Can we talk about feminism?

It seems like the act of comparing women to fish and men to bicycles isn’t entirely accurate.

It seems like the act of comparing women to fish and men to bicycles isn’t entirely accurate.

Examining the double standard between gender

Article: Emily Wright – Graphics Editor

[dropcaps round=”no”]I[/dropcaps]t’s fair to assume that I, as a member of our species who was born with two X chromosomes, would be all in favor of a movement that empowers and liberates people like me. Right? After all, there are many definitions of feminism, but at its bare bones in the dictionary, feminism is essentially just the crazy belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities in political, economic, and social situations. That doesn’t seem too crazy or too radical.

But here’s the thing.

As a female, I do feel equal in society. I have the right to vote. I have a job. I attend school. I’m a normal, functioning human being, just like everyone else.

Am I the exception to the rule? Maybe. But I’m not just saying that I feel equal to men to support my opinion. It’s the truth. I study film and video production here at the U of R, a program that is largely dominated by men. Most of my classes have a lot of men in them, and I am almost always in the minority as a female.

But being one of the only girls in a class doesn’t make me feel like I’m oppressed, or like I am a victim of “the patriarchy”. I have never once felt disadvantaged or looked down upon by my peers for being a woman. The guys in my program, or in any of my classes, have never excluded me from working on projects, or from social events, or from voicing my opinion in class. I never feel objectified or sexualized just for being a woman in a room full of men. We’re all just students, and we are all equals. Shocker!

My problem with feminism is not that I don’t believe in equal rights for men and women. Of course I do. My problem with feminism is the way that some people seem to go about seeking this equality. I do not believe that celebrating and liberating one group of people while ignoring or even going so far as to despise the other is the right way to go about things.

We hear a lot of talk about things like male privilege, with the internet continually imploring white heterosexual males to “check their privilege”, or to remember that the body and the life that you were born into allows you a certain amount of privileges in the world. But what about female privilege? Was I really born at such a disadvantage just because of what’s between my legs?

You rarely hear women being scorned for using their inherent femininity to their advantage. A guy flirting with a female police officer to get out of a speeding ticket would be labeled as a sexist pig, but when I bat my eyelashes and giggle at a male cop and drive away with no ticket (true story), it’s just a cute anecdote. When a guy goes to the bar with the intention of finding a girl, he’s disgusting and sex-crazed. When I put on a push-up bra and mile-high heels in an attempt to potentially score some free drinks, I’m empowered. When men fantasize about women with the bodies of Victoria’s Secret models, they’re objectifying women and setting unreal standards for female beauty. When women drool over guys with chiseled jawlines and six-pack abs, they just have high standards, and know what they like in a man. Let’s not forget the day when half of the female population of Regina lost their minds because Channing Tatum was rumored to be in town – if guys got that worked up about the possibility of seeing a sexy female celebrity, they would be scorned for acting like sex obsessed cavemen.

I’m sick of people telling me that I need feminism. I loathe the way that other girls look down on me for saying that I don’t really believe in feminism. I hate the looks that my female friends give me when I tell them I’m hanging out alone with my male friends. I despise the way that my female professor makes eye contact with me the entire time she talks about feminism in a class full of men, automatically assuming that my beliefs align with hers because of what’s between my legs. I can’t stand the stereotypes that all men are sexist, or rapists, or that acts like someone opening a door for me is offensive or misogynistic.

Am I an advocate for women’s rights? Of course. But, I like to think that I’m an advocate for everyone’s rights, regardless of gender, orientation, religious denomination, race, or anything else. I believe that our society shouldn’t continually try to divide itself into “us vs. them.” I don’t hate feminists, or the movement of feminism. I just don’t believe in liberating one gender by disenfranchising other genders.

[button style=”e.g. solid, border” size=”e.g. small, medium, big” link=”” target=””]Image: Kyle Leitch[/button]


  1. atackfw 14 February, 2014 at 00:57

    adapted from a previous comment regarding this same topic:

    Much like January 20th, 2009 marked the end of racism, I think the testament of a cisgendered white female means the struggle for gender equality is complete. We can shut down abuse shelters and crisis centres once and for all. Women’s studies departments can shut down and yield their academic space to fraternities, where women will always feel safe at their parties. Of course, if something does happen to make her pregnant, her choices will no longer be limited by the legislative agenda of the religious right-wing. But of course money will be no issue in such a situation because her job obviously pays her equal to what a man would make with the same job. It’s the law, and no lawmakers would ever oppose pay equity bill on the grounds of some antiquated ideas about “traditional” families. So lay down your banners, feminists, the patriarchy is no more. We can now celebrate our newfound gender equality

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