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.
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.