Let me tell you a thing about feminism. Yeah feminism, the now most loathed f-word. Women wanting to be treated like people, so boring. If you’re still reading at this point, it’s almost a miracle. So let’s talk about a common misconception in feminism: the idea that feminists think that all men are rapists.
I was sexually assaulted and I felt ashamed. If your automatic response to that as a male is “not all men, I wouldn’t do that” you are part of the problem. You are blinded by rape culture. You are part of the problem because the only part of that sentence you registered was the negative connotations towards men. You are part of the problem because the main point of that sentence was “I felt ashamed” but you ignored it because it wasn’t about men. Feminists don’t believe that all men are like that. Women know that most men don’t act like that towards women. Feminism isn’t about treating every man as a criminal, feminism is about changing the response society has towards victims of sexual assault and rape. Women are conditioned to blame themselves. “What could I have done differently?” “Could I have prevented that?” Feminism is about ending victim blaming. When you report a sexual assault, the most common questions are “what were you wearing?” “how many drinks have you had?” “did you lead him on?” This is victim blaming. This is saying that, by just existing, you showed a man something he wanted and he took it. According to society, this is the victims fault.
Let’s look at this another way, you see a nice car that belongs to someone and it’s parked in their driveway with the keys inside. If you take it because you want it, it’s theft. It’s a crime, and you will be held accountable. Nobody ever claims the owner was “asking for it.” It’s such a simple concept, so why is it so absurd to think the same rule could apply to a woman, as it does to a car?
This is what the feminist movement is about. It’s about the right of women to be treated like, dare I say, human beings. It’s about the fact that we teach women how to avoid being raped, instead of telling men not to rape women. It’s about women who currently have more legal policing of their bodies than a corpse, did you know that? You cannot take a deceased persons organs and give them to another to save them without express written permission, but you can tell a woman that she cannot get an abortion. That she cannot elect to have a c-section birth without paying because it’s not natural. But she also cannot breastfeed in public because god forbid her breasts be about feeding her infant, instead of pleasing your gaze. It’s about the fact that in order to create awareness about breast cancer, it still had to be about men instead of women dying, with slogans like “don’t let cancer steal second base”. It’s about telling young boys they “throw/punch/cry like a girl” and conditioning them to believe the worst thing in life they can be is a “pussy.” The worst possible thing to be as a man is compared to women.
If you have ever told a woman what feminism is and what she should be fighting for, you are part of the problem.
If you believe the solution to the current circulation of “celebrity nudes” is that they “shouldn’t have taken them” rather than that they shouldn’t have been stolen, you are part of the problem.
If you think that under any circumstance, rape and sexual assault is excusable, you are supporting rape culture and you are part of the problem.
If you have ever consumed exploitative material such as pornography, or gone to a strip club and then you have the nerve to dictate how much of a woman’s body she should show or what she should be wearing, or how she should be speaking, you are part of the problem.
If you have ever told a woman that she is not oppressed, you are part of the problem.
You are the reason feminism exists.