Why I’m Not a Feminist
As a woman living in the first world, I am not oppressed.
First off, I get that this is a really unpopular opinion, and that you might already be accusing me of internalized misogyny, which, if you’re a woman, is a funny buzzword that means you’re just too stupid to realize you’re oppressed. Ironic, no? I’m a strong woman capable of individual thought outside of the hive mind. I try to approach every belief I have with a healthy dose of skepticism. Before I get into it, let me get a few things out of the way:
- I am not a Men’s Rights Activist.
- I am not pro-rape.
- I am not blind to the injustices suffered by women in other parts of the world.
- I’m not even close to being “right wing”.
- I don’t hate women or feminists.
With that out of the way, let me explain to you why I’m not a feminist.
I used to call myself a feminist based on the dictionary definition. I mean… of course, right? I believe in equal rights. I don’t think anyone should be discriminated against or oppressed. It’s a no-brainer. But feminism these days has become something so far detached from its original purpose, and it’s not one I have much in common with. I don’t think feminism is necessary anymore. Over the last several years, I have done plenty of research into some of the claims and complaints made by feminists and found many of them don’t stand up to even the most basic logic or skepticism. Question everything, right?
In practice, feminism isn’t just its dictionary definition anymore, it’s like a mutated version filled with a lot of inaccurate claims and anti-male agenda. To me, feminism shouldn’t be a turning of the tables, it should be an equaling of the scales, but that is so far removed from what I see around me that I think a lot of folks have missed the point. Many feminists I know seem to want to get revenge or tilt the scales in their favor, but that is something I don’t agree with, nor do I think it is healthy for a society that wants actual equality. Feminism has done a lot of good historically. We never used to be able to vote, for instance, until feminism came along. But now? I think feminism is more toxic than it is helpful.
Let’s talk about the “wage gap”. Modern feminism is bullshit in this regard. It turns out that the wage gap doesn’t even exist and it blows my mind that it’s still parroted to the extent that it is. This “wage gap” that they like to talk about only takes into account the average wages of men and women who work full time jobs. It does not factor in hours worked, occupation, or job position. Men do not make more than women working in the same job. Women, on average, simply choose careers that are lower paying. Women having the right to choose is part of what feminism is supposed to be about, isn’t it? Therefore, the perceived wage gap is not a feminist issue. It’s not an issue at all.
I see a lot of feminists bring up beauty standards and pressure to look a certain way as being a reason feminism is necessary. Why? It has nothing to do with equal rights. It has to do with personal insecurity. I totally get the desire to be beautiful and the pressure to look a certain way, but in my experience, it’s almost always women who are attacking other women for their appearance. We’re our own worst enemy in this regard. The number of times I’ve heard friends or women at work slut shaming or size shaming other women is incredible. The number of times I’ve heard men do a similar thing is so minute I can’t actually recall a specific instance. Insecurity is not a valid reason for feminism. A simple fact that seems to be missing from most feminist rhetoric is that insecurity surrounding your appearance is not a uniquely feminine thing. Everything you say about women’s magazines being unrealistic can be said about men’s magazines as well, with all the chiseled abs and Photoshopped bulges. Rather than demonizing men, let’s all make a conscious effort to be better to each other. This is not a feminist issue. It’s a human issue.
Okay, so period shaming. I see this brought up by feminists a ton. In fact, I saw it brought up so much that I actually conducted my own little experiment a couple years ago. Every time I was on my period, I would literally tell all of Facebook, bluntly, often including a meme that would maximize the gross-factor. My thought, at the time, was “Hey this will help remove the shitty people from my friends list”. But do you know what happened? Nothing. People thought it was hilarious, and the more open and gross I was about it, the more likes it got. I still openly talk about my period, and other than the occasional shocked response (since it’s not often talked about), I’ve never received a negative comment or felt shamed by it. Every boyfriend I’ve ever had in my life (and even male friends) have been nothing but supportive.
Let’s talk about the pink tax. Okay, this one was something I figured out when I was quite young, before I’d ever heard it called by its buzz word. In fact, it was the first time I ever bought a razor for myself. I went to the store. I saw the pink frilly razors. I saw the navy blue men’s razors. I saw the price difference. Know what I did? I bought the men’s one! It might have been the first time I voted with my wallet. Know what I didn’t do? I didn’t go on the Internet and complain I was being oppressed and charged more at the register for being female. The cashier didn’t stop me and say “Excuse me miss but I can’t sell this to you as it’s not marketed specifically toward your gender” they just sold me the razor with no questions asked. It’s almost as if my gender didn’t matter. I just made a decision that anybody can make. What’s more is that usually the items being demonized as having a “pink tax” aren’t even the same item as the non-pink version. I love comparing ingredients when I go to Shopper’s Drug Mart. If there’s a cheaper version of an over-the-counter medication, I compare ingredients and if they’re the same I buy the store brand. What some people seem to forget when it comes to personal care products is that men and women have different skin. That’s not sexism, it’s biology. Products marketed to women are promoted as such because they’re meant for softer, more sensitive skincare. If you don’t believe me, look at the ingredients. I’ll wait. They are completely different products, so of course they will be different prices. Again, not a feminist issue. Nobody is making you buy female-marketed products. That’s your choice. They are there because there is a societal demand for them, and as long as they are profitable, they will continue to be created.
Modern feminism is one big first world problem to me. Everyone I know who is vocal about feminism is forever bringing up “problematic” things that really just don’t matter. Things that are only offensive to people who I am convinced enjoy being offended and actively seek it out. I’m talking about things like “manspreading” (I mean come on… men have genitals on the outside of their bodies. Women don’t need extra room for ovaries but if our breasts were between our legs you bet we’d be sitting with them apart too). I’m talking about the freaking icon that universally means “women’s washroom” like really, who cares if it’s a woman in a skirt. Just because you may not personally wear them does that mean you have to take offense to it? We must be doing pretty great if these are some of the major issues. I have searched high and low and have yet to find a single right that men have that women are denied.
Feminism has become so petty. Let me tell you about an article I read today. It was about homework that was sent home for someone’s child. The homework talked about a mom going back to work (women working yay feminism!) and the child missing their parent. The assignment was asking the student to fill in the blanks with the correct word. I read the “before” homework and saw literally zero issues. It was very woman-positive, and very feminist… or so I thought. In the “after” shot, this offended mother actually took time out of her day to re-write the homework to be a little more… modern feminist. In it, she balked at the fact that her child should be sad to see her go to work, because let’s totally disregard that children are sensitive emotional creatures who miss the security of their parents. She threw in buzz words like “misogyny” and people were CONGRATULATING her on her “bravery” at “standing up to the patriarchy”. They were all “good job mom way to show that school!”. I sat here dumbfounded like what has this world that I live in become?
I’ve seen the same women (and men) talk about how the patriarchy pushes a macho male mentality, then turn around and, like bullies, laugh at “male tearz”. Seriously? This happened recently with the sexism of the women-only screening of Wonder Woman. I don’t live in any of the cities where this took place, but isn’t discrimination based on sex unconstitutional? I’m almost certain what they did was illegal, but it is being celebrated. I have a basic rule that I use to decide whether or not something is sexist. I simply flip the roles. I ask myself one simple question: “If there was a men only screening of a movie, would it be sexist?” and I think the answer in this case is pretty obvious. If the roles were reversed in this case, feminists everywhere would be up in arms screaming about how unfair it was.
So these are some of the reasons why I’m not a feminist. I really don’t agree with their rhetoric. A lot of the attitude surrounding feminism makes me feel icky and angry. I am not an anti-SJW or anti-feminist. I believe in the middle way, and that is where I am. I consider myself a humanist and egalitarian. I want equal rights for everyone.