Thursday, 16 May 2013

Feminism - Does it really matter?

After seeing many of my friends sharing the page and getting in to a discussion with my husband, I started to look into both the many superficial and incorrect statements behind these "33 reasons" and the actual meaning of the word feminism.

One of the main reasons I dislike the "33 reasons" posts and similar graphical statements like it is that there are so many statements there that are not confirmed truths but twisted words of what people take as the truth and omissions to simplify a complex problem.

Take, for example, Reason 31. "Three men are cleared from rape". I have spent 10 minutes searching the internet for the actual ruling in this case. I have not found it. Instead I have found several articles saying "Boys raped girl, are freed" and later in the article, it is unclear whether the boys actually raped the girl or not. When I cannot even find the correct source for these articles how can I use it as a truth? Shouldn't we be discussing why media is hanging out these three boys as rapists when the ruling is that they are, from what I  can gather from what is said about the ruling, not rapists?

Reason 32 saying "Ex-Girlfriend target that bleeds when you shoot it" while no mention of the fact that there exists both a target "Chris" and "Leo" with very masculine features and a mannequin called the "Terrorist" is also among their collection. (Link to vendor here. Notice that they have changed the mannequin name "The Ex" to "Alexa"). The vendor is clearly selling their products as "zombies". If there is one thing we should be aggregating us about is that the terrorist looks like a Arab. Why should all terrorists be figured as arabs? Articles like this one say that 94% of terrorist attacks in the US is not Islamic.

This simplifying of the problem is what really bothers me. That we use short, simple "lies" to promote a cause that is far more complex. Because what happens when all these people get in an uproar about this? They will feel angered, share the page and then move on. Because it feels they have contributed. When in truth nothing has changed. "You know nothing, Jon Snow" is the memorable quote that Ygritte keeps saying in Game of Thrones, yet nothing is done to help Jon understand. Jon is left feeling he does not belong and has no way of knowing what it is he does not know. In the same way all these promotion for feminism tells everyone "We should fight for women equal rights!", Yet the how is never specified. We are left with a vague feeling that the world is wrong and someone should do something about it. But not including ourselves in that picture.

I enjoyed reading Wikipedia's article about the different branches of feminism. My favourite names was "Analytical feminism" although, unfortunately, I do not fit in to it's description. I cannot say I have ever identified myself with being a feminist, other than I have always assumed that people who believe that women should not have the same rights as men are idiots. When I have negotiated about my wage I have always based it on the men average wage and completely ignore the statistics for the women. I have always taken for granted that I have the right to my own body to do as I feel is right, just as any man has the right to his to do what he feels right.

And this is the only way I see I can be a feminist. Not by taking grand statements and pointing out every time something seems wrong in society. But always assuming that I live in a fair community. Always approaching the podium as if I was meant to be there. Always joining in believing what I say is just as important in the discussion as anyone else. Approaching discussions with an attitude that anti-feminism is a ridiculous argument and should not even be considered seriously. Because in, the end it becomes the norm, and everyone believes it.

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