Last night, I wound up very emotional and had difficulties sleeping because of a post a friend of mine made on facebook, saying he imagined a special hell for “female feminists” and that he enjoyed imagining them tortured. “Female feminists” as if it would be okay if a male had a feminist viewpoint but not a female. I found his violence disgusting but was even more disgusted by the fact that this person had called me an “angel” recently. I’m still pissed off and emotional enough I have to write this now. Here’s the thing, people:
I am a feminist because I believe what happens to my body is my business and that no one should come between a health decision made with my doctor and myself. I am a feminist because I don’t think there is a good reason to rape me, ever. I am a feminist because I don’t think I should be beaten by the man I love and trust. I am a feminist because I believe my work matters and I should be paid based on my output, not based on what genitals I own. I am a feminist because I believe my opinion is just as valid as an opinion coming from someone with a penis. I am a feminist because my looks are not more important than my contributions to society. I am a feminist because my place is not necessarily in the kitchen – it is wherever I chose it to be.
When men decry the “loss of power” they have “suffered”, the power they decry having lost is the power to control someone else. Men used to be able to get women institutionalized for getting upset that their husbands had an affair. Men used to have all the decision making power over a woman’s pregnancy and what happened to her children (leave your husband, lose your children). Men used to be able to take a woman’s job. Men used to be able to take their wives paychecks and were considered generous if they gave their wives an allowance. Men used to be able to rape a woman and face little or no criminal charges.
Right now, some men are discussing controlling women’s health options from denying them birth control and calling them sluts for wanting it to suggesting that if I a woman gets pregnant, clearly she enjoyed the sex and wasn’t raped. Currently, women get paid a lower wage when they are ugly, fat, or short whereas men rarely do. There are men who talk about women sperm-jacking them in order to get child support as if that money is enough to live off of let alone enough to raise children with. Men on the internet often discuss how they can hurt their wives or girlfriends before dumping them for an affair or some other slight (this often includes a painful sex session).
We still live in a culture where a woman will be judged on how she looks instead of her contributions, where news “journalists” will discuss what a female politician looks like before they discuss her voting record. We have a culture that thinks joking about violence against women is perfectly okay, and funding for shelters for battered women is not necessary. We have a culture that will change the topic to how something affects a man when we originally started talking about a woman’s issue because the men are somehow more important.
There are some men who do value women. I am lucky to count my husband among those men (though I should not have to be lucky, his attitude should be the norm). A large number of you reading this are men who do value women and I love you for it. I am shocked and angry, and feeling betrayed by a friend who doesn’t. I feel like every nice thing he ever said is now a negative – if someone who hates women so much that he wishes violence against them for wanting to be considered human likes me, what the hell does that say about me?
Those of you still reading who have known me for a very long time probably remember the many years of my life I spent wishing I was a man, pissed that the genetic lottery didn’t give me a penis. I hated the hardship I had to face as a woman so much that I tried to emulate men. I dressed like them, I spoke like them, and when I was a teenager, I tried to shave my mustache because I believed the myth that if you shaved, you’d get more hair and I wanted to look like a man. If I hadn’t been so short and have such a feminine face, I may have even considered surgery. All of this was not because I self-identified as male (and I do not judge those who do). It was because I didn’t want to deal with what women have to deal with. It is people like my “friend” who made me feel this way. Years ago, I finally got angry enough to embrace the fact that I was a woman and decide that instead of wishing I was a man, I should fight to be allowed to be a human, even if I was a woman.
So, in the most un “lady-like” fashion I can think of to say this, Fuck you, L.K. Fuck you. And don’t you ever call me an angel again.