|Copyright John Oxton. Used under a Creative Commons License|
By Caitlin Seida
There are plenty of underrepresented subcultures and groups in our nation - the so-called "Melting Pot". But when it comes to gender, we as women are not under-represented. For every one female, there's only 0.97 males in the United States (Check the CIA World Factbook if you're one who needs hard facts. I'm not sure what counts as 0.97 of a guy, but whatever).
Don't misunderstand me - I'm not against things that feminists fight for. Equal pay for equal work, for example, would be pretty damn nice. The right to not be excluded from things based solely on what kind of genitalia I have. But I am against feminism. I'm not sure if there's a word for what I want - equalism? Humanism? Common-fucking-sense?
I don't want to see a women's lib effort to raise women above men. I don't like it when militant feminists put down men as the enemy or chastise men for identifying with their cause. It irritates me to no end and makes me want to go on an all out, Kill Bill-esque murder spree. If we're going to achieve equality for men and women (and transmen, transwomen, GQ and everything in between on the spectrum of gender identity) we all need to WORK TOGETHER and be respectful of EACH OTHER'S rights and needs and problems.
Joss Whedon, one of the premier Sci-Fi world creators, just ranted about this very topic and I couldn't agree with him more. It's worth checking out over at Jezebel.
I'm not an "antifeminist" - I don't care for traditional cultural values or the "sanctity of marriage". I can't stand traditional gender roles. And I'm grateful to the women who came before me who made it possible for me to go out and have lots of casual sex, wear pants, use contraceptives without shame and work outside the home. I don't believe in biological gender norms - girls don't automatically take to pink and skirts and childrearing and I don't think boys automatically take to blue and toy trucks and working outside the home.
But the word "feminist" grates on me - I don't want to fight for just women's equality. I don't want to fight for just women's rights. I want to fight for everyone to have a fair shot. And by labeling myself a feminist, I can't in good conscience do that. John wants to be a stay at home dad? I'll put my ass on the line and fight for his right to get family leave to do so. Mary wants to work full time at the welding factory and earn the same as her male coworkers? More power to her, I'll take up her cause! But I won't limit my efforts to just one gender - as the word "feminist" implies.
Call me a horrible woman, go ahead. I can take it. But when it comes to gender - it should be a non-issue. We need to focus on everyone, not just slightly-more-than-one-half of the population.