I liked a page on Facebook yesterday having to do with women who no longer are involved with religion (I don't want to use the actual name of the page here because not everything I have to say is positive). It's very anti-patriarchy, which I thought I would like, because I loathe the history of the treatment of women – really despise it, especially in religion – any religion. And as far as the page is concerned, it is one that offers a lot of really excellent memes and factoids about women and religion's treatment of them.
Then I Googled for Feminism Memes and got way more than I bargained for. Most of them ridiculed today's feminism, saying it is man-bashing, and that today's feminists are feminazis.
The thing is, some of what I read on the Facebook page was extremely dismissive of anyone who might have positive input about men.
Don't get me wrong. There are some damned evil men out there, and I am the first one to fully support women recognizing their own power and using it. One of the ways, of course, is to start a Facebook page or a blog and express your own opinions – unconditionally. However, there is always more than one side of the story.
Whenever someone makes a comment that isn't anti-men on that particular page, it will be deleted, because 'mansplaining' is forbidden there. I'm not talking about tirades of comment bombing, just points of view.
Here's my opinion:
Every issue, even feminist ones, are not just about women, but about men as well. That is reality. I try to stay away from the stereotypes on both sides. Yes, men have held all the power in the world for centuries. But perhaps that's because they were not challenged – not seriously – because women backed down.
Women are not backing down anymore. That's fantastic. And neither are gays, ethnics, the elderly, the disabled, or other minority groups.
However, sometimes I think that groups (I will use feminists here, because it's where I started), when the big battles are won, or at least well on their way, get off on petty tangents just because they like picking fights.
And sometimes I look at some of those fights and almost laugh because they are petty and rather silly. And I also look at some of the questions men have, some of the points they are making, and have to nod my head and admit they are valid.
What would our foremothers think of feminists today? Foremothers who risked their freedom and health for their most serious cause? I won't speculate on that because times are different, and so is our cause.
I just hope that women will maintain dignity and push in ways that we are taken seriously.
Lastly, I wonder about man-bashing. If things were the other way around – if women had established all the rules and had all the power – if we would have hesitated to seize that power, perhaps lord it over men. There are some seriously conniving and selfish women in the world, and always have been.
I believe in fairness – equality. I also believe that women don't need to ask for permission from men. We simply need to take the initiative and do.
Do whatever we want.
But we also have to take on the responsibility and work to achieve whatever we want. And we have to acknowledge that there are consequences to our actions, including our words.
There is a difference between wanting our own dreams and wanting what men have. We should make and work for our own.
In that spirit, I wrote the following poem:
There are good and evil women.
There are good and evil men.
But one has ruled the other
With the rules that never bend.
Must the pendulum swing
Way back the other way
To women who would oppress,
Women who would enslave
Men with primitive, feminine wiles
And claim long-denied power,
Or truly stop at equality
As history finally marks our hour?
LG/td – 8/23/2016