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The Problem with Feminism

Picture taken at the Little Bookshop - Hamra - Beirut

The problem with feminism

Yes, the f word. It seems to have made it to the list of the most disliked words in our modern time. Feminism was supposed to be doing the world a favor, now it just seems to be referring to a man hating, testosterone bashing club.

I have always thought of myself to be a feminist, feminism being the movement towards political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. If we can still consider this definition applicable, than by all means, I am a feminist, along with so many other men AND women who I believe share that same understanding of the term. But a lot of feminists have often contradicted themselves by their refusal of female objectification and yet still associating equality with sexual emancipation. Clearly, equality is not merely about the ability to have casual sex “just-because-men-can”. Feminism is not about refusing all-things-too-feminine either (Really, Pink is just a color), hating fashion, blindly supporting abortion (which I nonetheless happen to strongly support in many cases) or playing the victim. So what happened to feminism? Feminism was supposed to be a movement that challenged patriarchy, one that rejected treating women as inferior beings that belonged in the kitchen or objects to be looked at and utilized for sexual gratification. Not that there is anything wrong with the kitchen, mind you, we just wanted more men to step up to the plate (literally). The feminists who cringe at stay at home moms have obviously misunderstood the concept altogether.

Feminism was about finding women a place in the workforce, and allowing her proper political participation. Feminism was about breaking those chains that equated honor with female sexuality, and demonstrating how the hymen has nothing to do with, well, anything. Feminism was about taking down social constructs that had been built and rooted in our world for decades. Yet the idea of feminism seems to scare everyone, even women. God forbid he doesn’t pay for dinner or everything else for that matter. But the thing is that men also, even subconsciously, suffer a great deal from gender role assumptions. Why are you obsessing over that biceps? Yet, we seem to enjoy the status quo, because, hey, this is all we know.

Sure, the name is misleading. Feminism sounds like an angry women’s movement, or femininity set on fire. But really, in essence feminism is all about treating people equally, not because of gender, but in spite of it. I am a feminist who wears pink nail polish, has a good sense of style, enjoys a good NBA game and genuinely likes men. Not too scary, right? Something to think about.

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