Why do men, particularly the men I've encountered on dating websites while here in New Orleans, have to be so stupid about the term feminism?
Let's get this straight: feminism is the notion that in absolute terms men and women (and anywhere along the gender spectrum) are equals--none inherently better or worse than another.
I ask why this is so difficult to understand because I have encountered a series of maddening messages from all kinds.
One man said he wanted to be messaged by women who were "real feminist" & gave Gloria Steinem as an example of what he meant. I noted to him that I, and probably Gloria Steinem, took exception to this notion that there was real or not real feminism and that he, a single, well-off, white man, really shouldn't go about thinking he was the arbiter of the definition of feminist. He told me I didn't get to say who was feminist or not & said was closed minded because I took exception to his (rather limiting) definition of feminism...Truly!
Next I had a man ask me why I was on a dating site looking to meet men if I was a feminist. Didn't that mean that I "did not need a man?" My only guess is that he was confusing feminism for lesbianism. In which case, it would be weird of me to find a guy on a dating site if I identified as a lesbian. As it is I'm about a .5 on the Kinsey scale. My straightness is the only boring thing about my sexuality.
And finally there was a man who, with every sentence I said, replied back as if I had said something else. I said I thought we all needed to honor the Venus archetype more and that's what my style website (http://www.vintagebridgestyle.com) was all about. He replied that he agreed and skinny heroin-addict looking models should not be all the rage. To which I replied that it wasn't about size. (I think everyone should strive to be healthy and happy. I eat my 5 fruit & veg. I try to walk a lot every day. Someday soon I'll stop neglecting my yoga.)
Anyway, I said it wasn't about size, it was about no longer being afraid or apologetic about being sexy. To which he again put words in my mouth and said, "oh yeah somewhere along the way feminism got screwed up." I was about ready to call it quits on this fella because what's the point of talking to someone who reads your words but then replied as if you said something altogether different? But I did anyway and noted I definitely didn't say that -- but "always along the way wherever there's a patriarchy, there's an objectification and simultaneous denigration of female sexuality that's a lot of bullshit."
And then he proceeded to say he stood by what he said, and that though [feminism] started out about wanting to end discrimination that "somewhere an element of man hate entered the scene", that he knew I knew what he meant about feminism being "plain anti sexy" even if I didn't want to "admit it" and wanted to "blame it all on the patriarchy." So! I stopped engaging with that ridiculous troll. Whatever his issue is, it's not going to be resolved in conversation with me.
But I haven't fully said my piece. This is just for those who are tired of battling idiots who still take exception to the word feminist in one way or another. First this polarizing is, in and of itself a trick, so to speak, of detractors. Divide and conquer. There's nothing to "admit" when it comes to various factions of feminism promoting or denigrating one thing or another. It's there and discussed already. I have a series of books from my women's studies classes laying a bunch of them out! Don't need a sniveling hater from the Internet to make me "admit" it; we can just go back 20 years to my Women Studies minor term papers. There they are, those differences, all laid out and discussed. And it was actually only a smattering -- the branches of feminism types are as varied and infinite as women & female identified people themselves. And it's part of the process with any social justice issue. Lots of voices, lots of concerns, lots of iterations.
Secondly, I do and will and will always "blame" patriarchy for everything when it comes to the rights of women. Make no mistake, young man from the Internet, it's not just to blame. It is the source from which we all (you included) suffer.
Thirdly, on the most personal note--why the hell do people troll? It won't make your penis bigger. It won't make your mum love you more. It won't get that pretty girl who wouldn't talk to you from high school to have romantic feelings for you suddenly. It just makes you look sad and pathetic. I really must remember to block and delete the moment my instinct says so. It never goes well if I don't.