for the right to breast-feed in public, and confuse it with some unspoken obligation to breast-feed, making women who choose to formula-feed, or NOT to breast-feed in public, feel like bad mothers. Beware female feminists who fight for girls and women to get better education, but do not care about boys suffering in education. Beware female feminists who consider girls wearing blue, playing with cars, or wanting to become scientists as something positive, but pink, dolls, and ballet as something negative, and who do not care what boys wear/play with/want to become.

6. Beware Female Feminists who make fun of men’s intelligence/appearance

Beware female feminists who happily make fun of their male friends’, relatives’, or other halves’ appearance or intelligence,  but would consider the same comment made by a man to a woman as incredibly sexist and oppressive. Beware female feminists who laughingly insult the men around them, but consider any comment made by a man regarding a woman’s intelligence or appearance to be an insult, no matter how it is worded or meant.

7. Beware Female Feminists who say every societal problem is caused by “the patriarchy” or men in general

Beware female feminists who blame any evil in the world on men, even those that affect men negatively. If women have eating disorders, that’s because men have made them feel obsessed with their looks. If male suicide is way higher than female suicide, that’s because the patriarchy make men feel inadequate as men. If there aren’t as many female leaders/directors in the world as male, it’s because the patriarchy stops women from getting these positions. If men fail at work or in school, it’s because other men are creating a competitive environment and not being supportive.

8. Beware Female Feminists who work with/endorse what they claim to hate

Beware female feminists who work within pornography, stripping, modelling, fashion, makeup, or other sectors which are generally perceived to embody the male oppression/objectification of the female body. These female feminists will often portray their own part in these trades as “liberating, taking back our space, changing the system from the inside” etc., while men who work in these industries are always attempting to oppress or objectify women. While the big evil corporations, always owned by the patriarchy, attempt to make girls feel bad about themselves through unrealistically thin models, that same female model on the billboard can be a powerful icon and role-model for those girls. It’s never women’s fault for perpetuating these stereotypes, as women are actually being controlled by “society and advertising”.

 

9. Beware Female Feminists who always defend women, and criticise men

Beware female feminists who will immediately jump to a lengthy defense of other women’s opinions, even if those are violent and negative toward men, but would find the same opinions expressed by a man internet abuse. Tasteless jokes which would never have been acceptable from a man are perfectly fine if they’re about men, from a woman. If a woman dumps a man, it’s because he’s an a**hole. If a man dumps a woman, it’s because he’s an a**hole. If a woman has a full-time job and sees her children a few hours a week, she’s strong, and going against “societal norms”, which is a good thing. If a man does it, he’s a selfish pig, forcing his poor wife to stay at home, and distancing himself from his children, who will “grow up without a father”. If a man calls himself a feminist, he probably has ulterior motives, and still just wants to oppress women, same as other men. If a woman does, it’s because she’s a good person who believes in fighting for women’s rights.

10. Beware Female Feminists who turn rational discussions into personal attacks

Beware female feminists who will turn healthy debates where you disagree with their views into personal attacks, where you are called out for oppressing them, silencing them, misrepresenting feminism, verbally raping them, or any number of terms that can be used to shut down an argument. These same female feminists will often start attacking you personally, saying your opinions are invalid because you are a man/white/cis, and things along the lines of how this is “typical” for men, how men “feel threatened” by empowered women, how the phrase “not all men” is somehow offensive rather than true, and in the end, anything you say that is not in complete agreement with these female feminists views will be portrayed as you supporting rape or female oppression etc.

 

To sum it up: beware female feminists who constantly uphold double standards for men and women; who believe that the evils of the world are all because of men and none because of women; who attempt to control the men and women around them but claim that men are constantly trying to control women; and who write long posts like “Beware These 10 Types of Feminist Men”. 

Flip it over

Dear readers,

I promise my next post I’ll change it up and focus on pseudoscience or religion, or maybe a bit of both. But I saw something on social media today that reminded me how badly I’ve wanted to write this post, and how important I think it is.

With one simple exercise, you can find out whether something you’ve just heard/read/witnessed is sexist: flip it over.

To use my experience from earlier today as an example, I saw a post on social media that roughly* said this:

“Two Asian women in the 50s-60s are walking around Old Town in Stockholm, Sweden, wearing t-shirts that say ‘I ❤ Swedish Boys’. 😀 :)”

Did I think about this? Nope. Did I look at it twice before I scrolled by? Uh-uh. But a moment later, another person’s comment made me stop and stare.

“I was about to like on this, and then I thought: if this had said “I just saw two Swedish men in the 50s-60s walking around Bangkok wearing t-shirts that said ‘I ❤ Asian Girls’,” would I have liked on it? :)”

I kicked myself a bit: why didn’t I think of that? So I agreed, and the original poster responded saying that would have been entirely different, as one example would have been oppression, and the other was just two female tourists having a good time. But I disagree, wholeheartedly. If this behaviour is perceived as creepy and sexist when a man does it, why is it fine for a woman to do it?

It made me relate an anecdote that stuck in my brain: a few years back, Måns Zelmerlöv, who won the Eurovision Song Contest two years ago, but back then was but a Swedish Idol participant who’d ended up performing on cruise-ships, spoke in an article about how common it was for middle-aged women to come up to him on the cruises and squeeze his butt. He said how awkward and uncomfortable it was. Now, if we flipped it over here, we would immediately see how sexist and creepy this is. But when we excuse women for this behaviour, we do two things:

 

  1. We create a double standard. We say that while some behaviour is unacceptable from a man, it’s perfectly fine if a woman does it. Say, hitting someone else. Or grabbing their behind. Or criticising the looks of someone of the opposite sex. These are things that, when women do them, get shrugged off, but when men do them are horrendous and unbelievably sexist. These are double standards that would perhaps be expected in the outdated world where men were allowed to behave like d*cks and women weren’t. But if we’re actually attempting to create a world where men and women are treated equally, we should not allow one sex to get away with the behaviour that we don’t allow the other sex to get away with.
  2. We are derogatory toward women. We say that when women do something it’s cute, it’s funny, it’s not to be taken seriously. “They’re probably kidding. They don’t mean it. They’re harmless. It’s not as if they could do anything anyway.” We say that we don’t think women are capable of violence, of sexual dominance or abuse, or of inappropriate and insulting behaviour toward the opposite sex. We dismiss women. And I am a woman who never wants to be dismissed as “harmless” or “not to be taken seriously”. I get really angry when people disregard my opinions or actions because of my gender. So why do so many women seem to enjoy this form of positive discrimination when it comes to women behaving like d*icks?

 

A few years ago, my husband had his behind grabbed by a lady  who was chatting to him in the post-office queue. In England, the land of politeness. It’s not the first time he’s had his behind pinched by a woman, but he remembers it better than the others as it’s the most recent one. I happen to be lucky enough that no stranger has ever grabbed my ass, or touched me inappropriately at all. Not on the street, or in a bar, or a night-club, and certainly not in the post-office. But where my husband’s only action against this was to tell me about it years later, and tell facebook about it at the time, a woman in the same situation might have screamed, she could probably have called for security, she could at least have stepped away from the man, slapped him, even been defended by other men or women in the queue. What does a man do in this situation? It was only a woman. It’s not like a big strong man can’t defend himself. Of course, men aren’t allowed to hit women, but you know, it was harmless fun, come on, he should just let it go.

I would have been appalled, disgusted, outraged, if some man tried to grab my ass in the post-office queue, or anywhere else for that matter. But that’s the difference, that’s what we’re perpetuating.

I was reminded today of just how often we let these things pass us by, how often we don’t see what’s wrong before someone goes “There. Look. Right there.” The important thing to remember is: next time you read/hear/witness an event, whether it pertains to race or gender, hit the pause button and ask yourself

Would this be okay if I flipped it over?

 

 

 

*The original social media post and comments were in Swedish, and so this is a translation of my recollection of the post. It has the same content and wording, but in a different language, and not verbatim.

 

Why gender feminism is not about equality

I often tell people off for saying “oh, I hate feminists.” “Feminists really ruin feminism.” “I don’t call myself a feminist, I’m a humanist.” I am a feminist. I am definitely a feminist. I believe that all humans should have equal rights and opportunities. Therefore, I am a feminist.

But there is a reason for comments such a those above. There is a large group of feminists today who do not care about equality, but who only care about making things better for women. So much so that they feel giving men and women in the UK the same retirement age is unfair to women. Even though men have had a higher retirement age for as long as there has been retirement. There are now groups protesting in the name of equality to stop what is a change toward equality.

This may seem ridiculous, but it is so often the case. Allow me to demonstrate with an example that is, to me, a horrendous example of the disregard that gender feminists show toward men. The World Economic Forum is often quoted by serious papers and journalists as a reliable, statistical source. In 2014 a Swedish newspaper reported that it would be another 81 years till women in Sweden reached equality. Of course they gloriously misquoted the whole report, stating that it applied to Sweden when it in fact applied to the world. What study can reliably tell us that it will take 81 years for equality to be reached in a country, or the world? If we choose to ignore that great changes in civil rights movements occur at unpredictable times (see Martin Luther King Jr., or the legalising of same sex marriage in the U.S. and Ireland last year) we can pretend for a moment that such things are predictable events. This Swedish paper did just that, and quoted the 2015 Global Gender Gap Report, compiled and published by the WEF. That sounds really good and reliable, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s the World Economic Forum. So I went to have a look at the report.

Here’s a direct quote form the report: “While no single measure can capture the complete situation, the Global Gender Gap Index presented in this Report seeks to measure one important aspect of gender equality: the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics.” That sounds good. That might give us a bit of an overall picture of what things look like at the moment. And the WEF report talks a lot about progress in closing the gender gap, which is slow in some areas and faster in others, and about how “…governments must align their efforts with those of business and civil society to foster growth that includes both men and women. ” So both men and women. This sounds great to me. So many gender feminist approaches only focus on helping women. So this report should be pretty reliable then.

But then you get to this little clause, and I beg you to read it carefully.

Gender equality vs. women’s empowerment

The third distinguishing feature of the Global Gender Gap Index is that it ranks countries according to their proximity to gender equality rather than to women’s empowerment. Our aim is to focus on whether the gap between women and men in the chosen indicators has declined, rather than whether women are “winning” the “battle of the sexes”. Hence, the Index rewards countries that reach the point where outcomes for women equal those for men, but it neither rewards nor penalizes cases in which women are outperforming men in particular indicators in some countries. Thus a country that has higher enrolment for girls rather than boys in secondary school will score equal to a country where boys’ and girls’ enrolment is the same.”

So just read that last part again for me.

Hence, the Index rewards countries that reach the point where outcomes for women equal those for men, but it neither rewards nor penalizes cases in which women are outperforming men in particular indicators in some countries. Thus a country that has higher enrolment for girls rather than boys in secondary school will score equal to a country where boys’ and girls’ enrolment is the same.

So this report is saying that in cases where women are outperforming men, it will be counted as equal. As equal. So by the time this report indicates that equality has been reached, it either means that it’s equal, or that women are doing better than men.

So how is that actually about equality? How can cases where women are doing worse than men be counted as negative, but cases where men are doing worse than women be counted as equal? How are we going to reach equality if we ignore when the scales tip in the other direction?

In my workplace, there’s a minority of men. There are three toilets, two for women, and one for men. In the first toilet, for women, there are two cubicles, a sink, and a mirror. In the second toilet for women, there is a cubicle, a sink, and a mirror. In the one toilet for men, there is no cubicle, no mirror, but thankfully a sink. Did I mention the one toilet for men is also the only disabled toilet in the school, so has to be accessed by disabled people of both genders? Oh, and also, it has a sanitary bin in it, for disposal of women’s hygiene items? So in reality, it’s kind of also for women?

 

Did I also mention that it is actually called a “hygiene room,” which means that cleaning ladies store their hoovers in there, and have to access it at the beginning and end of the workday to fill their mop buckets and take their hoovers out/put them away? Do you have any idea how awkward it is when a male teacher has to ask permission to use the only toilet available to them, while the cleaning ladies are waiting outside, pretending they don’t need to fill their mop buckets? I do. I’m a cleaning lady, and I see this issue on an almost daily basis.

 

So it occurred to me early on that this was strange. Very strange. I thought for the longest time that that second female toilet was actually for both genders, but had a female sign on it. After all, it’s the only toilet close to the other end of the workplace, and so it made sense that men and women could both use it, so that neither gender had to walk from one end of the workplace to the other. I only discovered this was not the case when a male teacher sincerely apologised for using that toilet.

 

It baffled me. Why had they not complained? Why did everyone think it was all right for the men to have a toilet without a mirror, without a lid on the seat, without a cubicle so someone could enter to wash their hands or check their face, while someone else was using the actual WC? It hadn’t occurred to the men to complain. And it hadn’t occurred to the women that the men might have something to complain about. So I brought it up, and with some encouragement, the only male in a remotely administrative position wrote an email to his two female line managers, asking if we could perhaps turn that third toilet into a unisex toilet. This would be the only thing that made sense. Then both genders would have an alternate toilet to use if the other was being cleaned or occupied, and the men working in one half of the building wouldn’t have to walk so far to use the toilet. Since there’s a cubicle and a separate sink, there is no risk of walking in on anyone doing anything unfortunate.

After a week or so, the male employee received hedging replies from both female managers, saying how they didn’t quite know how one would go about turning that third toilet into a unisex toilet.

I know.

Change the sign on the door.

 

Had this been a workplace with a minority of female employees, and their toilet facility was this poor, it would have been a case of discrimination, brought up within months, if not weeks, of women beginning work there. But these men are afraid. They are worried that they will receive a negative response if they push too hard for their rights. And I am afraid. I am worried that I will be seen as a trouble-maker, a traitor, for standing up for men’s rights in my workplace, and pointing out discrimination where my managers do not see it.

 

And this is why it is so important that we ensure feminism is always about equal rights and opportunities for both genders. Because I don’t want to be afraid to stand up for men’s rights, and be attacked by women acting as if I’m some sort of apologist for men, who are all somehow rapists and misogynist a**holes; and even though there are many who aren’t, we’re not supposed to care about that, but focus on all the poor women who are being oppressed. I will not have a world where the scales start tipping in the opposite direction. Women have been treated atrociously in the past, and in many countries, they still are. It was right to fight for that, and it is right to fight for that now. But I will not have a world where men end up being the 50’s house-wives of today; afraid to ask for anything, afraid to point out situations where they are being treated unfairly, afraid to embrace their masculinity, no matter how they choose to express it. This is why I’m an equity feminist. I am a feminist. I hope you are too. A real feminist.

 

Everyday Sexism

Sexism, unlike chivalry¹, is not dead. Too often am I met by some astoundingly stupid statements and double standards; I overhear some of these things from friends and relatives, from colleagues at work, from complete strangers on social media, or while gaming on my PC. I know that when the word “sexism” is used many of us are sexist enough to assume that we’re only talking about men. And while men are sometimes sexist, women are very often sexist as well, and it more often goes unnoticed. In this post, I’ll share some sexist things I’ve overheard/experienced, and why I think they are problematic. I hope that you’ll respond with your experiences of everyday sexism in the comments below.

“Are you really going to have that second cinnamon-bun? You need to run more, you’re getting fat.” Female relative about male spouse.

Why is this a problem? Well, let’s do a little something I like to call “flip the coin”. This is an exercise in which we find out whether a statement/action is sexist by seeing if it would work if the sexes were switched. Can you imagine a man saying this to his female spouse in front of her family without immediate outrage and cries of “how can you live with a chauvinist pig like that?”? I don’t think so (I HOPE not, otherwise whoa, your family sucks). And yet…

“She puts on all this special gear as if she was going to the gym or something, and then gets on the treadmill at home for half an hour.” Male relative about female spouse.

Here, the man – who was not in great shape himself – was mocking his female spouse for her work-out habits. How is that constructive? Just like Phoebe in Friends should get to run as she pleases, people should never be mocked for attempting to lead a healthier life.

“I’m going to see some male strippers this weekend. My mother is coming with, though she said she wanted to call my father and see if he was OK with it first. I laughed; I just called my husband and said ‘I’m going to see some male strippers’. I don’t ask.” Female co-worker.

This one stunned me into silence. I’m just picturing a “flip-the-coin” scenario wherein a husband calls his wife to inform her that he’s going to see some female strippers and she doesn’t have a say about it. Wow. Double standards much?

“She’s started wearing skirts now. She never liked wearing skirts, she always used to wear trousers. She’s a bit of a tomboy like that.” Mother about teenage daughter.

Hello??? Since when is wearing trousers “being a tomboy”? And how dare you use derogatory terms like that about your own child? But wait, there’s more…

“He looks like such a nerd! Have you seen Hollyoaks? He looks just like the teenage nerd boy in that!” Other mother about her young son now needing glasses.

Again… Hello??? Why on earth would you a) still be old-fashioned enough to think that glasses are a sign of nerdiness, b) consider nerdiness (i.e. being very passionate about some intellectual pursuit) to be something negative, and c) keep perpetuating this idea that if a boy is smart it’s mockworthy, but if he shows athletic prowess it’s praiseworthy? Step into the 21st century, people.

“Do any of you guys have wives? Because then you know that logic isn’t always logical.” Man on online game.

This one makes me grit my teeth no end, and I’ve heard it twice just in the last few months. Firstly, this one makes me laugh because LOGIC is ALWAYS LOGICAL! So congrats on that little fallacy, you idiot. Secondly, I know plenty of rational women. I WILL give you that I know a lot more irrational women than I know irrational men, but I also know a lot more men who’d be likely to cheat on their other halves if they were given the opportunity than I know women who would. Does that mean I’m going to perpetuate a negative myth by running around and shouting about how “All men are cheating bastards!”? Of course not! (Btw., I get really angry when I hear that one, most often said by women). Because these negative over-generalisations only contribute to the sexist problems we face right now.

“Women are better at multitasking, and men can’t do interior decorating.” Teenage girl.

Firstly it’s a myth that women are better at multitasking. Go look it up. It’s a myth that I myself believed in until I recently saw it debunked by the Factual Feminist (Christina Hoff Sommers), who by the way has a really good youtube channel you should go check out. Also, saying how men can’t do interior decorating a) presumes that men have no style or taste, and b) that all women do. How ridiculously sexist is that? I am not very good when it comes to interior decorating, and I’m sure I know a lot of men who would do a better job than me.

“Do you know where so-and-so is? I need to tell his skinny ass off for leaving his room in such a state!” Female employer about male employee.

Eherm, *cough flip-the-coin cough*… Can you IMAGINE a male employer making similarly insulting remarks about their female employee’s physique? It was remarked in the same work-place by another male employee that his female boss talks differently to him as he is a man, using a more direct, insulting, and less polite manner. If we want men to be more sensitive, empathetic and caring, women are going to have to start treating them with the same sensitivity and empathy that they treat other women.

Holding door every single time. Even when I was holding it, they had to take the handle and hold it for me. Older man in my university study-group.

See I usually like it when people hold doors for me, and I like holding doors for people. I tend to think that whoever gets to the door first should hold it for the people behind them. But when I get to the door first, and a man refuses to walk through it, but steps behind me to hold it for me? It’s more of an inconvenience, as I then have to let go the door awkwardly and then say “thanks” even though I was very happy to hold the door for them. Once again, it’s the 21st century. Women can hold doors, men can hold doors. Let’s all hold doors.

“Glitter beards: yes or no?” Post by Bored Panda shared on Facebook.

On an almost daily basis I see new hairstyles for women being raved about. I see talk about nail-trends and make-up trends, and for the most part I silently think to myself “huh, that looks a bit stupid” or “who would have the time/money to maintain that?” Firstly, I think that all the beauty-trends being posted for women all the time are sexist because they say that a) women have to care about what they look like to be considered feminine and b) if men care about what they look like they are not being masculine. But when I saw the Bored Panda post, and the subsequent comments from women saying how they thought men should/shouldn’t have glitter-beards, I was reminded by how very often I hear “Men shouldn’t get to have a say in what women should look like, they don’t own us, we dress however we want, it’s so sexist and misogynistic whenever a man says he likes a woman in a skirt” etc. Why is it so OK for women to constantly remark on how men dress, cut their hair, work out or not and so forth? Double standards.

I could probably think of a few hundred more, but this post has run on for long enough. Please comment with your everyday sexist statements/experiences, and why we need to highlight the hidden sexism in our lives if we want to make it GO AWAY.

 

¹P.S. Personally, I don’t think chivalry is dead. I know plenty of men and women who are polite and considerate, hold doors, carry things, exchange niceties, and generally do their best not to be a d!ck.