Hello all, today I am here to talk about my stance on some of the misconceptions I have seen online about women, feminism and misogyny both of which are topics that I do have somewhat strong opinions about. Before I crack on, I want to put these definitions out there.
The advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.
The dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
The dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men (i.e. the male sex)
All definitions from Oxford Dictionary
Calling Out Men’s Behaviour Doesn’t Make One a Feminist or a Misandrist
Just because somebody is pointing some of the things that women go through the hands of men doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual identifies as a feminist or is a flat-out misandrist. Sometimes, speaking on an experience that we as women go through is purely to raise awareness of our plight and hopefully to come to a resolution for it. Pointing out detrimental behaviour that SOME men exhibit during breakups, for example, doesn’t mean that we hate you as a whole species you know. We simply want to highlight that this specific behaviour that SOME men exhibit is not cool. The same way I mentioned previously of the UK media using the term woke as an insult, I also feel like the term feminist is hurled out in a similar manner simply because a woman chooses to bold and speak up about an issue of injustice. Something else that needs to stop happening is the outcry when a woman who is vocal about calling out trash behaviour from men falls pregnant. I noticed this with added vim from both sides of the gender coin when Grace Ajilore announced her pregnancy. Again, highlighting the trash behaviour of some men and wanting women to want better for themselves in terms of relationships doesn’t mean that all men are trash, therefore, I am very sure regardless of them being vocal about such issues, they have every right to enter a wholesome healthy relationship with a good man.
Constantly Vilifying Men Whilst Forgetting the Essence of Feminism Is Misandry
Now the true essence of feminism is for men and women to be equal in all walks and aspects of life. However, in reference to the aforementioned section, there definitely is a very fine line between advocating for feminism and straight-up misandry. There is a huge difference between wanting to raise awareness for women’s rights and suggests practical ways to combat them and inciting inflammatory remarks along the lines of male genocide in order to combat these problems. Just to be clear, that is not what the essence of feminism is, based on my reading of it anyway, because doing so somewhat defeats the purpose of what you are campaigning for. In the same way, women speak up against misogyny, it cannot be battled by dashing misandry back at it because then nothing will get resolved. One could easily argue that it is this underlying misandry by some operating in the feminist movement that makes some be lead to believe that ALL feminist hate men. A prime example of this, in my opinion, was Valerie Solanas who is identified as being a radical feminist more renowned for her SCUM Manifesto book. The underlying intention of critiquing patriarchy was good however it easily crossed the line and ventured into misandry based on her criticisms of the male sex in which she concluded that complete elimination of the male sex was imperative.
Christianity Being Used To Fuel Misogyny
As a young Christian woman, it irks me when I see Christianity being used to perpetuate messages that are laced with underlying misogyny. The one that really grinds my gears is the women submitting to their husbands as highlighted in Ephesians 5. I feel like SOME men are really quick to recite Ephesians 5:22 but then get selective amnesia when asked to account for how a husband is supposed to love their wife (Ephesians 5:25-28). Running with Ephesians 5:22, it’s no wonder why that particular verse gets manipulated in some preachings without adequate referral to the footnotes in the Amplified Version which I will gladly include here.
1. Ephesians 5:22 The wife to her husband, not to men in general; not as inferior to him, nor in violation of her Christian ethics, but honouring her husband as protector and head of the home, respecting the responsibility of his position and his accountability to God.
Ephesians 5:22 and footnote (Amplified Version)
There it is! Your wife is not inferior to you in your marriage in fact no woman is inferior to you period. I have said this countless times, I will not be submitting to anyone’s son that I cannot trust to be the protector of our house and will lead us to nonsense. Something else I want to touch on is the idea that women are held accountable for ensuring that men don’t fall into lust by being mindful and careful of how we dress/act. Firstly, we should ALL be operating with wisdom and self-control in the first place so why should women have to be more mindful to accommodate for any potential shortcomings of men. Secondly, I have a feeling that this is also a manipulation of Matthew 5:28 because reading Matthew 5:27-30 for context is making reference to both men committing adultery and how Christians should react to temptation regardless of gender. At the end of the day, you will be held accountable for your own actions and trying to pass the buck on to someone else simply won’t work. Overall, it’s just a shame that sometimes Christianity is used to perpetuate and almost establish these ideals.
Different Biology Doesn’t Make One Superior To the Other
Women and men have their respective anatomies/fundamental biology however these differences do not necessarily render one gender more superior than the other. For example, when it comes to working, I personally believe as long as a man and a woman have the same experience, same qualifications and are competent I don’t see why hiring a woman will be more of a problem. The idea that the sheer possibility of a woman falling pregnant and going on maternity leave means that she can get overlooked for a job unsettles me. I also want to slip in the fact that I am an advocate for new fathers in the UK having an extended paid paternity leave because what is 2 weeks? Two weeks to bond with your new child because of the pressure to ensure they are still working and earning money is somehow to me. The UK should look to their agemates in Japan that offer a total of 52 weeks (30 weeks paid full rate). As an aspiring academic, it seems that a lot of time women are almost forced to choose between a family and a career and I don’t see why that should be the case. This goes back to my previous post about representation in academia and the vast difference between the proportion of women and men in higher academic positions (and not to mention the damning statistic of black women in these positions!). The same report also touches upon the likelihood that men are more likely to have a higher salary compare to females which baffles me especially when this occurs within the same position. I don’t see why two employees with the same credentials are being paid differently for the same role and I also don’t see why being a different gender should alter/hinder one’s progression. We shouldn’t have to fear stagnancy in our careers because of our ability to carry a precious life for 9 months.
Sexual Liberation Is Not Negative and Owning Sexuality Doesn’t Make One A Commodity
The topic of sexual liberation causes a lot of divide in opinions but ultimately I don’t think that it should be seen as a negative thing. I am all for sexual liberation because you ultimately decide what you want to do with your body and what you deem to be comfortable. In my opinion, whether a woman chooses to be abstinent, celibate or decides to explore her sexuality that is her form of sexual liberation. That is the choice she has made so no woman should be made to feel any way about that choice. Unfortunately, I see women get attacked in some way shape or form for all of those above choices from both sides of the gender coin. I have written two blog posts on my views of slut-shaming (which can be seen here and here) however I want to touch on the idea of women being seen as a commodity when they choose to own their sexuality. To SOME men out there, I’m gonna need you to stop using this as an excuse to be a disrespectful somebody who wasn’t raised with manners and basic decency to respect women outside of your house. A trend I have noticed with SOME men is that they like the idea of a woman that owns her sexuality for whatever personal reason but the moment she wants to set boundaries all of a sudden is a problem. They get butt hurt because of their personal assumptions and forget the big elephant in the room of women having autonomy over their bodies. This same entitlement is what leads SOME men to commit crimes like sexual assault and harassment which I covered in my post about sexual assault.
All in all, just because society says something is the norm doesn’t mean I will conform to it if it doesn’t agree with me I will not hesitate to say something.
Until next time guys,