There was a point last week at which the tone of some of the comments in one of my comment threads started to get a little heated. There’s no point in rehashing the details, especially since it wasn’t the first time. I’m not sure why people feel the need(or the right) to be nasty to complete strangers, but they do.
I want all of my readers to feel free to say whatever they want to say here. This blog isn’t about one person being right and another person being wrong. I’m wrong a lot. A lot. And I wholeheartedly admit that. I would hope that the people who read my blog and choose to comment could remember that they are frequently wrong too. They are, after all, human.
Anyway, there was one thing about that (mean, heated) exchange that really did bother me. The F word was used in a pejorative manner. The F word being feminism.
I can think of several times in the life of this blog when male readers have used the words feminism or feminist in a very negative manner. It’s usually something like, “you believe that stupid thing because you are a feminist” or “because of feminism..complaint.”
From what I can tell, most of the people (almost always men) using this phrase don’t seem to have any real sense of the meaning of the word. And it’s not entirely their fault. It’s one of those words, like liberal, that has been thrown around and misused so much that it’s become disconnected with its original meaning.
Feminism, at its core, is the belief that women should have equal rights to men. That’s it. Just equal rights. Equal rights in every way – economically, politically, sexually. It is not about man-hating or not wearing make-up or looking down on women who choose to stay home with their children or have large families or believe in a “traditional” value system. It’s about equal rights. Equal rights that would allow us equal opportunities and thus the right to live our lives however we choose (including the choice to be married with kids and not working outside the home if that’s what we wanted).
I know many women who strongly believe in all of that but who do not consider themselves feminists because of all of the nastiness around the word. OK, fine. Everyone gets to define themselves however they see fit.
But no one is allowed to use the words feminist or feminism in an insulting manner on this blog any longer. Not without getting called out for it. It’s ignorant and hateful and smacks of the kind of double standard that we should have left in the last century.
And now for a bit of wonderful. Thank you once again to Jezebel for the link. Here they are, The Ladies of Sesame Street singing Women Can Be.
Tags: comments, jezebel