How a Single Childless Blogger Rails Against Feminism

I don’t know if any of my blogging buddies follow Jason Cushman at the Opinionated Man, but that guy is weirdly fascinating.

He blogs multiple times a day and has about 58 billion followers, a practically hypnotic feat to the rest of us trying to light up our miniscule grains of sand along this massive blogging beach.

Okay, it’s more like 58 thousand, but it may as well be 58 million to those of us trying to break a few hundred daily views.

At any rate, he blogs often enough it’s tough to keep up with him. But today, he reblogged a post  entitled Seven People That Need Punching in The Crotch and I just had to click.

Maybe it’s because the title sounded so similar to People I Want To Punch In the Throat, a hilarious blog I love, but I was intrigued.

Turns out, it was a post from a forty-something woman, called Skinny and Single. Her first crotch-punching-worthy listed group were those calling her a feminist.

I just had to read on…

She says she’d actually love to let some guy make all the money while she cooks, cleans the house and takes care of the kids. Alright…

#4 ended up being “actual” feminists, who want the same pay for the same jobs, despite their inability to move heavy tires as fast as many men. #6 was about “stupid bitches” who want access to men’s only areas. And #7 was about “stupid women” who want time off work for their periods.

She concluded by assuring us she was neither a feminist nor a “social justice warrior” (a phrase loved so much by the MRA that it’s often used in abbreviated form). She despaired for the legacy of future generations, since these feminists types care so little about their feminine instincts that they’ve supposedly shucked their motherly responsibilities to spend time hating on men.

Wow.

Baffled by her rant, I couldn’t help but read some of her other postings. Turns out, she’s a single woman who doesn’t want children (because they’re all brats), who loves her freedom as well as the sense of accomplishment gained from fixing her own car and solving mechanical issues about the house.

Her lack of interest in raising children, of course, doesn’t stop her from proselytizing about the downfall of the modern family unit or telling everyone else how they should be raising their kids.

The most baffling thing, however, is how she seems like such a nice person. She’s funny, and yet I can’t quite how reconcile her outspoken hatred of feminism in light of her lifestyle choices it made possible.

I find it ironic that I consider myself a feminist, despite being a stay-at-home mom with girly tendencies, while this single woman, who boasts about her independence and rails against potentially having kids, rejects the idea wholesale.

It makes me wonder how we define feminism these days. Because for me, it means equal opportunity and equal choices. In a pre-feminism world, for example, she’d be considered an unnatural whore for rejecting her primary role as a mother and homemaker.

I support her choice not to have children, just as I expect society to accept mine. I believe the wage gap is a systemic problem… women still typically take on the chief responsibilities of parenting within a system that offers primitive parental leave options and no subsidized daycare. Not a conscious effort on the part of employers, per se, but a societal framework that doesn’t take families into account.

And whenever it makes sense for fathers to become primary caretakers (because of their individual natures or the type of work that they do), I support it entirely. I think stay-at-home fathers are great, believing paternity leave is also an important issue in a culture that used to deny fathers the respect they are clearly due.

I’d assume she was simply taking feminist movement gains for granted, except that she’s older than I. Not young enough to forget everything feminists fought for, to assume that proudly announcing her desire for an independent career over children could be anything less than a basic right.

If this woman, who is single in her forties, doesn’t want children, and prides herself in her independence, rejects feminism… then what do people now think feminism means?

Forty years ago, women had to include photos on employment applications. They had to report their weight and height, say whether they intended on having children and when they usually had their periods. Applications were color-coded in blue or pink, so employers would know instantly whether they were dealing with women or a men.

Nowadays, discrimination still exists though it’s less conscious. For example, when researchers at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences sent employment applications to chemistry, biology, and physics labs differing only by the gender of applicants’ names,  employers considered females less competent, less hirable, less worthy of mentorship, and offered them lower starting salaries.

Our biases may now be subconscious, which is far tougher to legislate than overtly discriminatory practices, but a handicap just the same. I don’t know the best ways to address it, but I’m guessing that promoting MRA arguments won’t help.

Maybe we’ve reached the point where all but the most extremist feminists will identify accordingly. Only the most irrational, angry, hostile-towards-men will still openly recognize any biases. I’m saddened by this, out of fear that anyone working toward equal opportunities will be summarily dismissed as a man-hating harpy.

So, I’ll just go ahead and declare myself a feminist, a stay-at-home mom who loves her family dearly and has no issues with the average guy. No group, whether male or female, black or white, rich or poor, holds a monopoly on righteousness, but that doesn’t make systematic discrimination any more fair.

And she can continue to reject the idea of marriage or family, brag about her independence, and make fun of feminists. They sacrificed quite a lot to give her the choices that she’s now making, but if she tries hard enough, perhaps she can roll society back a few decades and make her lifestyle obsolete.

After all, we don’t move heavy tires as efficiently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

91 Comments

  1. Interesting thoughts on this. Feminism is often seen as women hating on men, but you’re right those that call themselves feminists are widening the argument out to a point where I don’t know anymore.
    Hope life is treating you well Erin 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s seen that way, but I believe that’s only the extremists. When only the extremists are left talking, it skews our idea.

      Almost makes me think we should scrap the word and call ourselves something else. So many different viewpoints under the same umbrella, it loses its meaning anyway.

      It is, Simon. Hope you’re doing well too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Erin! Nice to meet you. Thanks for the thoughtful post, I’ve shared on my Twitter. 🙂

    Isn’t Jason awesome? Love him so much, he likes to stir the pot and create awesome conversations just like I do.

    And yes, I’m a very nice person and I do have two kids. 🙂

    Will read more of your stuff for sure!! Thanks for connecting 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nice to meet you too. I enjoyed reading your blog, even if I took issue with a post or two.

      And I didn’t get that you had a couple of kids (clearly). Your satire was apparently flawless. Maybe a little too flawless for me.

      But undeniably interesting, either way 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you!!! My favourite saying that I live by every day “if you haven’t started a war, have you even written?”

        I enjoy the conversations and it would be boring if everyone agreed with me all the time 🙂

        Yell at me here hahaha

        Thanks for coming over!

        Liked by 2 people

          1. It really isn’t fun. I tried to do it for like two years, and failed. So now I just call people out on their shhhhh and watch the chaos unfold as they realize what a-holes they’ve been. 😀

            Liked by 2 people

                    1. Yep, yep. 😉 I did a breastfeeding cover post and literally got torn to shreds in my local mommy group (I mean cave of hell). One of my best days for exposure though! 😉 Haha do you have a twitter? Because I can’t find it! 😀

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Ooh yes, I can imagine. Breastfeeding is a touchy subject on both sides. Don’t piss off LLL or you’ll end up in boobie jail.

                      Good exposure though? They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

                      I am on Twitter, @ByerlyErin. Though I really need to spend more time on the thing.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. LLL? Never heard that one! 🙂 Haha I’m perpetually in boobie jail because I don’t exist to valid the feelings of other breastfeeding moms and have no problem with saying so. I’m just like, do your think and own it, if one measly opinion on the interwebs through you that off balance, you need to put less stock in other people. LOL 😀 Awesomesauce! I’ll go check it out.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    4. Haha! I’ve never seen people lose their minds so quickly. 😄 It was amazing. I think I was called a slut shamer (by someone who admitted to not reading the article), a victim of patriarchy, brain-washed, etc etc etc. Funnnnn times. 😉 Haha

                      Liked by 1 person

          1. Ha! It’s true. And about time someone pointed that out.

            Because most of us were pretending not to be scared in the delivery room, hoping all the crazy lumps would even out.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Good point. You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting a comment section where everyone’s coming unglued. Here we are, debating things rationally and listening to each other’s ideas. Makes me feel almost civilized 🙂

              Liked by 3 people

  3. Ah, Erin, You have Laura pegged SO wrong lol. Let’s just say I’m one of the lucky people to know her more personally than I should. And, there are no innuendos there lol. Just a happily married man to have her as a friend.

    She fights for both men and women. I like her style, she’s one of the few women I know that understands the realities that the feminist movement has had for men. We are a traditional species living in a modern world – why can’t we just live to the best of our genders abilities, right? 🙂

    Enjoyed reading your post! – as you say. The world would be boring if we agreed 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That seems possible, from what I’ve been hearing. I read several of her posts after discovering this latest one, and liked her and found her writing hilarious, even when I took issue with what she said.

      Her post touched a nerve in me because feminism has become such a dirty word. It seems like only the extremists are identifying with it lately, and I definitely don’t agree with everything every feminist has ever said.

      I worry about those of us who want to tackle issues like better maternity leave (as well as paternity leave, for that matter) being branded as man haters, when it couldn’t be further from the truth. There has to be a more reasonable middle ground.

      I think we sorted out our differences, though, in a surprisingly civilized way 🙂

      Thank you for reading! I’m a little surprised and flattered by all the controversy my blogging started today 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’ve just gained a new follower too! And me too 😀

        And awesome to meet your acquaintance, I just wish at times my writing would create similar controversy. Because I always say when people get angry, you create conversation, differences are aired and problems get solved.

        It’s a good thing if you think of it that way 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Her satirical post aside, I too hate that feminism has become a dirty word. I know of people who think feminists go around disapproving of women who shave their legs or like to sew. I’m sure those people do exist, but like you said – they’re at the extreme end of the spectrum, and extremists of ANY group make everyone else look bad. I for one am a feminist who shaves regularly, likes to wear pretty clothes, and knows how to crochet – but I don’t think these activities are in some way my “duty” as a woman, nor do I look down on women who don’t enjoy those things.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think extremists tend to get more coverage because controversy is exciting, which can make them seem more representative of the norm than they are. To my way of thinking, as long as you believe men and women should have fair rights and opportunities, that makes you a feminist by its old-school definition.

        A friend of mine, though, once ranted on Facebook about an article proposing we bring computer training into elementary schools to help encourage little girls to later pursue STEM careers.

        The article wasn’t saying little boys wouldn’t have access, just that it might sustain technological interests of computers were introduced at an earlier age. My friend, however, went sideways talking about how feminism will destroy little boys by pushing women into unnatural careers.

        That’s the kind of overreaction I’m taking about… Automatically assuming whenever women are mentioned, it’s about man-hating extremists trying castrate everyone.

        It feels akin to rejecting the civil rights movement just because a few radical members once pushed for a race war.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I get your perspective and I understood the draw to the word. I simply have no use for the word feminism and have always followed the term equality. I will say I find comments like the one recently left where a feminist will say “I’m sure those people who exist” when speaking of the man haters amusing. I find it amusing because feminists use the same tags and many of the same forums, I know because my articles have been blasted on them. For every feminist such as yourself, who does believe in equal rights and not man hate, I’ve met five that will spout the hate. So again, it is amusing when people try to play the extremist down as a “small group,” when we all know they are much more dominate than that in your movement.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Perhaps that’s true, or perhaps they seem more prevalent because they’re more likely to comment–more likely to be offended by minor things and go off.

            Kind of like Yelp reviews. People are more motivated to speak up when they’re mad.

            But I think the extremists have maybe poisoned the well.

            Liked by 1 person

                1. That’s the same struggle all movements face though. It is all about what is important to the members of that movement. Fighting in retaliation and to clarify OR making sure the movement is understood from the get.

                  Liked by 1 person

        1. I wasn’t really expecting one, it was more a thought. I see a lot of stuff cause I read a lot of blogs on my spare time. There is a lot of hate, but a lot of love out there too. I don’t see them as an extremist group anymore though. 🙂

          Have a good one and thanks for the response!

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Same here. I’m mostly a girly-girl myself, but support everyone’s right to be however they want. Wearing dresses and heels because you like them is completely different from being told you have to.

      And yeah, there are women who consider lipgloss a tool of patriarchal oppression, but that has to be a tiny percentage of the group. I’m guessing the majority just want fair opportunity and to not automatically be shoved into gender boxes.

      But with all this bad publicity, only the most radical elements are owning the word, so it gets worse and worse, IMO. I don’t know whether more moderates should speak up, or if we should just scrap the term and rebrand.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s definitely tempting to drop the term, and on the bright side, we might also lose the word “meninist” as well 😉 Although, I think it’d be tough for to get people to take the new one seriously, and to understand the difference in meanings.

        You’re good with words – what ideas do you have for a new term? I’ve got nothing haha.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You may be right, though I’m pragmatic by nature. Part of me thinks we could be more effective if we got rid of all the baggage and connotations.

          Maybe I’m being overly optimistic.

          At any rate, thanks for the vote of confidence, but that’s a tough challenge, renaming the entire faction, lol. I suppose we’d need to define our platform first.

          Do we recognize inherent gender differences (pregnancy and childbirth) and push for better family accommodation? That would help economic disparities (for childless women too, because they wouldn’t be considered potentially poor investments). But then we could turn it into a family movement, which might make people more cooperative (men have families too).

          How do we handle subconscious biases? We know they’re there, but it’s tough to legislate. Do we focus on saying everyone is the same or promote more respect for feminine qualities in general?

          It’s dizzying. Maybe we could be for “civil choices,” kind of a knock-off of the civil right idea that wants to offer people more choices instead of prescribed roles.

          Will have to work on this.

          Do we recognize differences? Do we

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m definitely digging the “civil choices” idea, because I think feminism (or the new term) should be for both men and women, both single people and families, and so on. We can recognize and acknowledge how all of these groups are disparaged against in some way – women are paid less, and men are still seen as clumsy and inept at child-rearing. There are difficulties that families face, and ones that single people deal with as well.

            Although, I guess if you make it that broad, then it’s not much of a movement anymore. It’s just a meeting of people agreeing that we’ve all got our own disadvantages, and then going home without changing anything.

            You’re right, this is dizzying haha. I think I managed to confuse myself!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Well I’m thinking something like the “civil choice” movement (or the like) would sound more like civil rights, which mainly helped minorities but didn’t sound exclusionary.

              Not that I think it inherently is (men need to be free to form individual identities and have secure parenting rights, etc), but it’s so often viewed that way.

              Totally agree about the irritating inept father trope. It’s insulting to the many great dads out there and also hints that women should handle the bulk of childcare, supposedly being naturally more capable.

              I hate it when people talk about dads “babysitting” their own kids.

              Everyone group really does have their issues, don’t they? Makes it tough.

              My thoughts about hitting the family work/life balance angle is that it would end up helping many groups. Women, because the burdens of child bearing/rearing put our group at a disadvantage, fathers would also benefit (fewer family burdens) and better work hour caps and vacation time would protect single people from picking up the slack.

              Course, I care about employment and health care reforms in general.

              These are tangible policies we could change. What frustrates me most about sexism is not knowing how to tackle it. How can you stop people from subconsciously viewing women as less capable, for example? We can’t make it illegal.

              We know it happens, but what can we do? Can’t legislate the subconscious. It starts to feel like a bunch of astute commentary after a while, without any clear strategies behind it.

              Argh…

              Liked by 1 person

  5. I think the reason feminism has become a dirty word and associated with the “extremist” is obviously because they are the most vocal and those feminist that purport support for men and true equal rights are simply not loud enough. Or they don’t care to fight with women… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, and I think many reasonable moderates don’t speak up because they’re afraid of being grouped in with the hostile element.

      It’s also tough to deal with as a “feminist mom,” because some progressive women make a point of denouncing women for getting married and having children. They want to distance themselves so much from traditional ideas of women being viewed as walking kid machines, they overstep the mark. We end up not making reforms that would help working families (both moms and dads).

      I care about protecting the rights of families but also want a world where my daughters have fair opportunity. Sheesh… Maybe we should just break off and rename our group 🙂

      Like

          1. It is because the word and movement attempted to highjack equal rights and force every man and woman to acknowledge its existence. 🙂

            People have been fighting for equality before feminism was even thought of. Many feminists, not you, but many forget this.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m happy to jump onto the general equality bandwagon, as long as women don’t get thrown under the bus. Like, I’ve heard pregnancy workplace protections and maternity leave called sexist entitlements many times (since men can’t get pregnant).

              Technically true, though that would make time off for vasectomies or prostate cancer treatments entitlements too.

              We can all agree on equality, hopefully. As long as we are reasonable about what that means. I wonder how often terms like “feminist” cloud the issues.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I followed OM for awhile, but then unfollwed him because I kind of became overwhelmed with the number of posts everyday.

    Oh geez what a mess of a contradiction she seems to be. I think feminism is just supporting the idea that woman can choose. They can choose to stay at home, have kids, don’t have kids, work. It doesn’t matter. As long as we get to choose.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I couldn’t agree more. To me, it means to freedom to choose your own destiny and do what you want, whether it’s focusing on a family and/or building a career, wearing lipstick or shaving your head.

      We forget we didn’t always have these choices (one of my English professors attended Harvard back when female students couldn’t use the library at certain times) and I hate denounce feminism because of the hard work so many of them did to make these choices possible.

      It has all gotten so complicated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I am so grateful to live in a time that is more open in that respect. I cannot imagine not being able to go to the library whenever I need or want to.
        The inequality in pay thing does get under my skin. Not all jobs that men or woman do require heavy lifting. So if I am sitting in an office doing the same job as the man next to me and doing a better at it, I deserve to be able to make more.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Mine too. It’s a complicated issue.

          On the one hand, they say it’s partly because women more frequently take jobs that allow them flexibility for families.

          But on the other, if we had more family-friendly policies, women wouldn’t shoulder the burdens as much. It isn’t direct, intentional inequality, but ends up that way.

          I think dropping policies about sharing salary info would also be helpful. It would give us more room to negotiate. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Couldn’t help but catch the comment! I now have a personal blog that is self hosted which doesn’t send nearly as much email. You don’t have to subscribe, but I thought I’d let you know. Have a good one! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ugh. We fight each other when our ego means more to us than the cause. I think my generation does the worst of it, too. It’s like we made a little progress and then didn’t know what to do next. Women supporting other women is the real feminism. Anybody who says different has something to sell.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! Whatever we want to call it, I wish women would support each other. We’re over half the population… so much potential if we could just cut down on the infighting. 🙂

      Like

  8. Some women can’t even recognise that feminism brought them their own liberation! Ignorance brings out the worst in the best of people. She might come across well-meaning, but she has no clue that her list of people she hates is actually downright nasty. Her life choices are her life choices, but everyone else also has a right to not be judged.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree… I’ve heard so many stories from my mother and grandmother about how things used to be (filling out pink-colored job applications for women, for example, and having to disclose the dates of your period and whether or not you would have children) that I’m grateful for everything women went through to leave us better opportunities.

      Whether or not women focus on career or family or both, we have more bargaining room now. I think many women just don’t know how things used to be.

      Like

  9. Your post beautifully summarizes a dichotomy within feminism: We are afraid to call ourselves feminists but at the same time, we often feel guilty for taking on traditionally female tasks. I love to cook and now I’ve started my blog to show that cooking and being a feminist can go hand in hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? I think many women are afraid to call themselves feminists because they think it means you can’t do or be anything traditionally feminine.

      And there are some extremists that believe that, which doesn’t help…

      But I think it should just mean you aren’t forced to be traditionally feminine–that you have choices.

      Thanks for reading! 🙂 I’ll be checking out your blog too

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post. I, too, am often baffled when I meet independent women who claim they aren’t feminists. When I press them on the matter, I find it’s often because they either don’t really know what feminism is or they have this idea in their minds that we feminists all hate men. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Feminism really seems to be taking on a lot of baggage these days, always defined by the most irrational extremists.

      I’m also not the stereotypical feminist… I stay home with the kids while writing n the side, am a girly-girl who probably seems pretty traditional.

      But the difference is believing we should be able to make that choice ourselves, rather than have it foisted upon us. I think stay-at-home dads are great. I also think it’s perfectly reasonable for women to opt out of motherhood to focus on careers or attempt to do both.

      I feel a certain loyalty to the many feminists throughout history who put themselves in the crosshairs to bring us the vote, give us access to the workplace, change the notion that women are intellectually inferior, and so on. It really bothers me when women who have capitalized on those gains trash the hardworking women who made them possible.

      Like

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