When I started working on the internet a year and a half ago, I knew a few things would happen. I’d make some fans, meet trolls, and discover people who were altogether indifferent to me.
Someone would hate my writing style, another person would adore it. I expected there to be differences in opinions. Because, duh.
And yeah, I even expected some of the vitriol. I wasn’t new to the internet. I know what it can bring out. I know the level of hate it can spew. I knew that, sometimes, someone would make a target for no reason other than that I had the audacity to express my feelings, my voice, and my ideas.
But the one thing I’ve never fully been able to understand is why my stance on equality strikes such a nerve in some people.
So, I ask, why does my feminism make you uncomfortable?
This is a genuine question. I’m not saying it through gritted teeth, waiting to laugh at your response. I’m not trying to be snarky. I’m not calling up a gang of Tumblr Girls on the bat phone to let them know we need to immediately gather and call out the patriarchy.
I’m just asking.
Why, when I call myself a feminist, does it bother you? Is it the word? If I were to say, “I believe men and women should have equal rights and opportunities” would that be okay? Would you agree with me?
Is it only when I drop the F-bomb?
I can predict some comments already. There are people who think feminism is somehow a hate group directed at men. I’ve heard people say “Feminazi” like comparing Hitler to a movement that was founded on the basis of equality makes any sense. They’ll claim it’s a cult, it’s toxic groupthink, it’s Revenge Of The Angry Women.
And I guess I just keep wanting to know how? How is something grounded in something as simple as wanting to be treated the same as their male counterparts wrong?
I love men. I really do.
I like them for superficial reasons. I like them for their complexity. I like them for their layers and intricacies. The way they smell, their hands that are so much bigger than mine, their inspirations and wildly brave ambitions. I love men’s instincts to protect the people they care about. I love their sense of humor, when a guy will tell me something so ridiculous and raunchy, I can’t stop laughing.
I love men. But I’m still a feminist. Because the two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Just like I’d love my daughter and son the same amount. I want them to have the same opportunities. I want them to be respected for who they are, not their gender.
Why does that notion bother you?