I asked to write a response to your comments to my last post, UNPOPULAR OPINION: I Am A Feminist And I Don't Think We Need The Feminist Movement Anymore. I promise I will keep it to short sentences. Compound and complex sentences are angry rants the minute they come from someone who critiques feminism, even if they identify themselves as a feminist.
You proved almost everything I said correct -- with a dash of classism and some misogyny to boot.
I managed to search Twitter and find some of the responses. Stupid and uncultured. Gotta make sure we take down the poor girl and has she read this book? But not a single response to any of my points -- which I expected.
When I asked, "Who do we talk to, football players?" people assumed I mean men I want to sleep with -- because someone asking that and admitting to being poor just must be a simple-minded groupie! Not simply a person who lives with men who think rape jokes are funny and can’t always make a loud declaration of feminism and be safe.
I mean talking to a little brother who joins a team and comes back every day a little more cruel and anti-woman -- and validated for it. I mean talking to the boys who go to campuses and become rapists BEFORE that happens.
How do we help girls navigate these boys and how do we help these boys become men our girls can be safe with?
Oddly enough, if I had been a man and expressed “confusion,” someone would have made sure I was heralded as complex. The new way to get listened to when making comments on feminism is be a man or to be focused on them. All other kinds of women have to wait till a slot opens up and then we have to be grateful
Funny -- when a rich girl says something like that, it’s deep and wonderful. When white people make hashtags and develop bystander intervention campaigns, it’s “important work,” but if I do I’m just an idiot who's mad feminism won’t find me a husband.
I have to be jealous then, right? Women like me can’t point out that women are getting poorer and the places we make money aren’t around anymore -- and, no, your precious kind of feminism hasn’t said anything about the mills closing, the factories being shut down, and the places that are open paying nothing. Life isn’t fair, so it’s okay that we starve. Women like me can’t be angry at the injustice, disappointed in the lack of concern, or sad at watching “our movement” fail us. We're just jealous, because if we actually deserved feminism, we’d be meek and mild about it, and accept pictures of THOSE women getting what they want, while we barely survive.
I’m a church girl, which makes claiming feminism hard enough, especially when your pastor wants to talk about the sin of women or the need for submission for the sanctity of the religion. But church is also the place where I get my work ethic, where we do food banks and food drives, and where people are going because everything is falling to bits, and community is what they have left.
You remember people? The ones who vote on things like abortion rights, domestic violence laws, and senators and presidents? I remember people -- and guess who else does? The Republicans who are knocking on doors. They're visiting churches and having those potlucks and eroding reproductive rights. They’re here now and you’ll come over in 2016 in a flurry wondering why no one trusts you. You want me ready for Hillary, but don't want to do anything but fundraise over me needing to drive across state lines for safe abortions. You mock those girls holding those signs but will be tearing up the backwoods for the votes in a year or so.
I’d be sad if I hadn’t expected it by now. I expected the “where else can you go?" attitude that sounds just like an abusive boyfriend -- because you don't think you actually have to do right by us, just better than the worst. I can’t be over this selfish crap and still work for my rights. I have to be a punchline. I expected the dismissal of “Who is she/she can’t be from these places?” because that’s who you set it up. Someone from Peoria or Tulsa or Lexington couldn’t pass your gates, so you know they can’t be speaking. We have websites and NARAL chapters and organizing meetings just like you -- but we aren’t really part of “your movement.” No one outside gets in. Except now most of us are outside and we don’t want in that much.
The part that most got me is how many women, quiet and desperate, said they agreed with me. Who asked how we could do better. Who were telling stories of what they needed. I read as they tried and you were so busy spewing things at me, you didn’t even notice them give up and disengage. You decided that being smarter and better than an anonymous writer was more important than fixing anything or even just thinking about the problems.
Except, you don’t have the problems -- we do. And you want to threaten us with leaving us alone with “them” -- but you already did.
You’re just mad women like me are starting to say something about it.