A Response to a Feminist Discussion

[Original post can be found here.]

YES YES YES.

For one, I really truly get annoyed when people confuse biological sex and gender.  Because biological sex can’t be controlled, and gender can because gender is the one that’s a social construct.  Refusing medical treatment based on your biological sex because you don’t believe in gender shows a basic ignorance of what each of them actually are.

I love your definition of patriarchy and how it couples with andocentrism.  What a lot of feminists don’t seem to understand is that the andocentrism is the part that hurts men.  I especially liked “assumes that male norms operate throughout all social institutions and become the standard to which persons adhere.”  That right there shows just how the patriarchy hurts everyone, male and female alike, because it makes men feel like they need to live up to these standards that are set too high to begin with and these are the standards that are made to hurt women. Doesn’t matter if it makes these men uncomfortable, they need to do it to live up to societal standards.

I also love how you realize that society as a whole – not just males, not just white people, not just [insert group here] – has created the problems we have today.  Society is huge and complex and things didn’t just become the way they are by a huge group of people (ex: all the men) with a collective mindset enforcing them that way.

I love how you talk about where the real inequality is.  Yes, under the law, women enjoy a much more equal status now than ever before.  That doesn’t mean that inequality doesn’t exist.  No one went after erectile dysfunction medication and whether or not the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should provide for it.  But there were weeks and months of debate about whether birth control (a female only drug) should be provided for.  Yes, legally we have the freedom to access an abortion.  In reality, it’s nearly unaffordable without insurance and many insurance companies refuse to cover it.  Also, depending on your state and how strict the laws are, there may only be a handful of abortion providers for hundreds of thousands of people.  Does that sound like equality?

I also saw the inequality being pushed on us in that military thing.  So very many people didn’t realize that women did not enjoy the right to fight in a combat position in war.  It’s not that we never volunteered; it’s that we were not permitted to do so due to that prevailing point of view that women are too weak to do so.  I’m sure there are plenty of (not outright) discriminatory practices that are in place so that women aren’t allowed to work some of the dangerous jobs men do because of that prevailing mindset.

And I enjoy how you talk about the fact that it’s ourselves that are our worst enemies.  I actually do not see men doing half of the slut-shaming or judging of women that women do to themselves.  None of the men I have dated (and I can count about 7 actual boyfriends) have cared about whether I wore my hair up or down, wore makeup or not, wore perfume or not, shaved or didn’t (actually the only bitch I heard about that was that I needed to maintain it because the grow-in can be scratchy.)

Women, on the other hand, are the most critical of other women.  ”She dresses like a slut” “She’s so easy” “It gives men the idea we’re all like that”… when in fact, it doesn’t.  We’re just so paranoid.  [Which, by the way, is part and parcel of the inequality we’re fighting against and the patriarchy that does, in fact, exist.]

In particular, I think it’s these radfems who spout stuff like “all heterosexual sex is rape” that gives feminism a bad name and makes women (who I would consider feminists, even if they don’t use the term) afraid to be associated with the movement.  It gives misogynistic men the evidence to point to when they say “all feminists are crazy” and it gives women such a fright that they won’t say they’re feminists for fear that they’ll end up as forever alone cat ladies because men won’t wanna be near them.