A Helpful Guide To Feminism

Disclaimer: This post is part of this blog’s That Tiny Tirade series. It can (and likely will) contain not safe for work language, scenes and storylines not suitable for children, and some content that may be unacceptable to other readers. This post may also contain strobe lighting effects.

I considered giving this post a title of “A Helpful Guide to Feminism Meant Mostly for Men, But Also for the Occasional Woman Who Has a Misunderstanding of the Term”, however that’s an obscenely wordy title that would break Twitter’s character limit with no regard for its safety. Additionally, if you’ve been reading the Fuck You Friday series for any length of time now, you’ll know that such a title is implied by the very nature of feminism being the topic of discussion in a FYF column.

So…feminism. Great traffic generator or greatest traffic generator? After all, there are few topics that get people (male or female) as full of passion, rage, and caps lock faster than bringing up feminism. Is it good? Is it bad? Will being exposed to it kill you? Is it merely a ploy created by the NFL to raise awareness for women while simultaneously not giving a fuck about them?

I mean, this totally makes up for our history of ignoring domestic violence, suicide, and player health issues. Right guys? Guys? Image credit: nfl.com

Why does feminism matter? If you need that question answered for you, there may be other items in life that you need addressed, such as your personal hygiene issues, why your dates always end poorly, or why you need substance in your writing to not be considered a total moron. However, I’m willing to give those of you asking those questions the benefit of the doubt and assume you’ve been in a coma since birth. In which case, welcome to society, and how did you learn to read this quickly? Here’s a definition of feminism to help you understand why it matters.

Feminism: The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.

There are numerous definitions in existence for feminism, some accurate, and some not. I’ve chosen the one above (which comes from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary) for the reason that I don’t think you have to be female to support feminism. Those who are detractors from feminism ideology have one persona of a feminist in mind. They believe that feminists are women who are unwashed heathens who refuse to shave their legs, want all men to die, and deserve top priority in every situation over men.

While there certainly are feminists who feel that way, I’d make the argument that such individuals make up an extremely small portion of the population. Those individuals are the same ones who argue anyone who doesn’t believe in their religion should die, or that heterosexual marriage should be banned since homosexual marriage is looked down upon, or even that any race that’s non-white should be a master race. Said another way, there are bad eggs in every bunch. Just because one person in a group is a shithead doesn’t mean that everyone in their group is a shithead.

I’m sure there are even intelligent Nickelback fans out there somewhere. Probably. Image credit: zimbio.com

Guys. Allow me to speak to you for a second.

If you think that supporting feminism is wrong, there’s a good chance you’re clueless as to the real problems women face in everyday life when it comes to sexism, unequal hiring and pay practices, catcalls, and religiously imposed social hierarchies.

Let’s start by talking about catcalls for a moment. It’s one thing to tell your wife/fiancee/girlfriend in private that you’d like to smack that ass. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’ll get an indifferent response at worst in such a situation. But to shout it at some random woman you’ve never met that passes you on the street? That’s when you’re a bitch. Yes. A bitch. Let’s do away with insult words that are gender specific. Everyone can be a bitch. Or a twatwaffle. Or a cockswoggle. Or an assbadger.

I’m not telling you that you can’t find women to be attractive, beautiful, or gasp sexy. There is nothing wrong with being able to admit to yourself that a woman is good-looking. But to make unprovoked and unwanted comments to her because of how she looks? That deserves a kick in the testicles.

When I was a child, my mom told me that it was very important when I got married to make sure I was the head of my household. According to her, if I were to make things between me and my wife equal, not only would that be an affront to God, but it would also undermine my chances of having a successful marriage. Despite being nine or ten at the time, my response was trolltastic. It was something to the following effect (obviously said with my ten year old vocabulary).

If God loves us all equally and views us all equally as his children, why shouldn’t we treat each other with equality? By asserting myself as a dominant head of household, I’m not acting in God’s image. That’s what you want, right?

I don’t religion much. That said, I’ve always found that there are some small aspects to religion I really like. The whole ‘do unto others as you want done unto you’ thing seems really important to me. It’s the basis for how we can continue to evolve as a society. Change doesn’t happen overnight, which is sad. But it does happen generation to generation. The people who think it’s right to pay women less, to catcall them, or to give them a lesser place in society…they’ll all die in due time. And that’s not a bad thing. I mean, we live in a world where the video below is a reality.

If you don’t believe that men and women should be treated equally, I’m not telling you to change your opinion. There are many difficult questions you need to ask yourself, such as ‘do I really want to be viewed as a dickbag by my peers?’ or ‘does this still apply to me if I don’t know any women?’. Once you’re done asking yourself the hard questions, I would encourage you to ask yourself just one more question — this one a bit easier than the others.

Would I want other people to treat me like I treat them?

If your answer is anything other than a resounding yes, perhaps you should reconsider your stand on feminism.


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