I’m embarrassed to be a feminist. Not because of what feminism represents, of course. I will always serve as a proud ally in the struggle to achieve gender equality.
I’m embarrassed that the word feminism exists.
Maybe I’m naive, but it seems inconceivable that we would actually need a word or label to describe those of us who believe that 51% of our population deserves the same rights and opportunities as the other 49%.
In my opinion, having a word to describe those who do not share this basic, fundamental view would be far more appropriate.
Astronomers have taught us that there is only one sun in our solar system, which all of the planets orbit around. Therefore, I have no reason to believe that a second sun exists within our solar system. Yet, there is no term to describe me and the others who believe in only one sun. Nobody has ever asked whether or not I’m a onesunanist.
There’s a very simple reason for the term feminist to exist, and I won’t pretend to not know what it is. Demeaning an idea is far simpler when you’re able to give it a label and assign that label with a negative connotation. This is especially effective when there’s no logical justification for opposing the actual meaning. And it’s a far easier task when those looking to create this connotation control almost all sources of media.
We’re All Feminists
If we were to ignore the term feminist, and simply ask people if they believed that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men, we would likely receive an overwhelming number of affirmative responses.
When framed in such a way where a person is clearly and explicitly asked if they support something that seems to be an obvious, basic human right, speaking out in opposition would require a person to stand up and take a position on something that is both unpopular and blatantly immoral. They would then be forced to defend such an indefensible position, leaving themselves open scrutiny, criticism, and ridicule.
Which is why so much effort has been put into introducing the term feminism into the mainstream, while not only failing to properly define it, but associating it with radical views. To be a feminist means nothing more than to be a person who believes in gender equality. However, great lengths have been taken to expand this definition and create alternative (and inaccurate) meanings; to blur the term just a bit and make the term just a little more ambiguous.
We can associate feminists with the most extreme examples of those who support equality. We can associate feminism with lesbianism. And bisexuality. And
We find someone who we feel is representing the cause poorly, or at least controversy, and then label them a feminist – so we can turn around and ask “is this really what we want to support?” It makes the other side of the argument seem much more plausible. The “other side” being those would’ve otherwise had to answer no when asked if they supported women having the same opportunities as men.
See how easily they were able to take a very simple question, asking about a basic, fundamental principle – turn it completely around – and repackage it in a way which would give ignorant people an ‘excuse**’ to agree?
Setting the Bar Low
What’s also embarrassing to me is being awarded extra credit simply for being a man willing to openly identify as a feminist – as if it were some sort of accomplishment or display of heroism. I have friends who care so deeply about this issue and who have been vocal and active advocates throughout their lives (long before I ever became an ally).
Yet, that doesn’t matter, because there are people who consider gender equality to be a women’s issue, and not a human issue, and will therefore tune those voices out, label it as complaining or whining, and not even contemplate the legitimacy.
Because that’s what we do in this country. We consider gender equality to be women’s issues.
Here’s something else that’s embarrassing – receiving countless Facebook messages nominating me for some Best Dad award. I’ve asked almost everybody who has nominated me why they feel I deserve to be considered a Best Dad, and they all mirror the same low-standard parenting achievements, and all reference the pictures that I post with my kids.
“I can see how much you love your kids” or “I can tell that you like spending time with your kids” are two of the more common phrases used to evaluate my parenting. This assessment, mind you, is based solely off of the pictures I choose to share on Facebook.
Again – how is every single man not completely embarrassed by how low we have to have the bar set for us, simply so we can pat each other on the back and consider ourselves successful? We’re allowing ourselves to be recognized as champions for the even most uninspiring parenting feats (“Look – I push my kid on the swings, and I took a picture of it!”), while the unsung heroes continue to carry out a disproportionate amount of the household and parenting workload without the
Here’s a newsflash: I am not the “best dad.”
Here’s a newsflash: I am not the “best dad.” I’m just a dad. Dads are supposed to spend time with their children. We’re supposed to make our kids laugh. We’re being lauded with all of these phony, made-up recognition awards so we can congratulate ourselves for achieving the bare minimum of parenting. There are millions of moms who, every day, not only spend time with their children and make them smile, but also get them dressed for school in the morning and brush their teeth, sit with them to do homework, prepare breakfast and lunch for them to take, and then top it off with the *** prize of getting to prepare dinner.
Yet, I can’t remember the last time that Jenny has ever told me that she had been nominated for a Best Mom award.
It’s no wonder why men have achieved so much throughout history – the standard for success has been lowered to a minuscule level. A woman can dedicate her entire life to advocating feminist causes without ever being recognized. Yet still, all I have to do is recite a word and I’m considered some type of progressive hero.