Column elicits reader responses on feminism

By Ingrid Sanora

After a surprising amount of comments from a previous column, “HeForShe includes men in the feminism discussion,” this is a writer’s response to them. These are the comments:

PolishKnight says:

It’s amazing how Emma Watson and the proponents of this HeForShe campaign continue to fail to see how their very position illustrates what they deny: That feminism is a man-hating feminine entitlement movement. Feminists declare women are oppressed and their problems should come first and then men’s problems, “hope”fully (author’s own words) will come around later. How helpful! That’s like saying that the wealthy should get corporate welfare to ensure they’re rich and after they feel that their lives are perfect, the poor will benefit later from jobs provided by the rich.

That’s “trickle down economics” but at a gender level. They claim that feminism is about eliminating judging people based upon gender but feminism’s first principle is that all men, even some homeless guy on a bench, are “privileged” and collectively guilty while women are all victims, even affluent ones such as Emma Watson, and entitled to special privileges.

Then they get “sick” of people not jumping to please them. The world is such a selfish place! A wealthy 1st world woman is complaining and sometimes people don’t run up to congratulate her! Life is SO hard! In the meantime, feminism just grinds its gears stuck in the mud of its own rhetoric.

KMFDM99 says:

“I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig.” (Andrea Dworkin; from her book Ice and Fire)

a.k.a. Doug Dante says:

The Washington Times wrote: A Huffington Post poll this year found only about a quarter of American women identify as “feminist.”

…overwhelming majorities of Americans are feminist by the Merriam-Webster definition of the world: Over 80 percent of men and women, Democrats and Republicans, tell pollsters they agree that “men and women should be social, political and economic equals.” …

It is disingenuous of forums like Ms. Magazine to use the Merriam-Webster definition of feminism, when in other contexts — when feminists want to police the boundaries of feminism — the Merriam-Webster definition is treated as woefully inadequate. Nora Ephron, for example, insists, “You can’t call yourself a feminist if you don’t believe in the right to abortion.” Ditto Rebecca Traister, Anna Holmes, Emily’s List, and the National Organization for Women (NOW) which also hold support for abortion as a necessary condition of feminism. And anyone with even passing familiarity with feminism’s journey from First, Second, and Third Waves knows what it means to be feminist has been stuffed with many more requirements than mere equality between women and men. Distilling feminism to that alone seems quaint, because we all know it is. ..

From “Feminism self-contradictory in debate over Michelle Obama: Washington Times” For a different perspective on equality, please visit the reddit men’s rights forum and read our FAQ.

Alex Reynard says:

I will believe that feminism stands for equality when I see any effort, at all, put into some SheForHe. Maybe things like mothers against infant circumcision? Women raising awareness that men can be raped by women, and it’s just as serious a crime? Domestic violence shelters adding space for male victims? Raising awareness about the hundreds of thousands of prison rape victims? Wives protesting alimony as the patriarchal anachronism it is?

I first want to begin with a poem that was adapted from another poem originally done by Nancy R. Smith in 1973.
“For Every Woman” adapted:
“For every girl who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a boy tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable. For every boy who is burdened with the constant expectation of knowing everything, there is a girl tired of people not trusting her intelligence. For every girl who is tired of being called over-sensitive, there is a boy who fears to be gentle, to weep. For every boy for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity, there is a girl who is called unfeminine when she competes. For every girl who throws out her E-Z-Bake Oven, there is a boy who wishes to find one. For every boy struggling not to let advertising dictate his desires, there is a girl facing the ad industry’s attacks on her self-esteem. For every girl who takes a step toward her liberation, there is a boy who finds the way to freedom a little easier.”

The last line of this adaptive poem speaks a great deal to what I was trying to say in my last column. Men are just as affected by society’s negative views of feminine qualities. From childhood, men are taught this idea that being a women or showing emotion from pain of any kind, is somehow inferior to showing no emotions at all. What is so wrong with expressing how you feel, whether it be by the way of tears, anger or anything similar? It’s a natural human instinct to do those things!

This movement does not want to exclude men; it can’t afford to because this is a human rights movement.

On another note, women want to be considered equal in authority and just as valued in society. If you think wanting equal pay for the doing the same job is just us women wanting to be “entitled to special privileges,” well, that says a lot more about you than it does about the rest of us. Even in regards to health, women haven’t received proper diagnoses because studies for most diseases are done on men first. Gloria Steinem once said, “In a general way, anything that affects men is taken more seriously than anything that affects only women.” For instance, heart disease. For years it was only thought men were the prime targets for it. It is only within the last 10 or 20 years that studies have been done and well, women get heart disease, too. It is actually the number one killer of women. Before studies were done on women for this disease, physicians would tell their female patients would diagnose them with other problems when in fact it was heart disease; there are completely different symptoms for women.

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, men do have it easier in almost every circumstance. In the case of a homeless man on the street, they would have it easier than a homeless woman in the same situation. Why you ask? That’s simple; they’re a man. The homeless woman is more likely to get raped or robbed than a homeless man.

In regards to this assumption that you must believe abortion is morally right to be considered a feminist, it is simply untrue. You must believe a woman has the capability to make that decision herself. Whether you find abortion to be morally right or not, women should have the right to make those kind so decisions themselves. Just because it’s not your belief does not mean you get to impose your beliefs onto someone else. It doesn’t affect you.

Our society has been nothing but “SheForHe.” That is why feminism exists!

This movement isn’t going to see progress if we all do not come together. Here’s another quote by Gloria Steinem: “The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.”

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