2/1/2018 2 Comments
When "feminism" becomes anti-woman.
Okay, so I'm confused.
Between #YesAllWomen and #MeToo, I've read countless stories about how women are "constantly afraid." Apparently, we never walk to our cars without keys jammed between our fingers. We never enter a man's home without worrying he's going to rape us -- and we're so scared of being raped, that we non-consensually consent to sex we don't want.
According to The female price of male pleasure, published in last week's The Week:
Women are enculturated to be uncomfortable most of the time. And to ignore their discomfort.
(To be clear, though, I didn't find the entire article preposterous. It made some good points -- for example, "PubMed has 393 clinical trials studying dyspareunia. Vaginismus? 10. Vulvodynia? 43. Erectile dysfunction? 1,954." But the whole, "women are helpless, passive recipients of pain and discomfort" thing seemed a bit exaggerated, disempowering, and overblown.)
Buzzfeed lists several other things women don't do, because they are constantly too afraid, because men are scary:
1. Get drunk, because you never know if someone might try to assault you when you're under the influence.
Because men are so scary and dangerous, lots of women's groups are demanding women's-only spaces, from libraries to "safe spaces."
But from where I'm sitting, if any place is going to be a "safe space," shouldn't it be bathrooms -- the place where we go to poop, pee, change our clothes, breastfeed our babies, change our tampons, or even just take a break from a loud event or a bad date?
Well, according to regressive, anti-feminist feminists... not so much.
According to them, it's important to embrace gender-neutral bathrooms. Everyday Feminism writes:
Embrace the Sounds
The post advises men:
Don’t make folks feel unsafe or trapped by hitting on folks, following them in and out of the bathroom, or asking folks lots of personal questions.
Wait -- what?
Women may have safety concerns??? They might be afraid of harm???
Yes. But... they're supposed to just be okay with it. I guess?
Women who are afraid of walking home at night, wearing bright colors, getting into a taxi, giving out their real names, making eye contact, and engaging in small talk with men... are supposed to be okay with pooping, changing their pads, or removing their clothing in a bathroom with men?
Women who are constantly worried about their safety, whether at home, at the mall, or at work, are supposed to be cool with gender neutral bathrooms and locker rooms?
If that's the case, how scared can these women possibly be? It makes no sense.
Driving this huge contradiction is, of course, trans-rights activists. Since "feminism" has to be "intersectional" now, women's rights and interests are often trampled by those who rank higher on the hierarchy of oppression. For example:
Feminists: You can't be pro-life and also a feminist.
Also feminists: Islam is, like, empowering and a choice and totally feminist (never mind that women are being jailed for taking off their hijabs and Muslim-majority countries are among the worst in the world for gender equality!).
Feminists: Police brutality is unacceptable!
Also feminists: Otto Warmbier deserved to be tortured to death because he had white privilege.
Feminists: Body positivity is the bomb! Every woman should be proud of her body! Fat women deserve a voice! Fuck the beauty standard!
Also feminists: If you're a smaller fat body writing blog posts or sharing bikini photos on social media, you're "crowding the conversation of fat acceptance."
Feminists: No one is entitled to your sexual or romantic attention! Fuck off!
Also feminists: If you're a straight man who wouldn't date someone with a penis, you're transphobic.
Feminists: Conversion therapy doesn't work.
Also feminists: Everyone needs to train themselves to feel sexually attracted to all genitals -- even ones they're not sexually attracted to.
Feminists: Women should feel autonomy and agency over their bodies -- they shouldn't have to share beds or hotel rooms with people who make them uncomfortable.
Also feminists: Unless the person has autism.
Feminists: Women are constantly terrified and need safe spaces, because #YesAllMen.
Also feminists: Women need to be comfortable in gender neutral bathrooms, or they're transphobic and oppressive.
Indeed, as I wrote in I Changed Men to Muslims in an Everyday Feminism Post, and Here's What Happened:
According to Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Religion and Politics, regressive liberals like to hold certain groups and ideologies "sacred," above criticism, skepticism, and open discussion. Their fervor is zealous -- religious, even.
The other sacred, above-criticism group that Haidt mentions... is transgender people.
Because this tiny percentage of the population has preferences that will make them feel more comfortable, the vast majority of the population must accommodate them.
I've even heard of "protests" and "demonstrations" where members of one sex go into the bathroom of the opposite gender, and intentionally make it uncomfortable for members of that gender to relieve themselves. They call it "showing you what it's like to be trans or non-binary." But to me... it looks a lot more like revenge.
Revenge is pretty hot, and completely acceptable, in social "justice" groups right now. In the name of "giving voice" to the oppressed? From black, trans teachers "yelling and swearing at" high school students for asking a simple, valid question to the person who is being paid to educate them to violating feelings of comfort and safety -- and actually humiliating -- cis people who are trying to use the restroom without a disgusting, pervy audience.
If someone comes from an oppressed group, there is no faulting them, no matter what they do? Can you just do whatever you want to them, in the name of "enlightening" them? I feel like there's a crusade or Native American conversion attempt or something we could maybe learn from, here.
Obviously, the trans bathroom issue is a complicated one. I don't know if I have a great solution. Obviously, single-stall restrooms would be great -- but super costly in terms of cash and real estate. Obviously, gender-neutral bathrooms would make a lot of people uncomfortable, and present a huge contradiction to social justice dogma.
All I really know is that issues are complicated. Social justice warriors try to simplify them down to a simple set of rights and wrongs, politically correct and socially unacceptable views. But by being satisfied with a contradictory solution that is inconsistent with your own beliefs, you hinder progress, undermine your message, and prevent meaningful dialogue.