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I accidently followed a right-winger on pinterest, yes there are anti-feminists even on a site that's mostly about crafts. But it's okay because I get to see what the big freaking issue apparently is with feminism. And I've heard this before, but it boils down to stuff like this...

Feminists are wastes because they stick up for American women, who've got it great. They're obviously self-absorbed whiners.

Years ago I when I was going to tons of gay rights protests, a guy asked me why I was interested in this crap that has nothing to do with me. Don't I have better things to do? Lack of gay marriage wasn't hurting me, I'm just being noisy for nothing. Then later I heard him complain that feminists were self-absorbed because we were only standing up for ourselves. Well make up your mind dude! It became immediately obvious to me that he didn't care what I was standing up for, he just thought I should be sitting down.

The other side of that coin is that there are things worth fighting for, and that's feminism in 3rd world countries, and apparently western feminists are totally ignoring all those places in favor of ourselves.

First I'd like to challenge anti-feminists to go to an actual feminist website to see what they're talking about. This week Feministing covered sexual assaults in bangalore and one of the first stories on Ms is Taiwan's election of their first woman president... are they perfect and including all cultures? Probably not. But if you still think we're missing world news, well start your own feminist website. Show us how it's done. There's not a card-issuing feminist clearinghouse you have to go through first.

Here's the thing you need to understand about feminism: our goal is to fix the BIG UNDERLYING issues that cause imbalanced power structures. Anti-feminists say that when there's a rape, you throw the rapist in jail, problem solved. We don't need a movement. Feminists say that if we publicly drag a victim's name through the mud for reporting the crime then award stupidly short sentences to rich white boys in return, we're discouraging other victims from coming forward, making it harder to put every rapist in jail, so the problem is not simple to solve. We see a case where patriarchy has widespread implications. Then you go to another country where they're honor killing their rape victims and that's another more extreme form of rape culture, we immediately see it for what it is and know that they are also not trying to end rape. We don't ignore the US college student just because she was bullied on facebook after her rape instead of publicly murdered, we use all of those stories to see how patriarchy manifests itself. Every story is worth talking about. Some need addressed with more resources and swifter consequences, but no one should be told "your story doesn't matter because you aren't first in the oppression olympics".

Every story needs heard. We are not wasting our time by recognizing the fact that cat-calling, media images, and equal pay are a symptom of a bigger problems. We look at everything.

THEN, we prioritize. Which brings me to my next point...

What exactly are anti-feminists doing to prevent acid attacks against schoolgirls? What are they doing to ensure maternal care to prevent or repair fistulas? I am willing to bet I'm out-donating you on these specific issues. Name a problem women are facing in Jordan and I'll tell you how I'm "ignoring" it because I'm a mainstream American feminist. I'm capable of looking at several things at once. I am supporting organizations that release political prisoners, shelter refugees, provide medical care to the hungry. I'm a feminist. If you're amazed by this, I bet you got your definitions from an anti-feminist website. Try talking to an actual feminist before you post up your problems with "all these feminists".

You're not fixing any problem or coming up with solutions, you just don't like me talking. Admit it. Your distaste for feminism has nothing to do with your concern for child brides in Yemen. Good luck ending the world's problems one woman at a time without ever asking greater questions about underlying issues because you don't believe in feminism. Let me know how it goes for you.


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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2017 08:38 pm (UTC)
You've touched on, like, five pet peeves of mine—ones I found myself restating redundantly in what I was originally typing up in agreement with you. So, instead, I'll just say right on.
Feb. 13th, 2017 08:44 pm (UTC)
thousand times everything you said, well, wrote!!!
Feb. 13th, 2017 09:34 pm (UTC)
Seconded, all of it.

Additionally though I notice they pick things that are most hard to fix with charitable giving.

Like, they never say "fistula repair surgery for Muslim child brides from Bangladesh," no, it's always male guardianship in Saudia Arabia. One can be fixed by throwing money at the problem, the other cannot.
Feb. 13th, 2017 10:23 pm (UTC)
Ugh, exactly this! I get upset when people treat issues as if they are binary and that we are only capable of considering one thing at a time. And forget about nuance - that's a dirty word. Thank you for articulating all of this!
Feb. 13th, 2017 10:36 pm (UTC)
I have nothing to add other than a big fat "YES! THIS!"
Feb. 14th, 2017 01:48 am (UTC)
Well said!!
Feb. 14th, 2017 03:41 am (UTC)
This! Thank you.
Feb. 14th, 2017 10:38 am (UTC)
You're not fixing any problem or coming up with solutions, you just don't like me talking.

Feb. 14th, 2017 04:00 pm (UTC)

This reminds me my Dad saying he isn't allowed to complain about his M.S. because he saw paralyzed veterans at the V.A. It sounds noble, but it's actually annoying. It means he's groaning and refusing to accept help because other people are also bad off? One person's pain does not invalidate another's. There can be different kinds of problems and they can both be problems simultaneously. We don't refuse to acknowledge that drink orange juice tastes good just because apple juice exists and is also tasty.

Feb. 14th, 2017 06:11 pm (UTC)
*claps* Yes!
Feb. 15th, 2017 04:10 pm (UTC)
I agree with most of this, except the term 3rd world.

I was trained in Model UN back in the day to say "Developing Nations" because 3rd world makes it sound like a world detached. Like not the same world as us so why worry. It's a subconscious thing, I'm sure. I dunno, it bugs me that it is being used again.
Feb. 15th, 2017 09:42 pm (UTC)
I have never considered that but thanks for pointing it out! I'll work that term out of my vocabulary.
Feb. 17th, 2017 08:40 am (UTC)
Also, the term is obsolescent now that we no longer have a "second world" to contend with.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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