my boss walks in on me singing French rap/pop and dancing while vacuuming.
|-Why, yes, I do speak English. Very well...Yes, it's actually my first language. Harharhar, yes, I am aware that stereotypical housekeepers speak Spanish.|
|-No. I don't live here...No, we aren't open in the winter.|
|-I'm a college student. English and Spanish...No, cleaning rooms isn't what I want to do with the rest of my life...No, I actually plan to go to grad school.|
|-Well, there was poop on the floor...Yeah, right next to the toilet. So that room took a little longer to clean.|
|-And the perennial favorite:||No. No, I don't come with the room, actually. I need to go.|
All right. So I just read a wonderful post on slut-shaming that says everything I wanted to say on the topic and then some, so I’m just going to post the link rather than rehash it all.
My dad is an un-self-identified feminist. I mean, he doesn’t talk about feminist issues, but how could he not be a feminist? He raised me and my two sisters to believe wholeheartedly that we can do anything if we try hard enough. This is one of the things I appreciate most about my dad; he never told me or my sisters that we “couldn’t do that, because you’re girls” (except pee standing up. That was something I tried once that he and my mom told me I couldn’t do, because I was a girl. In my defense, I was 4).
While my dad might scoff at the idea of the patriarchy—he is, after all, from the generation of rigid, second-wave feminists—in bringing my sisters and I up the way he did, in sharing household power equally with my mother, in respecting and supporting the choices my sisters and I make, in creating and enforcing egalitarian regulations in his workplace, he is a feminist, and he is doing what he can to deconstruct the patriarchy.
Feminist guys—whether or not they openly identify as feminist—are absolutely vital to the feminist movement. Feminism rejects subjugation by the patriarchy (which is a societal construct that teaches that men have the right to be in charge. The root of the problem isn’t necessarily men themselves but with what and how society teaches them).
An egalitarian society wherein feminism is practiced as it is widely defined by the majority of feminists—as a movement for equal rights—is actually impossible to achieve without feminist men, who are willing to give up the power bestowed upon them by society/the patriarchy. Men and their rejection of the patriarchy are just as necessary to the success of the feminist movement as women and their rejection of the same structure are.
On its own, women’s rejection of the patriarchy can only go so far in actually deconstructing it. Men also have to reject the patriarchy, to reject their free pass to be sexist or entitled when it comes to women, to reject the privilege that society indiscriminately bestows upon them because they happened to be born with a penis.
So, in essence, feminism is asking men to consider themselves equal to a group of people they have grown up thinking of as inferior. They have to hold themselves accountable for the way they treat women, talk about women, and think about women. Once they understand the patriarchy and the role they play in it, they’re no longer able to use their ignorance as an excuse, and unless they’re fine with the statement “women aren’t real people,” they’re going to have to change, and they’re going to have to own up to their past bigotry.
It’s because of this, though, that men play such a vital role in the feminist movement. Women can’t force men to give up what the patriarchy has bestowed upon them. We can refuse to comply with the patriarchy, and we can reject the role that the patriarchy attempts to force upon us, but that’s only the first half of the equation. That’s the wake-up call to guys that there is a problem; after that, it’s up to them to fix their views and behavior. It’s their call to examine the way they interact with women, and to consider whether or not it’s right.
Because of the patriarchy, it’s difficult for society to hold men accountable for sexism; society allows, even condones this kind of behavior, and weaves it into our daily lives. Feminism speaks out against this, and holds men accountable for their treatment of women. It considers the patriarchy and its values unacceptable, but until men start to hold themselves accountable, the work is only half done.
I’ve been ranting to just about anyone who will listen about a lot of things, so I made myself a blog where I can write about my thoughts and feeeeeeeelings about things like feminism, mental health, language, my dorky fandoms, and whatever else I feel like. So, yeah. Yay, Tumblr?