Monday, November 14, 2011


image via ninasdesign

Feminism is a difficult subject for me.

On one hand, I view myself as a strong, independent, and intelligent woman. I’m mostly financially independent from my parents (they help me out with some things, as my job isn’t incredibly high-paying), I have a college degree, and I’m certainly not viewed as a delicate little flower by my friends. I’m proud of my womanhood, and believe that I should have every opportunity that men do.

However, at the same time…I’m realistic. I am fully aware that men are better at certain things than women. They’re obviously physically stronger, and therefore more deserving of jobs that would require brute force, such as firefighting, police work, the military. Men tend to be better with the scientific/mathematical side of things. That’s not to say that women are bad at it, of course; there have simply been a lot of scientific evidence towards it, from case studies to brain scans to blind experiments.

Boys are better at some things than girls. And girls are better at some things than boys.

(By the way, women are said to have a much higher pain tolerance than men, to help deal with the pains of womanhood (PMS, childbirth, menopause, etc).)

There’s something about “feminism” that throws me off. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a lot of guy friends, and have always had a pretty serious tomboy streak in me, but I have a very difficult time villainizing men. I can't handle women blaming men for all of the problems a woman faces in the world, and I equally dislike women lumping all the men together when only a handle of them are actually at fault.

Men are not all misogynists. No more so than all Catholic priests are child molesters, all homeless people are lazy, all donuts are created equal (can I get a what-what for Krispy Kremes?). I don't know a single man who actively goes out of his way to hold women down. In fact, the men in my life are very supportive and like that I'm independent, and are actually my biggest motivators to better myself.

No, the worst enemies that women have are each other. That's right, girls. We're a catty, nasty bunch. I'm not immune, and neither are you. We judge each other on everything. She's not wearing the right designer, she's dressed like a slut, she acts stupid to be popular and famous, she's too butch, she's too feminine, she's not a feminist, she hates men. We get down on each other for everything and anything, and as I get older and (arguably) wiser, it makes me more and more sad.

And the worst part is, we don't even notice when we do it. We're bombarded with the idea that it's okay to do this to each other by the media. And those who don't listen to the media? We judge those who do. And what makes it an even bigger problem if that women don't stand up for themselves enough. When your best friend makes some passive aggressive comment about your shoes, how do you react? Do you stand up and tell her to kiss your platformed ass, because you think they're the foxiest thing since Miles Prower? Doubtful. You probably say nothing in return, or worse, you go and change your shoes.

If I were a feminist, I would say that we girls need to stick together, get all girl power and stop nagging at each other. But I'm not. I'm a humanist. And this grown-up bullying happens to all sexes. And it needs to stop. If you're reading this, please, do me a favor. Tell one person, just one, how awesome they are, or that they did a good job, or that dat ass looks fierce. You will brighten their day, and that, not gender wars, is what will make this world a place of love, strength, and equality.

Join the humanist movement. <3

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