Unless you’ve been living in a cave or the Midwest, you’ve noticed spring (weather) is finally here! Yes, the beautiful time of year when the birds are back, flowers are blooming, and the thaw of winter is behind us. With the return of the sun comes the return of outdoor recreational reading. There’s nothing I love more about my outdoor porch than curling up in my favoring chair, and with a glass of lemonade beside me flipping the pages of a wonderful book between my hands. One such book I had the pleasure of reading was The Guy’s Guide to Feminism. It’s a brief but well written read that’s sure to fit into anyone’s schedule and personal feminist level.
I’ve never been one for activist groups. I remember sophomore year in high school a teacher horrified and enraged all of my friends and I at the atrocities being committed in Darfur. Under the idea we could actually end it, (yes we did actually believe we could,) we began holding awareness meetings, which turned into a club, which turned into bake sales and t-shirt sales, which then turned into benefit concerts and more. Eventually though, we all met a reality that no matter what we did, there was some other obstacle we had to climb, a constant up-hill battle that seemed to not only get steeper but more slippery as we ascended. The club eventually dissolved the following year after we lost our hope and drive in our impact.
Most recently I came across several male activist organizations that advocate stopping sexual assault of women and sexual discrimination in general. While I knew many activist groups against rape existed, I didn’t know of ones that were focused on men’s roles and reforming men. Not only did the majority of these explain the depth of injustices our patriarchal society have caused, but also the breadth in men’s ability to change the world around him for the benefit of those oppressed by the patriarchy.
I recently came across a quiz in Cosmopolitan that inspired this week’s myth-busting post. The quiz gave a series of questions ultimately leading the reader to discover whether she liked it hard, gentle or a mix of both in the bedroom. I gave the survey some thought, and after doing a tad bit of research, decided to de-bunk this myth once and for all. Continue reading
Hello ShoutOut readers. Today, I want to bust one myth that I had not really considered until it was brought up on a show that I had been watching. I was recently re-watching a few episodes of one of my favorite shows, Reba, where Reba’s teenage daughter, Cheyenne, gets pregnant at seventeen. Her principal tries to expel her from school because she does not want the school’s reputation to be ruined because of a pregnant teen. However, Reba asks if Van (Cheyenne’s boyfriend and the expectant father) will also be expelled and the principal says, “Setting limits has always been the girl’s responsibility. You know the old saying – boys will be boys.”
Sex and Gender are not the same, a lesson taught in any Introduction to Women’s Studies course and most basic social sciences classrooms. It’s almost so basic that it seems pretty obvious to an advanced readership. The myth was busted before I even arrived on the scene, is there any more to even flesh out here? Maybe. A series of conversations with a friend and the recent attacks on reproductive rights, often framed as “The War on Women’s Bodies,” has had me thinking about two things: How we frame the conversation about reproductive rights, which is based on biological organs (ergo sex) and is this labeling of “women’s bodies” intrinsically cissexist because it equates “women’s bodies” with the “female body?”
A hard question to answer! I will try, in my own way, to work through it and maybe, even if a correct, clean and simple “jargon we should use, one-size fits all” answer cannot be reached, it could open up an avenue of conversations that shows how deeply enmeshed we are in a cissexist worldview. Don’t know what cis-gender or cissexist means? Want to learn? Come on board and let’s stumble through this together!
Hello, bisexual person sitting right here? I wish I could end the post there. Okay, hello, I exist, done. But that doesn’t appear to be good enough for some people, including people who themselves do not identify as straight. I think all bisexual people have heard the same things at least once, “you’re just confused”, “you need to just pick one”, “this is just a stepping stone to you coming out as gay.” No, no, and no. At first, hearing people constantly denounce my sexual identity was demoralizing, hurtful, exhausting to defend. Now, I think as I’ve become weary of dealing with it, it’s just kind of funny. If bisexuality doesn’t exist, then what am I even doing here?
I spent a lot of time pondering about what I should write about for this particular blog. I thought that most of the popular myths had already been written about. Then, I ran across this particular myth and decided that it must be exposed. The site posed it like this: If you’re a TRUE feminist, you can never ever, depend on a man or let him affect your emotions in ANY WAY!!! If you do, you’re a FAKE FEMINIST OMG!!! (http://community.feministing.com/2010/08/09/myths-about-feminism-among-the-younger-generation/ – #5) At first, I chose it because it sounded amusing but then I actually thought about it and found that I had heard this myth before in my Women’s Studies class.
Why are feminists portrayed as women with no emotions other than anger and no love for men? Because these myths are meant to dehumanize them. However, feminists are people too and we need emotional connections with others in order to survive, men included. We do not purposefully seek to make only strong female emotional ties. We want strong friendships and romance too and we do not find all men repulsive. If we lived life avoiding all men, our lives would be very boring and very difficult. In fact, we would probably need to just enter a nunnery in order to avoid all men. Also, what about the male feminists? Apparently, they do not exist in this myth. Regardless of this myth, I believe that everyone (regardless of gender) has different opinions on different subjects and we grow as people by sharing these views and learning from others.
Being a strong person, not just a feminist, means having the courage to put yourself out there and make deep connections with other people. People need to depend on others or else life would be very hard and unhappy. In order to have a fulfilling and meaningful life, we need to have others impact our lives as well as affecting others’ lives. Coming into contact with people who do not share our views but are willing to communicate civilly helps us grow and better understand the other parties. If we can understand our own weaknesses, it helps us better ourselves because then we know that we are not infallible. The willingness to acknowledge the weaker parts of our arguments makes us stronger people in the long run.
Becoming a feminist does not mean isolating yourself from all men. Feminists just want others to understand that everything is not fine and accepting in the world. We want both men and women to see that there are disparities in the way women are treated. We do not mean that women should never get married. We just want women to have a choice. If she wants to stay at home and take care of the kids, that’s fine. She should not feel that she needs to do this – she just needs to know that she has another option. As long as she knows that she had the choice of becoming a career woman and supporting the kids just as well as her husband does.
Remember: feminists are people too.
It started when I was first faced with homophobic comments like “How do two girls do it together, anyway?” and “Is it actually sex if it’s just girls?” Though they seemed curiously innocent enough, over time I realized that this was not simply an issue of not having learned enough in Sex Ed 101. These types of questions stem from the widespread idea that women can’t actively participate in sex, but that sex can only take place if there is a penis involved to penetrate something.
It seems that this inane idea has spread to heterosexual relationships, too. Take the use of the word “fuck,” for instance. A man and a woman can “fuck,” but when it becomes a verb that one person does to another, we are most comfortable saying that a man fucked a woman, and not the other way around. It is acceptable to (however homophobically) validate sex between two men, because there is penetration involved. However, a woman can’t fuck a man because it’s emasculating, and she certainly can’t fuck another woman. The implication here is that the woman is passively participating in sex; it is being enacted upon her, but she isn’t the one doing the action.
No, no, no… If we are ever going to have equality between the sexes, we have to have both sexes understanding, complying, and fighting for such equality. You are right, just because a man is for women’s rights does not mean he is a Feminist. Or does it?…
Pro-feminism: persons who support the cause of Feminism, but do not explicitly state they are apart of the Feminist movement or are Feminists. This term is often associated with men who support gender equality by way of political activism for women’s rights and violence against women.