Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Feminism

I'll start off by saying the equal rights for women is a good thing and I don't want things to go back to a state where women are treated as less than human. Here are the benefits of feminism and equal rights for women:
  1. Women can work and support themselves. This allowed women to be independent people instead of just the property of their fathers and husbands. When someone has total power over your food, shelter, clothing, and any other needs they can become abusive. It would be hard for a woman in that situation to ever have her wishes and dreams fulfilled. This has also allowed women to support a family if their husbands died or left them. 
  2. Women can achieve what they want and influence others. Women can contribute to society, make important decisions that affect others, contribute to research and technology, write things that are read by millions, express unpopular opinions, employ others, and do many other things they could not do before. They can achieve whatever they think is important and influence society in ways that were not possible in the past. Women can also vote and have a say in what happens to them and their community.
  3. Women are protected from men. This is very important. Men are still physically more powerful than women and women are often the victims of abuse, rape, theft, and even murder committed by men. In the past some of these crimes were ignored (especially against Black women). But now the law is on the side of women when a man is the perpetrator. Laws were also created to protect women from discrimination so that sexism has become highly unpopular and punishable. 
  4. Women are considered to be important. We were no longer seen as property and our issues became important. We became individuals with inherent importance instead of just pretty dolls who should be seen and not heard. There was more to us than just being a wife and mother and those roles were no less important than a man's roles. The achievements and contributions of women are now recognized when they were ignored and ridiculed in the past. 
But I think there are some negative consequences of feminism too. I'll start off with posting a video.

    This video really made me think. Are women really treated worse than men? 

    1. Men have rejected chivalry. Men (and maybe some women) have confused having equal rights with being treated exactly the same in every area of life. Being paid the same and being seen as equally human is not the same as treating a woman exactly like a man. But because of feminism some men reason that because they don't open doors for men or pay for their dinner they don't have to do that for a woman. They ignore the fact that they are trying to win the woman over so they have to be nicer! They no longer want to be the pursuer.
    2. Men don't want to get married. Some men will even encourage women to have children and raise them alone because women are "so strong" and can earn their own money. They don't feel the need to be a husband because they will not have complete control over their wives. They would prefer it if marriage made a woman their property. Some men don't even want to be the main breadwinner anymore and have lost the drive to be successful. Some are fine with mooching off a woman and aspire to be house husbands. 
    3. Men don't feel the need to protect women. In the past (an still today to an extent) women were regarded as being weak, fragile, and in need of protection, somewhat like children. Women did not want to be compared to children. But we had a good thing going! Men would risk their lives for us, we were protected from harm, and men would let us get into lifeboats if a ship sank. This did not happen on that Italian cruise ship where the men pushed women aside and saved themselves. Men were more willing to get hurt and die for us when they considered us to be inferior to them. They liked us being dependent on them! Who would have expected that? I have even heard men online say they would punch a woman now because we are equal to men! 
    4. Everyone thinks masculine things are superior to feminine things. In the past men thought women's interests and responsibilities were unimportant, but women valued these things. Now, many women also consider traditionally feminine things to be inferior. They are rejecting useful things like cooking, sewing, and raising children and want to play football, race cars, and get tattoos. Women have taken up the stupid things that men like and look down on women who embrace the traditional. 
    The points above make me reluctant to call myself a feminist because I know that there are some feminists who will read my list of drawbacks and actually call them benefits! These women reject any chivalrous act by a man, they never want to marry (and tell other women not to marry), they refuse protection from men, and reject everything feminine. They ruin things for women like me and confuse men who prefer women like me. 

    So in my opinion, the feminists have won and they need to relax a little. Right now we have our cake and we can eat it too because we are regarded as equals yet somehow special and in need of protection. We can get the same jobs as men and employers have to change workplaces to accommodate us. The law punishes men for hurting us more severely than they do for hurting other men and we get less punishment for the same actions. The feminists have won! There are small battles that need to be fought and institutionalized sexism (just like racism), but things are not as dire as they were in the past. If they keep pushing then the drawbacks will become even more prevalent. I think it would be great if racism did not exist one day, but do I really want to see the day when women are treated exactly the same as men? I'd have to say no. 


    1. I enjoyed this post. May I suggest however that there is a difference between women's rights and feminism? Historically they are inked but feminism is an ideology while the issue of civil rights is irrespective of ideology.



    2. Thanks Jae,

      Just goes to show, I'm automatically assumed to be part of a group when I don't even understand what they really are.

      I had a nasty troll message from a disgruntled male so I deleted it. I won't allow any disrespect of women on this blog.

    3. Hey Elegant!
      I actually read that message because I am subscribed to your new comments. His post proves to me that neither black men nor black women really seem to understand the history of Feminism. Feminism is an ideology that was formulated to respond to the experiences of WHITE WOMEN, not black women. If he actually read about the different waves of Feminism, he would know that black women have historically been excluded from it. It absolutely baffled me to hear him talk about what white women were doing and ascribe it to black women. Some people actually think that black women were just as much a part of the 2nd wave and they were not, though there some groups that did identify with it. This is undoubtedly a man who has received all of his education on Feminism from other DBR men and never actually bothered to pick up a book.

      Second, Womynism, which is a black female centered world view started in the 70's BUT it was a part of the Black Power Movement and Black Liberation Theology and MANY BLACK MEN SUPPORTED IT and still do! As a matter of fact, The whole idea behind it's development was to make black women better so that they would be better for the community, which basically means black men. In reality, this is where the "race woman" concept really came from, the idea that black women must be strong and vocal so that they can continue to be the back-bone/ mules of the community.

      Thirdly, there is a difference between Womanism and Black Feminism, which is directly derivative of the wider Feminist narrative and not Black Power or BLT. Feminists themselves have criticized Womanism and Black Feminists for- get this- being too male-identified. Yes, you heard me right. Because Black Feminists and Womanists still view themselves as counterparts of men and as part of a community and when they address the issues of misogyny that black women face within the black community, they are addressing what they believe to be contemporary social issues NOT intrinsic male qualities. For example, I despise the mentality that too many black males have, the idea that they are owed something and don't have to work for anything and that they are entitled to BW's affections and attention. A Feminist- meaning white female centered Feminism- would attribute this to Patriarchy and assume that ALL men are dogs/pig/oppressors/ rapists, etc. A Womanist/Black Feminist(or any thinking person with good sense)would understand this to be generational, cultural and social and that these qualities are not something that a black man is born with and that they do not display these qualities BECAUSE OF their maleness.

      It just disgusts me how unread some people are. That guy clearly doesn't even know the difference or how to properly discuss the issues he's talking about.Sheesh.

      I however am not a Womanist as I believe, again, that this just chains black women to the community and teaches her to accept her own devalued place within it. I am also not a Black Feminists because I believe they attempt to fit the black female experience within the frame work of Feminists ideologies and values when they are clearly different.

      I am simply an individual. I am a freethinking, free soul and I don't need anybody's movement or ideals thrust upon me.My stance on black women fighting against the misogyny and hatred that they face is based on the principle that the first instinct of an organism is to preserve and protect its life. Period.

      I love your blog and I hope I have helped you or anybody else
      who reads this comment.


    4. Awake.Aware.Alive is an apt name for you. Thank you for that info. I had heard about Feminism stemming from White Women's experiences and Womanism, but not Black Feminism or many of the other details in your comment.

      I think that there is a lot that needs to be known about an ideology before one ascribes to it. That's why I don't like anyone telling me I'm a feminist when I don't know much about it and disagree with many of the things I have heard. All women are not automatically feminists.

      I think that guy was a typical Black woman hater who just wants to cause problems. It's ridiculous blaming all women for feminists beliefs and historical actions because I wasn't there and had no part in it! He wasn't a "normal" guy. But there are disgruntled males who think like that and have great animosity towards woman...beware. He sounded a lot like the men I was talking about in this post, they will protect and marry only if we give them all power back.

      By your comment about DBR I think we visit the same blog lol :) Yes. I don't want to be chained to anything. I think we need to be individuals, accept what we want from Black, White, and any other culture but reject whatever we find harmful or unhelpful.

      I'm so glad you like my blog. It's really a learning and growing experience for me. There are many things I don't know about being a woman and I will make mistakes along the way. I'll just try to be the best woman I can. I used to only listen to women who emphasized being a career woman, competing, being independent,etc., but now I'm giving the cooks, knitters, moms. and girly-girls a second look :)

    5. Hey Elegant.

      Thanks for the compliment and I loved all the points you made. I agree that Feminists think that they are owed something by ALL women and though they claim to be about female self-actualization, they actually threw traditional women under the bus. I think it was a Feminist in the '60's who said that being a housewife shouldn't be an option! They actually believe that men are evil, while I just believe it's merely in their nature to want to have a certain kind of control over certain situations in their lives, for example, that is why a man often views his job as being a central part of his identity. This isn't in and of itself bad, IMO as it is also what makes them want to protect and provide for their women and children and ensure their safety. This however becomes perverted when they try to control women, instead of situations and believe women to be their possessions as opposed to their counterparts.

      And I LOVED your last paragraph!Your humility is inspiring. I am a traditional woman and I think that people have many misconceptions about what it means and it's one of the reasons I started blogging as I think we need more representation. While I am grateful for the opportunity to pursue a career, I don't think that women who choose not too should be labeled less woman as Feminist's have treated them.

      Boy it's lovely talking to you! And thanks so much for your insights. Just gives me encouragement.


    6. Thank you for this blog. I needed it for my Sociology course. It is very informative and I agree with you about how feminist would think that the drawbacks you have stated would be benefits. It is very inspiring and it opened my eyes to the world around me. Again, Thank you.