Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Everyday Frustration

This is my response to the semi-joking statement that was made to me the other night: Not all feminists "hate men".  The conversation involved my possibly applying for a job wherein I would work with groups of young girls (incredible in itself, as I don't like kids that much). The other speaker said jokingly, "But you know you can't be teaching 'em that man-hating stuff."
At the time all I could do was splutter something about how I don't hate men, dammit! 

And I know she was joking, and I know that if I'd had the prescence of mind to explain how feminism works, she'd dismiss it. But it's fucking disheartening, because a lot of the time the things people say in jest are what they really believe. Too many people- too many women believe that "feminists just don't like men" or something similar. Too many people I know. 

Too many people who roll their eyes at the mere word, too many people who use terms like "ugly" and "lesbian" and "bra-burning" whenever the subject's brought up.

Too many women who don't understand what feminism has done for them, and that those rights aren't irrevocable, aren't set in stone, and aren't complete. We aren't past feminism- there's still a need, dear Hecate there's still such a fucking need. 

How can any woman not understand this? This is less and more than basic history, empathy, sociology. It should be in our blood, our bones- this weight of injustice, the need to keep fighting until it's lifted. Why has this not been passed on, from mother to daughter, from sister to friend, to every woman? Why shouldn't I be teaching girls this message? It's not about hate, but justice, fairness, and the need to end the inequality that's been the norm for generations.

Even though I try like hell not to speak for all feminists, let me say this (and hope it's true for most of us) to all non-fems, especially men, out there : We do not hate any man that doesn't hate us. We don't hate you because you're men. We hate the men that hate us, but we have hope that it's not all of you. I know what you think about feminists, but try to think a little differently, please. 

Seriously. This is stuff you should know.