Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

please avoid getting your definition of feminists from anti-feminists

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.
Tags: feminism

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