I’ve long said that blogging and the Internet makes freedom of speech a reality for women. Women may have had the “right to speak” before, but who would hear them? I’ve also identified as a feminist since my teenage years.
Still, I’ve been disenchanted, shall we say. And while I’m going to a panel soon about feminism and blogging with Heather, the queen of getborn magazine, here is a rundown of the things that kind of irk me about the whole stupid feminist label:
- Feminists give men too much credit. Feminists like to say that women are like men and men are like women. They said that when women went into the workforce, men would step up to provide more support in the home. Where is that? Statistics showed that women took the load off men and then men went to play golf and have a beer in front of a football game. As near as I can tell, men don’t even want this “utopia.”
- Feminists ruined dating. I’m back in the field now and I’m not simply annoyed when a man doesn’t pay for a date, I find them instantly repugnant. Man the f%^$ up! Dear feminists: I want to be wooed and courted and it looks like you’ve made that irrelevant by being so understanding and demanding to be equal. Dislike.
- Feminists make a lot of excuses for their own men. Let’s face it, women still obey men. Wives still submit to their husbands most of the time. They just don’t call it that. They do things they don’t want to do to keep the peace in the house. Whether it’s keeping jobs that they hate, or doing the laundry, or always being the one who goes grocery shopping, feminists aren’t very feminist when they are in relationships. But, they always seem to find a “reasonable” reason for this to excuse the fact that their men aren’t manning up. At least conservatives are honest that he gets his way because he has a penis. Or as my mother always put it, “he makes the money.”
- Feminists really require nothing of men. Of course we’ll have sex without commitment or even dinner, we’ll “balance” everything, we’ll pay for everything, we’ll pretend we need no romance, we’ll understand your need to look at porn and even look with you, we’ll do everything. Which pretty much leaves men to do whatever the hell they want. Feminists lowered our expectations of men. Men ran with it. They know a good deal when they see it.
- Feminists glamorize jobs, even though jobs mostly suck. What’s so great about a job anyway? Being a “working woman” is nothing new. My grandmother picked cotton for ten hours a day her whole childhood. My great-grandmother got up at 4 a.m. and dragged a few kids out to milk cows so she could feed her children. My grandmother, when she raised her own family, was grateful that her husband was willing and able to support the family and she wouldn’t have to have a job. My mother was super grateful that she was allowed to devote her life to raising her children and not having to juggle a dumb job. Myself, I spent 12 years fighting off my husband’s expectation that I have the kinds of jobs he thought were awesome. I didn’t want to do everything all at once. Because it’s a joy killer and it’s exhausting. So thanks a lot for putting that kind of bullshit expectation on me, feminists. It ruined my marriage and it wasn’t much fun. Yeah, I want to be a bad-ass, successful writer and run a profitable life coaching company—but that’s not the equivalent to having a lame job. And I didn’t want to have to do it while I was breast-feeding babies or chasing toddlers. Most people think jobs kind of suck. It’s way more awesome not to have to have one. Men don’t even love having a job. If you’re going to pick a battleground, aim for one that’s more profitable and takes a lot less work. Women should be seeking wealth not jobs. In fact, there are about a million more valuable things in the world to try to get than jobs.
- Feminists are short-sighted. Equal pay is a craptastic goal. Better pay is a better goal. More money than men have is more awesome than scoring a lousy 22 more cents an hour. Whatcha gonna do with 22 cents? Feel all respected and validated because you’re making the same shitty pay as the guy in the cube next to you? Could you lower the bar any lower, feminists? Come on, get an imagination and think wealthier!
- Feminists are always talking about moving up the corporate ladder and breaking through the glass ceiling. A better goal would be women building empires and owning our own businesses and designing our own feminine-friendly work cultures. Again, is being a middle manager or a CEO in someone else’s company the biggest thing you can dream up? Just because men have something doesn’t mean we should have to want it. Maybe this is a great dream for some women. But, it’s not my dream.
- Feminists act like single mothers are helpless moron victims. How is a single mother going to Lean In? I just heard on the news. Uh, sit back and watch bitches! This is how. How they always have. It’s not as if single motherhood is a new invention. Having children without having a husband is not the same as having a debilitating handicap. Givemeabreak.
- Feminists act like teenage mothers are helpless moron victims. Teenage motherhood is not new. People used to regularly have children before they were 20—on purpose. FYI, just because you need fertility treatments to get your eggs to act like teenaged eggs doesn’t make teen mothers bad mothers.
- Feminists act like women and girls in general are helpless moron victims. We all need to be empowered! Because we are what? Powerless? Because we can’t actually do anything without a movement? A grant? A new law? That’s why we need so much empowerment? Most feminist rhetoric sounds like it wants to empower women, but truly it just calls us out as helpless victims who need additional help. Maybe we did in the 1970s, but honestly, in 2013 it’s time to get our shit together and put on our big girl panties.
- Feminists act like women are at the mercy of everything and everyone. Really, we’re all just jumping up and down asking for permission to be pretty when we complain about prettier, thinner women in magazines. We’re just begging for a nod of approval every time we go to congress and tattle that we’re not being voluntarily granted equal pay. You’re pretty. You’re worthy of equal pay. Believe it. Demand it.
- Feminists work for 22 cents an hour less and then whine about it. Grow some balls, ladies. If you want 22 more cents, walk off the job until you get it. If feminists really were willing to stand up for their own value in negotiations they would be making far more than men.
- Feminists are really, really good at keeping women trapped. They act like they want women to have equal say and equal value, but if a woman has a different idea about what that means or, God-Forbid, votes for the wrong candidate, they act like feral cats. Women have always been the gatekeepers for other women, and feminists can get far more venomous than other people about making sure that women stay in the “feminist box.”
- Feminists manipulate other women with abortion and birth control issues. And feminists fall for it. For 40 years we’ve taken the bait. Then one day you sit back and ask yourself, wait what am I concerned about here? Is birth control really in danger or is this hype to manipulate my vote? Is the right to kill my own baby or to have my daughter kill my grandchildren really important to me? Then you reread that sentence and ask yourself how the hell we got here.
So after this conference, it will be interesting to see if I’m back to enchantment, whether I’m turning in my feminism member card or what.
Tracee Sioux is an Authentic Power Coach, author of Love Distortion: Belle, Battered Codependent and Other Love Stories; and she blogs atTheGirlRevolution.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images from Wikimedia Commons