He said: Views on feminism

Yousef Fatehpour

I think I finally get feminism and all I needed to do was search it up on Twitter. I support feminism because it seems like men are dictating what women should or shouldn’t be mad at.

I don’t know what happened, maybe it was the #Saveourgirls campaign where more than 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped, the promotion from actresses like Emma Watson, Amy Poehler and Ellen Page or the recent YouTuber Sam Pepper controversy. Pepper went around doing a self-proclaimed “prank” where he tells a girl to look somewhere and he proceeds to grope them, but 2014 will be remembered for how powerful activism for women was, and how women and even men expressed their feelings on the advocacy of women’s rights on a mainly social level.

Before this, all I knew about feminism was that throughout history there have been a number of female figures who have stood up for their own gender against outrageous injustices like not having the right to vote, or not being taken seriously when it came to women attending colleges and universities.

After the ’70s, feminism kind of faded away, but it was always there. About 20 years ago or so, the internet was invented. Ten years later people who had access to a computer started voicing their opinions on forums and 10 years after that, many people who felt strongly about it began tweeting about their opinions about Walmart ads and YouTube Videos on their phones.

Tackling issues from a guy’s perspective would be effective. First off, “Feminism is pointless now, women were fighting over much more pressing issues before, now they’re just trying to find reasons to be mad,” according to Feminism bubblesome popular opinions on social media. Honestly, after thinking about this for about two hours, and then a realization sparked, does it really matter? Just because it’s better doesn’t mean it’s not good.

Maybe women were fighting for much bigger rights a hundred years ago, but what should stop them from fending off the current issues?

Another thing I always hear is that women are too sensitive. When Pepper posted his prank video (which he later claimed a “Social Experiment”) of him pinching girl’s rear ends without them knowing, Twitter flooded. Almost every girl I followed was angry, and at first I really couldn’t see why because it was harmless to me. Yes, it’s a little uncomfortable for the girls, and although I myself thought it was a bit of an over  exaggeration, later I realized that that’s why they’re so mad, this is why feminism is alive right now, it’s the fact that men are setting standards for what they should feel or be offended at. The bar of sensitivity cannot be dictated by anyone, let alone men, because we as men never feel pressured to speak up on issues but we put a certain amount on women to speak up on how they feel.

Writer Leah Kashar said on her op-ed about The Rules of Feminism, that “a woman who does not want to be labeled a “feminazi” will start out a feminist sounding statement with the phrase “I’m not a feminist, but…”” Men who are so opposed label any woman who’s willing to speak loudly about how she feels as a “feminazi” and force them to adjust what they say just so they aren’t labeled.

Maybe women were fighting for much bigger rights a hundred years ago, but what should stop them from fending off the current issues.

There’s guys out there who think that women are exaggerating, but if that’s not the line, then what is? Women shouldn’t change their values because they feel like they need to change their values because they feel pressured by the bar men set. Girls really shouldn’t have to worry about which body part it’s ok to grope as a prank, or which topic is just sensitive enough to be offended at. We can’t dictate what a whole gender should be offended at, neither should we.

One of the more popular answers for girls that are asked whether they are feminists or not is usually, “I’m a humanist,” and that would be great, it would be great if we can just focus on equality for every single human down to the core of it, racially and sexually, but when the opposite gender is setting the bar or dictating what is right for girls to be offended by and/or what they shouldn’t be offended by.

Then maybe feminism isn’t such a bad idea.