Feminism Benefits You Too

At the end of last month I came across a post entitled, “Why Is This Woman Against Feminism.”  It prompted me to write, Why Feminism Is A Necessity.” To be completely above board I wrote the author, KellyMac to inform her that I had posted a response on my blog.  Since this time I have gotten alot of responses from her readers, and while most were very respectful I did gain a few trolls. Lucky me!!! Kelly posted a response to my commentary.  A 24 point response to be exact.  Being the stubborn, hysterical, angry womanist that I am, noooooo way is she getting the last word on this one. Had Kelly been a man, I probably would have let this go, but colluding ass women get on my nerves. They want all the benefits of feminism/womanism without admitting the privileges of patriarchy. Someone has to shake them loose from the Stockholm syndrome that they clearly are suffering with.  So strong is my dedication to women that I am willing once again, to wade into the muck of false identification.

In what follows, all commentary in blue is written by me.

1. Women still make 70 cents for every dollar a man makes, and the disparity is even larger for women of color. Not true, when you compare apples to apples. Here’s a wiki article – wiki being known for consistently deleting articles about Misandry and men’s rights.

Right, Wikki is exactly where I want to go to find a reliable source.  Does it occur to you that wikki can be edited by anyone.  Try and cite that on a university paper, and so how pretty the F looks beside your name. Clearly you need help finding sources…start with google scholar, or like I mentioned in my previous post the library. I’m not going to do all the work for you, I will  however get you started with this .. Researchers have found that less than half of the pay gap is due to men dominating in fields like engineering, and business.  The imbalance has to do with workplace characteristics like high performance systems, degree of foreign ownership, and rate of part time work (Drolet 2002) and to gender discrimination (Phillips & Phillips, 1993; Chaykowski & Powell, 1999, Cromption & Vickers, 2000)

2.The vast majority of women that are single mothers live in poverty, Actually, according to this link, 27.7% of custodial single mothers live in poverty, although in researching it, I did find statistics up to around 35%. However, given that women initiate 2/3 of divorce, and that women are most likely to gain custody, it kind of looks like the situation is mostly in the control of those same mothers.

Yep took the time to check out your link at About.com.  Yes I have no doubt that this may be an accurate statistic for the US, however the world is larger than the United States of America, believe it or not.  Step outside of your western privilege for just a sec…promise I’ll throw you a rope so that you won’t get lost.  Do you think that the single mothers in Iraq, Afghanistan, or India are living high on the hog?  Are they all welfare queens? By the way in the Islamic world men only need to say I divorce you three times while no such right exists for women.  In the case of divorce globally, women do not benefit.

3. daily the right to have an abortion is continually being assaulted Ok. And daily the right to have an abortion is defended as well. That’s called free speech. What’s your point? As far as I know, abortion is still legal.

My point dear is that slowly roe vs wade is being restricted.  If this continues the right to have an abortion will not exist.  In Canada Bill C-484 or the so-called unborn victim of crime act is attempting to roll back abortion.  Just as rights can be granted they can be removed.  Think of all the privacy you had before the reactionary Patriot Act.

4. Mothers that are married, and work outside of the home still perform most of the domestic duties, childrearing, and elder care. This constitutes a “double day. Could it be that a messy house bothers her more? Or that she doesn’t think he’ll do it right? Ask yourself this: are women being forced to do more housework, or are they choosing to make the house the way they want it? Besides all that, prove it. I submit that if both spouses work full time, they split up the chores – including running the kids all over town and cleaning the gutters.

Mothers do more work because of the historical division of labor. Men’s work was in the public sector, and womens in the private sector.  To this day housework is still largely associated with women.  If this were not the case every single cleaning product would not direct their marketing at women.  They know damn well who cleans the house.  But you want a factual back up don’t you…well here you go, and while you are at it, notice that it is a reputable source of information.  I don’t need to turn to WIKKI to prove anything.  example 1, example 2, example 3.

5. Women bodies are constantly sexualized in the media. I challenge you to watch fifteen minutes of television without seeing the image of a half naked woman, selling us something we neither want, or need. And men are constantly belittled in our media. Not only that, but men are also sexualized in the media. Sex sells. You’re never going to change that. If you want to stop those ads, organize a boycott. Don’t complain about how powerless you are.

Yes the media does have a habit of portraying men as drooling dolts, but this in no way effects the global power structure of patriarchy.  This is exactly the opposite of how the world is run, and deep down even you have to admit that.  Men control the media, and an attempt by them to show men as victims of evil harping women belies the fact that in almost every industry you turn to, men are in positions of power.  There is a large difference between reality, and fantasy. As for the article that you directed me to, did you not see the racism in the ad?  There is a reason that the man that was selected was black.  This has more to do with race, than it does with gender.  It is an attempt to delegitimize black men ..a big black dick, no operating brains.  This is not new, look at the “lunchbox” campaigns that were directed at Linford Christie.

6. Daily for a small fee one can have access to violent pornography thus reifying our rape culture Ok, first off, the term “rape culture” is one that was made up by feminism to be used in women’s studies courses and to play on your fears. How safe do you think it is for a lone man to walk down a dark street in a rough neighborhood? Second, when you use the term “violent pornography”, you really mean “against women”. There’s a fair amount of femdomme porn out there as well. Ever seen the ones where a man is bound spread-eagle and kick in the crotch (as a very mild example)? Again, you get a half-truth.

Right because men routinely get raped, and note when it does happen it is usually done by other men…I am not saying that women do not assault men, what I am saying is that the majority of the sexual assaults that occur are perpetrated by MEN. Speaking of rape, how do you think the women of the Congo feel?  Oh, I forgot it is a made up term, and so I guess those women are only imaging that they are confronting rape on a daily basis.

Yes, again Femmedom Porn does exist, but like every other industry the porn industry is dominated by MEN.  It is largely created to satisfy the MALE GAZE…

7. hip hop is your thing, I can imagine how you might find it pleasant to hear women referred to as bitches and hos continually Here’s the thing about hip hop. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. It isn’t a society-wide phenomenon. Freedom of speech, and all that.

Yes due to freedom of speech people spew all kinds of venom.  I of course stopped listening to any hip hop that contained woman hating lyrics, however that does not mean that I am not offended each, and every time I hear it. You don’t need to actually buy it, to be exposed to it.  While hip hop does have its target audience, I must still interact with people who feel that this kind of misogynistic hate is ok.  Of course just like any agent of socialization (media) hip hop has an effect on its listeners. Nothing is ever innocent.

8. sexism that has been thrown at Hillary Clinton. My goodness a woman president, we cannot have that, when she gets her period she might be tempted to push the button. Where oh where will we hide the tampon dispenser in the Oval office? You see that office is the repository of male bodily fluids, and the cleaning staff are used to dealing with semen, and not blood. Ok, I’m not sure where this came from, but have you considered that maybe, just maybe, Mrs. Clinton isn’t the right woman for the job? I’m sure sexism has been thrown at her. I’m sure racism has been thrown at Obama. I’m sure infidelity has been thrown at someone else. And draft dodging. And anything else their opponents can come up with. Welcome to politics.

As I have stated in many posts, I am not a fan of Ms. Clinton, however I am even less a fan of the sexism that she had to endure during the race. It is not as simple as saying welcome to politics.  With her, they avoided debating the issues simply because they could count on a hatred of women.  What her run for office proved is that no matter what lip service we give to equality, we have not reached the point where women are taken seriously.  I simply cannot imagine a great debate amongst political pundits regarding the shrill like whine in either Obama or McCains voice. I cannot wait to see when these two face off, how many times they will be accused of being hysterical, or having a nagging quality to their tone.  Bet that won’t happen because those are gender specific commentary.

9. Any idea where your clitoris is? Found it by accident didn’t you, because female sexual pleasure just isn’t taught in sex education classes. Wow. Do they teach male sexual pleasure in sex ed these days? Seems I remember learning about ovulation, semen production, std’s, stuff like that. Besides, I knew where my clitoris was long before sexual maturity, and not because of abuse. It’s actually pretty common.

If they are focusing on intercourse, then they are focusing on male sexual pleasure.  Most women need stimulation of the clitoris to achieve orgasm, and since that is not a high priority in sex-ed classes I would say that they are focusing on male sexual pleasure. This is what female centered sex education looks like.

10. barefoot, and pregnant This term was reportedly coined by a sexist legislator in 1963, and has been used ever since as a feminist catchphrase. You can do better than that.

Uuumm yeah, don’t care who coined it, it’s an accurate statement.

11. They just need to spread their legs when told, and feign pleasure at the mans will. I’m not sure where you’re going with this. Are you saying we’re all sex-slaves?

What I am saying is that when it comes to heterosexual sex there is a lack of reciprocity.

12. perfecting the skill of fellatio while ignoring the fact that your man thinks that cunnilingus is some foreign country off the coast of Italy. Throw the little man in the boat a life jacket, and buy a vibrator, it may be the only way you will ever have an orgasm See my comment on #11. Or you might try communicating with your man. Just a suggestion.

You think that it is because of a lack of communication…please…For every 10 times a man receives fellatio, he performs cunnilingus 3 times. In the western world heterosexual sex, has always been phalocentric.  It is only since feminism made sex an issue, that women have had the courage to demand sexual satisfaction.

13. it isn’t considered sex when lesbians are intimate. Is this why the rape scene in “The Vagina Monologues is so empowering?

I have no clue what you are talking about….I left the monologue the minute she encouraged men to say the word cunt…you will have to enlighten me on what your commentary is supposed to mean.

14. Did you know you stink? Don’t worry though there are douches for that, just don’t think about what it is doing to your natural chemistry My understanding is that douches are for occasional use only, and it’s better to use the unscented vinegar-based ones. Maybe they’re telling you something different these days? That’s marketing, just like the Gardasil commercials. Did you know that 85% of the deaths from cervical cancer in the last count could have been prevented if the women had chosen to get a pap smear?

My point is that products like douches prey upon the social construction of the foulness of the vagina. There is no need for a woman to douche whatsoever.  It’s predatory.

15. Didn’t you know that women are supposed to all have hairless prepubescent bodies at all times, while men can go around looking like they belong in gorillas in the mist, with nary a batted eye Look at mass media advertising, and then ask your male friends what they prefer. I think you’ll find that preferences vary, especially when it comes to the prepubescent look. Shaving our pits and legs is part of grooming. Just like when men shave their faces, trim their beards, wear ties, all that stuff.

No we are only told that it is part of grooming.  Ask yourself why it is necessary to remove hair from the human body that does not impede someone’s functionality?  Gasp…Could it be for male pleasure. As for the Brazilian trim, please tell me the last time you saw a model with a single pube sticking through her bathing suit, or around the bikini line?  The bald muff is not about female pleasure, it is once again about the male gaze…No woman sat around one day and thought that it would be a great idea to poor hot wax on her vagina.  I can think of much better ways to spend an afternoon.

16. diet industry is dependent on your desire to conform to the ideal female form to maintain profits. Don’t worry though Jenny Craig will love you, for every dollar of your meager disposable income that you spend trying to get into an unachievable size o. Do you have any money left after purchasing your high sodium diet food? The diet industry is as bad as the pharmaceutical industry. Successful advertising is not the same as coercion. Besides, how many home gyms and protein powders are sold because men are supposed to be muscular and cut?

Right, right the money made by targeting women does not far exceed the money that is made from targeting men. Women don’t succumb to anorexia and, bulimia trying to attain these unrealistic images at a much higher rate than men…no ones fault though, everyone is innocent.  When we give a girl a Barbie Doll, we don’t set the stage for unrealistic body images…nope, not at all..the ideal body image that is crafted for women has no effect on our gender psyche at all.  Just one mass hysterical delusion. Just wondering while you are at it, do you want to tell me how easy obese women have it as well?

18. man, who even though he is five years older than you is becoming distinguished while you look dried up, and used. There are evolutionary reasons for older men being attractive to us – they represent someone more established and able to support us. As for older women looking dried up and used, I don’t think I agree with you. Yes, we lose our firmness and suppleness, but if we go into it gracefully, I think older women can be very beautiful. You can’t expect to always look fertile. Blame the primitive brain, not sexism.

Totally missed the point didn’t you.  I am saying that the media presents older men as sexy, alluring etc whereas once a woman hits 40 she is done for. Michael Douglas weds Catherine Zeta Jones, not a word said. Demi Moore gets it on with Ashton Cutcher, and she is a cradle robber.

19. You see, you took so much time out of the workforce to raise children, and take care of your elderly parents that it has effected your retirement benefits. Should you have the misfortune to outlive your spouse, and loose his share of benefits you will become a regular at food banks, and soup kitchens. Even with the discounts you will get for being a senior, economically life will be very hard for you. If you choose to stay home and raise the kids, that’s the choice you make. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been putting money into retirement since I was 30 years old. You have to take care of these things yourself, instead of expecting someone else to do it.

Here we go on the privilege roller coaster again.  You are able to save in your class bracket, ask yourself how women who are living in poverty are doing?  How will retirement benefit their already meager income. Glad to know that you support stay at home moms too, so woman positive of you.  A woman staying at home to raise children is providing a valuable service to society, and she should not be penalized economically for doing so.  While she may have removed herself from the labor market, society will benefit from the labor of her children. One other point, in most cases where a woman stays home, the husband is in a high stress, high income job.  These jobs require a support staff to be maintained, or do you believe he still picks up his own dry cleaning? The husbands ability to function is directly related to the wife performing labor in the household.

20. “Ninety percent of girls reported experiencing sexual harassment at least once. Specifically, 67 percent of girls reported receiving unwanted romantic attention, 62 percent were exposed to demeaning gender-related comments, 58 percent were teased because of their appearance, 52 percent received unwanted physical contact and 25 percent were bullied or threatened with harm by a male. 52 percent of girls also reported receiving discouraging gender-based comments on the math, science and computer abilities, usually from male peers, and 76 percent of girls reported sexist comments on their athletic abilities, again predominantly from male peers.”( a study I quoted from) Yes, but what is unwanted sexual attention? “Hey baby, give me your ass”, or “You look really sexy in that short dress”? Who isn’t teased because of their appearance? I’ve worn glasses since the 3rd grade, had acne since 6th grade. Trust me. I got teased. What about the boy who isn’t buff and wealthy? Think he’s not getting teased? Think again. That’s only your first few statistics. Question the rest of them.

Unwanted sexual attention speaks for itself.  This isn’t about teasing, this about male ownership of the female body.  Ask yourself why you don’t see hordes of women catcalling men?

21. Feminist theory is fluid, and constantly changing to meet the diverse needs of women Ah, here’s where you throw in the “all the bad stuff isn’t REAL feminism”. The convenient denial.

Actually, I am saying that unlike you colluding women, feminism does not always create a monolithic representative woman.  Just as there are many different kinds of leftist theories, there are various forms of feminist theory.  Each one has a different set of organizing principles, outcomes, and goals, but you would know that if you studied feminism beyond a Rush Limbaugh rant.

22. Simply stating the facts of the lived experience of women does not constitute the demonization of men. Why should women deny the horrors of their daily lives so that men can have a feel good experience? I never said stating the facts of our lived experience constitutes the demonization of men. I said blaming men for everything bad that has ever happened does. Is your daily life really a horror? Really?

Again this is not about me as a person.  It is about the lived experience of all women.  I certainly would not presume to think that my life mirrored that of a woman living in South Africa, or Iceland.  What I am stating is that each, and every time women confront patriarchy, we are told that we are picking on men. Heaven forbid they own their gender privilege.

23. men have been slaughtering women since the beginning of time. I couldn’t find a source that said this. Do you have one?

Cute..do the work yourself.  Men have killed women plain, and simple. Open your local paper, I am sure you will find one incident of violence by a man against a woman. 

24. Now with the aid of technology we are killed before we can even take our first breath. It is called femicide The only information I found about femicide deals with the killing of female fetuses in India. Which is absolutely horrible. But I’m a little confused. If abortion is ok, but femicide is wrong, then that only leaves the murder of male fetuses. Is this really what you’re trying to say?

Are you serious?….oh well, When a woman chooses to have an abortion because she cannot afford another child, or she simple does not want to be a mother, that is completely understandable, and acceptable.  Femicide occurs because males are valued more than females.  These abortions are coerced quite often, and they are occurring simply because the child in question is female. Abortion should not occur due to gender.

I cannot believe I made my way through all of that. Well despite the vitriol from the trolls that I got from my original post, and this response from KellyMac, I have emerged unscathed.  I have a challenge for you, take the time to think about the different ways that gender has had an impact on your life.  In each, and every single incident who has benefited?  Think outside of your personal experience, and image the life of a woman half way across the world.  What may not effect you, could be a major factor limiting her life chances. I personally identify as a womanist because I find that to be a more inclusive form of feminism, but that does not mean that I am not aware of how the social construction of gender impacts men. Take an intersectional approach to examine the different ways in which the isms combine to act as stigmatizers.  While each person must necessarily confront sites of oppression, they must also acknowledge the ways in which they are privileged. The two go hand, in hand.

Feminism is more than what you see on the evening news, and it is certainly not the hateful theory that is presented.  Keep in mind that the people most vocal in their hatred of feminism, largely neglect to mention the ways in which they continue to benefit from the oppression of women.  I cannot tell you what to think, in fact that is not my intent…I only ask you, isn’t it worth your while to just take a moment to question?  I don’t even recognize the feminism that you are decrying as a form of legitimate feminist theory, and so perhaps your idea of feminism is wrong period.  As I mentioned there are various forms of feminism to suit the diversity of women on this planet.  I will just name a few, eco-feminism, radical feminism, liberal feminism, post structural feminism, Marxist feminism, post-colonial feminism etc and etc…before you decide that feminism is bad, take the time to look at the various forms of feminism, their organizing principles, and outcomes, you might just find one that you like.



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