My take on being a feminist…or as I prefer: “Humanist”

This whole #YesAllWomen and #NotAllMen has really stirred up as of late and I have to say, it’s got me a little hot under the collar. A bit of background before I explain why…

I had a very privileged upbringing. I’m white, came from a middle class family and had an exceedingly normal and happy childhood here in Australia. If anything, I was luckier than other girls as I had a twin brother and I was always taught from a young age that anything he could do, I could do. If I wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, then dammit, I could be (if you’re wondering, I was Donatello because I liked his staff and purple was, and still is, my favourite colour).

I decided what I wanted to do at a young age – I wanted to follow my dad’s footsteps and get into IT (obligatory link to my post on my career rise in IT). I love what I do, I truly do. But that’s not to say that I haven’t seen or suffered sexism because of it.

I am a woman and I was a girl. I remember being told to “dress appropriately” as a teenager, so that I wouldn’t draw attention to the wrong parts of me. I remember my first proper job, and older males staring at my chest (what little of it there is) instead of at my face. Many people think that I should be reading a great baby stroller review on my phone because I am going to be a mom because that’s what I was supposed to be, a mom. I remember a colleague telling me he liked my “fuck-me boots”. I remember being treated as “less” because I was a woman…I didn’t know as much as they did, I wasn’t as “obsessed” as they were about technology – couldn’t possibly be, I was a girl.

I remember the concert I attended where one man decided that because I was wearing a skirt, it was totally cool for him to try and put his hand where it didn’t belong. I also remember kicking him where it hurt and seeing the look in his face before the bouncers took him away.

So yes, I do understand sexism. Which in turn means I do understand #YesAllWomen.

But I also have very strong men in my life who have helped me, encouraged me, stood by me, defended me. The men who’ve always said, right from the start, that I could DO anything, be anyone and that I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to – even if that meant not sticking the the gender stereotypes or muscling my way into men’s territory.

So I get a little frustrated at the #NotAllMen crap that’s going around.

I get that it’s not about THEM and that it’s supposed to be about women. But I also feel that when we’re excluding them entirely, we’re tarring them all with the same brush and making it look like it’s “Us women against the world”…when really, it’s not. It’s most people against a small minority who are so broken in the way they think that they believe a persons sex makes them inferior. These are the same small-minded fools who make the same assumptions about LBGT people based on their sexuality or disregards an entire race of people base on their skin colour.

I’m for women’s rights. I’m for men’s rights. I’m for HUMAN rights. I want us to live equal – each respecting the other.

I don’t feel like I can call myself a feminist any more because I see what gets spouted in the name of “feminism” and it makes me cringe. It’s so far in the opposite direction of what some men do it’s pretty much come full fucking circle. The fact that there are feminists out there who ACTIVELY promote hating men don’t seem to realise that they’re EXACTLY the same as the men who actively promote hating women. But there doesn’t seem to be an uproar about that at all.

I feel incredibly sorry for the women who lost their lives in the recent tragedy. I think it’s heartbreaking the way they lost their lives. I also feel sorry for the family of the man who committed the acts, because I’m sure they’re reeling too. But most of all, I feel sorry that the loss of these young women has been overshadow by people arguing and bickering and yelling and trying to make their slogan the one that gets picked up.

They were killed by an incredibly sick person who had a gun. Yes, he was an MRA/PUA follower – I am yet to see one of those people online who isn’t somewhat broken (at least in my opinion) in some way. And while I understand peoples instinctive reaction to want to find something to blame, I really don’t like that misogyny has been the catch-cry.

If misogyny was the cause of these deaths, then does that mean these people are right and video games are the cause of all those murders? Seriously?! The video games are at fault?

I agree that misogyny is pernicious and disgusting and needs to be stopped. But I also feel that misandry, especially in retaliation for misogyny, is just as pernicious.

We’re all equal. Why can’t we start acting like it?

2 thoughts on “My take on being a feminist…or as I prefer: “Humanist”

  1. caskings (@caskings)

    Seriously though, the edge cases need to be jumped on by the rest of society. We are starting to see people get over the bystander effect on busses for racist tirades. We need to see the same happen in general society for sexist behaviour and I’m sure the strong males you mentioned in your life, would pull people up on anything out of line in that regard.


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