Recently, I attended an event at an all girls school and when the speaker started her speech, she chanted:
"Who runs the world?"
Everyone responded thunderously:
Then my little brother turned to me, looking sad and he said:
"Hey, that's not fair."
I responded to him,
"When next they say who runs the world? and everyone responds girls, we will shout and say; boys too!"
Of course that made him happy.
This situation reaffirmed my fear that feminism is recreating unfairness and sexism in unexpected ways. At this event, I noticed that when other female speakers gave their speeches, they all said something along the lines of;
"...this world is not fair to women... it judges our success and our abilities by our gender blah blah blah."
I find these words unattractive because it gives a one sided story, and seeks to use emotion: sadness, anger, and negativity as a source of motivation to act. It ignores the fact that our inequalities as women differs even among us. It is a less educated perspective of feminism and a pick up line/easy way out to present the topic of women empowerment.
This is not to diminish the fact that sexism occurs but to call for a change in how we present feminism, especially to the younger generation. It allows many young females to expect unfairness in places where it may not even exist. It makes them blame things and people rather than take responsibility to fix sexism. It misinforms many young females and allows them to use sexism as an excuse for their failures or in situations whereby they don't get what they want.
For example, it is very easy for many who proclaim the title of feminism to say that "women are not given the top positions or that many high ranking work fields are filled with men because of sexism..." This is partially true but another reality is that, there are still women who don't support each other enough to be in such positions. There are positions that women don't put in their foot for, because of fear and lack of confidence despite the fact that they may be more qualified than the men who actually apply for the positions. Rather than parading the street naked and blaming men, can we create workshops and call some reasonable women and men who have excelled above their qualifications to speak to women about confidence and how to ask for a raise in their salaries when necessary?
I previously posted a discussion on why female writers are less likely to win contests which is similar to this topic: Click this to see the post.
Another example is the current election. I wish Hillary Clinton had won the presidency but I also wish that more women (of color) stepped up to participate as candidates for the position. We can say that sexism may have played a role in hindering her from winning the election but we also need to focus on the fact that only she and fiorina, represented women amongst the other men. (Jokes: Forget the qualifications women, you too can apply. As you can see with our current situation, all you need is likability, a Twitter account, some attitude, and good entertainment in your debates.)
Also, recently, I was discussing the movie "wonder woman" with one of my friends and I frankly thought that the movie maybe "bleep this part". I have tasted the reality of the "american dream," which should receive the global award for the best selling myth, to the point whereby seeing a superhero movie does not excite me. First in the trailer, I mean, how fantastic is it that she has to fight evil (men) all the time, except in the training by the (good) women. This perception tends to present men as evil in our attempt to empower women. What danger is this perception to the young boys watching?
When grown men who are aware of sexism and maybe guilty of contributing to it, complain about this issue, people say they are "intimidated". But when young boys who don't even know what sexism means, let alone know how to contribute to it are affected, what do we call it and who do we blame?
Feminism is good but it can be better. We should not give this one sided pathetic story of sexism and feminism while ignoring women's achievements and privileges in some places. We should not ignore our flaws as feminists as we continue to condemn sexism and even men (which I find very disturbing because not all men are sexist).
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