Some men do not understand modern feminism

There are many things that men consider so-called turn-offs — snapping gum, cursing like a sailor, picking wedgies, off-color jokes. It’s common knowledge that a racist quip or ungraceful motion might keep a man’s romantic interest at bay, but who knew feminism could have the same effect?

Recently, I’ve discovered that revealing my feminist beliefs to a guy isn’t necessarily the greatest way to get their number. I say I’m a feminist and their hands fly up in condescending mock defense as if I’m threatening them. I find myself having to degrade my beliefs by quickly adding, “Oh no, it’s okay, I’m a cool feminist.”

It’s both sad and hilarious that, in the moment before I throw in the cool, they seem to sincerely believe I’m going to strangle them with my bra — if I’m even wearing one — while I recite “The Feminine Mystique,” which I must have memorized, with the intensity of a thousand suns. If I didn’t feel so self-conscious, the panic in their eyes would be exhilarating.

I don’t believe that all men actively despise feminists. I think they’re simply uncomfortable because they know very little about modern feminism.

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Many men that I’ve encountered seem to believe women achieved the rights they desired in the feminist movements of the 1960s and ’70s. This ultimately leads them to conclude that modern feminists are simply overly emotional girls who had a bad breakup and now harbor a deep, throbbing hatred for men and want to find some way to stick it to them.

This is completely misguided and incorrect. My emotional stability and romantic history have nothing to do with my decision to embrace feminism. I don’t hate men. I love men. I love men so much that I want to be their equal.

The reason I became a feminist was because I wanted to preserve and push for gender equality. I’m not looking to degrade the male population and prove women superior. I’m simply lusting after the idea of women and men being on the same level for once.

To the men I may or may not converse with this weekend — I’m not a crazy man-hater. I’m simply an independent woman with a dream of gender equality. So don’t look at me like I’m going to kill you.


Lena Rawley is a contributing columnist. Email her at [email protected]

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve only recently become aware of the controversy surrounding modern feminism, and I admit I’m feeling a little hesitant to call myself a one now.

    Every group has it’s extremists of course, and I’m trying my best not to judge the whole by their example, but when a story about a women cutting off her
    husband’s privates, and putting them down a garbage disposal is greeted with
    cheers and applause by hundreds of every day women on public television, this
    worries me! Or the fact that if someone says in a public forum: “Women are
    smarter than men” they’d likely be greeted with applause. But if someone
    stands up and says the opposite, they’re greeted with vitriol.

    Feminism seems to be the idea that you can solve gender inequality by focusing on the problems of a single gender. We never hear about them addressing male problems like the fact that the vast majority of homeless people in the US are men. Or that men generally receive, on average, 63% longer prison terms for precisely the same crimes. Or that men suffer from far more work place related injuries and deaths. Or that boys are increasingly having more and more difficulty in school, leading to a rather shocking decrease in male college attendance, which is expected to rise over the next few years; while women college attendance rates continue to rise.

    I could go on! If any of these issues affected women instead of men, you can bet your bottom that feminist groups would be all over them! Why aren’t we
    addressing them? If modern feminists claim to be for equality, shouldn’t they
    address these problems too? Or is feminism just all about women after all?

  2. Perhaps you should reevaluate your beliefs. “If I didn’t feel so self-conscious, the panic in their eyes would be exhilarating.”

    It doesn’t help your case that you’d consider the panic in their eyes to be exhilarating. Possibly, through your body language and other intuitive signals, they are cautioned and become defensive.

    If you really believe in gender equality, perhaps you should learn that panic in anyone’s eyes is not a good thing. I mean, yes our society is becoming more psychopathic, but it would help if you didn’t find exhilaration in the panic of the men you supposedly wish to be equal with.

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