A Rant on Feminism – and why we need it

The comments toward women in the comment sections on Facebook of that catcall video and the allegations against Jian Ghomeshi really make me feel sick to my stomach. They are mostly by men, and almost all of them are insulting the women and threatening them while trying to deny that we have a problem with how women are treated in today’s society.

Don’t believe me? Spend 10 minutes reading the comment section and ask yourself….is there really not a problem with violence towards women?

This is why we STILL NEED feminism. And feminism is not the problem. The problem is how defensive and aggressive men get when women speak up. Again, open your eyes and look around.

Let me ask you…is it okay for 3 men to follow me around a bar, ignore me when I blatantly say that I am uninterested? Is it okay for them to follow me outside and continue to try and hit on me/get my attention once I have made it VERY CLEAR that I am uncomfortable and do not want their attention?

Is it okay for construction workers fixing a sidewalk outside of a family member’s house to leer and make comments (in another language) about me as I try and walk past with my two small children to get to my family member’s house?

Is it okay for a guy to yell “I’ll give you a nickle for your vagina!” at me when I am simply waiting at my son’s bus stop?

If you answered yes to any of those, or tried to rationalize it with “well, you went to a bar” or “what were you wearing?”….you have a problem.

Yes, I went to a bar. I went to a public place to dance and drink and have fun with my friends — not to get hit on. I clearly stated that I was uninterested and married, and it didn’t prevent those guys from continuing to follow me around and harass me. They only stopped after they followed me outside and saw my husband.

And contrary to what these men seem to think, women don’t dress up or do their makeup to impress them or fish for compliments. I personally enjoy doing my makeup and wearing a cute outfit for myself and only me. I’m just as comfortable rocking sweat pants and a baggy tee with no makeup. It depends on my mood and how I feel, NOT some random man that I don’t even know.

Guess what folks? We women are not stupid. We can tell the difference between a polite good morning and a leering, sexual advancement. Stop telling us to “take a compliment”, it downplays what’s really going on. Is our discomfort and fear that meaningless to you?

And yes, I’m aware that there are a lot of women out there who feel the same way as those men. Still a major problem in my eyes.

The victim blaming needs to stop. Be a feminist, care about women because we are half the damn population. We are fucking important!

Being a feminist doesn’t make you a man hater, it means you care about everyone and you want equal rights for all. The right to walk down a street free of discomfort or harassment, the right to report a crime against you without being threatened and harassed, without having the majority of the population accuse you of lying because one man couldn’t possibly have assaulted 8+ women. They must all be lying.

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About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
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10 Responses to A Rant on Feminism – and why we need it

  1. Erika says:

    Right on, sister!

  2. Reblogged this on Christian on the front line and commented:
    A fantastic post on the problems women face in todays world, and why men need to be paying attention to them.

  3. Gerry says:

    So, here’s a side to this that I’m not sure I’ve seen presented. I’m a guy who never had the courage or, it turns out, the douchebaggage™, to hit on women with assumed impunity. The thing is, as much as I always recognized that as being wrong, I did see it work for some guys. And not just sexually, but I’d see guys do that, come off as assholes to me, while woman just laughed it off and thought it was cute. So, as a shy guy with admittedly low self esteem, who would very much like to have a connection, to look around and see that the assholes are actually finding success, I’m not saying it encourages these guys to do it, but it does mess with their heads. Thankfully, I guess, I never got past my shyness while still immature enough to think this was acceptable, but I can see how it can happen. Again, not blaming women or excusing the behavior. But I do think it’s a conversation we need to have with our young boys and girls about treating each other like human beings, at all times. And yeah, it is a huge problem when some women defend this behavior.

    • D. D. Syrdal says:

      Gerry,
      Women are as trained by this culture as men, and some have never known men who behaved any differently. Some just don’t know they can (and should) stand up for themselves, or how, or even dare to. Sometimes we try to laugh it off and keep hoping the offender will get bored with us and find someone else to pick on. I’ve had a sailor try to grope me in a bar and the bouncer started walking over until he saw me hit the guy. This wasn’t a sleazy dive bar either, it was a family-friendly Irish bar. I was there with a friend for the music. Unfortunately, we had forgotten it was “Fleet Week” and the place was crawling with sailors. (Sidenote: I spent 8 years in the Navy and never had any of the guys I served with pull anything similar).

      You’re absolutely right it’s a conversation we need to be having with kids so they don’t grow up perpetuating this mindset. Don’t despair, there really are women who WANT the nice guys like you. I’m sure I’ll think of 1000 other things I’d like to say on this topic as soon as I hit the “post comment’ button, but I’ll finish for now.

      • Gerry says:

        Oh, I’ve been married for 14 years and have 2 daughters which has made even more of a raging feminist. But I still see the “nice guys” often go wrong.

      • D. D. Syrdal says:

        haha, gotcha. Yes, they follow the wrong examples. Best you can do is teach your daughters they don’t have to put up with it.

  4. Amen! It’s the defensiveness that appears when women speak up. Some men feel the need to push women’s voices down.

  5. jaklumen says:

    Here by way of Kitt O’Malley.

    I hope that you will read what I have to say.

    I was catcalled on the street 16 years ago, at a university, by a woman. I was crossing the street and she was a passenger in a convertible car. “Yeah baby, shake it!” she said. I felt… dirty.

    The college I was at before that almost 20 years ago– well, I said something wrong to a sorority girl, and I regret that, but her sorority sisters harassed me repeatedly afterwards like a pack of wolves. Harrassing phone calls, e-mails, even just passing by on the street– it wouldn’t stop. Not even when I asked for help from the campus police. It didn’t stop ’til I removed all my contact information from the school and left town.

    You’d better believe I don’t think it’s right doing the same to women! And no way would I want to be anti-feminist! No, I’m not too keen on the oppression that beat ME down, too! Of course, society is still almost dead silent about boys that get abused by their mothers– mine sure did– but understand, I want this change. I know my shame. I know my wife’s shame (as she’s a survivor as well). And it’s full-on time it ended.

  6. Pingback: “I Wanna Eat You Like a Cupcake” | The Fevered Pen

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