Hey, Feminism Called. And She Wants Her Point Back.
This thing on?
Today, we’re going to talk a little about feminism.
What was that sound?
A tear in the time-space continuum as all of the men simultaneously left my blog forever and ever?
I don’t think so.
Because the men who read this blog, I’ve noticed, are pretty cool. And definitely not threatened by the “F” word.
And if you are, let’s take a step back. Let’s replace the “F” word with the “E” word. Equality.
Yes? Mind if I ask why?
Because I must be an angry feminist, you say, as mental images of a bra-less Alanis Morissette swings an axe at your face.
Which is exactly the problem. The word “feminism” for many, especially men, brings to mind the exact opposite — the unfeminization of women. A bunch of man-hating women with hairy armpits who, for all their talk of equality, preach separatist ideals and make other women feel bad about themselves.
And that’s not the kind of feminism I’m talking about.
I’m talking about the kind of feminism that’s happening when a husband arranges for a babysitter so he can attend his wife’s office party on her arm. When a brother brags about his sister’s basketball scholarship. When a father unapologetically teaches his daughter how to play hockey, wield a power saw, and throw a tea party.
I’m especially talking about what the world might be like when Elizabeth Gilbert doesn’t have to write (powerful) articles like this. When Getty Images doesn’t have to curate (beautiful) collections like this. And when commercials for toys like this aren’t worthy of front page headlines:
Interesting side-note: This commercial used to be a lot more entertaining when it parodied the song “Girls” by the Beastie Boys, changing some of the lyrics from, “Girls to do the dishes, girls to do the laundry” to “Girls to build the spaceship, girls to code the new app.” It was kind of brilliant, and of course got them into legal issues with the band, so they changed it.
And I’m not even sure why I’m still writing this, except that maybe all of the pink and hearts and cupid butts are rubbing me the wrong way. Maybe because of that time Justin bought me Carmen Elektra’s complete box set of Aerobic Striptease for Valentine’s day. Maybe because it’s 2014 and we still haven’t had a female president.
But it’s nothing that hasn’t been written before.
I guess I just wanted to say that this one’s for the boys.
For the men out there, who are secure enough to remain un-threatened by the idea of equality. For the men who support their sisters, mothers, daughters, friends, and wives, believing they’re smart, strong, and capable in whatever they choose to do. Who don’t automatically think less of them because they’re female. Who don’t belittle or berate. Who recognize the difference between stereotypical gender roles and sex. Who understand that genitalia has absolutely zero effect on one’s ability to lead. Who want to want to do the dishes. Who voted for Hillary Clinton.
And also for the women who feel the same.
This isn’t a sporting event, guys. It’s not about winning. It’s just about being. And you can be a confident, supportive, and thereby sexy (sorry to objectify) feminist, or you can… not.
And I’m grateful to live in a world — and to see my friends’ daughters grow up in a world — where more men are making the better choice.
It makes me happy to be alive today.
Are you a feminist? Why? Why not?