Dirty Little Word

Having firmly and scientifically established that dating sucks, and that the phrase “I’m a feminist” is a very powerful filter for finding a suitable mate or not getting the sex your body needs to function correctly, I’d like to take a better look at that dirty little word we sometimes don’t dare to use.

from Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

from Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

What do men think when they run away once they find out I am one? She won’t suck cock or do it doggy-style? She’ll be hairy and smelly? She’ll interrupt and disagree? She’ll get upset if doors are held open for her? She’ll have opinions? She’ll be shrill?

What do women mean when they say “I’m not a feminist”? Do they mean that they’re not into bra burning? That they like dick? (That they even, sometimes, like to suck it, so don’t worry, boys, they won’t be a waste of your time.) They’d like to have children and get married, perhaps? That they shave their legs and armpits because it’s good hygiene and that they will never get angry in public?

Scream into the pillow, if you need to, darling.

Now, let’s get it straight: feminism is not a fully formed ideology, it evolves together with it’s members and it means different things to different people. Since the beginning of the fight for women’s rights, it has taken many forms and focused on different aspects. White feminism, black feminism, womanism, intersectional feminism ― there are as many versions of the movement as there are women on the planet.

What unites us all is very simple: freedom.

We fight to have choices and to make decisions for ourselves, and we fight to be equal. Because today, in December 2016, we are not equal. We never have been.

We need to publicly and globally recognise this fact. We need feminists and their sometimes shrill, sometimes low voices because they’re the only ones that acknowledge this imbalance of genders in the real world. Feminism is the platform for that commentary and a vehicle for action.

Today, we’re at the beginning of the fourth wave of feminism, which is very different from the first and second waves. It takes from the third wave in the sense that it thrives on connectedness of the disenfranchised groups, and pushes it to the global level with the use of technology. The voices that emerge are more varied than ever before. One day we’re protesting in Warsaw, the next day our symbols are adopted in Argentina or South Korea.

But the current wave of feminism is also characterised by a greater inclusion of men. We are also just coming to terms with the fact that internalised misogyny exists and is going strong, and we need to address it in out future efforts, too.

Let’s hope the fourth wave will be the last. Feminism is a movement that vies for rendering itself obsolete.

In order to end feminism once and for all, men will need to renounce some of their privileges.

That’ll suck for them, sure. But, as our friend Olaszka put it, you give up your student discount, too, and though it sucks, you learn to live with it. Guys, it’s ok and it’s worth it.

To all the men I’ve liked

I know a Luke, who never said “I love you” to anyone but his dog. He would not cry when the dog died. Instead, he went to the cinema and cried during “Titanic”, in the safety of a darkened room.

I know a Jack whose son only runs to his mother whenever something notable happens (there are so many notable events in the life of a six-year-old), and who calls out “Mum” even when he means “Dad”. Jack would prefer to be a stay-at-home dad, but works well over 60 hours a week.

I know a Stan who hasn’t spoken to his adult daughter for 8 years and counting.

I know a Ben, who hasn’t made his wife orgasm in years, and now she’s having an affair and he pays for sex.

So to all the guys I’ve dated, or liked, or loved or hoped to fall in love with: it’s going to suck and then it’s going to be ok. Because, unlike with the student discount, by renouncing some of the privileges awarded you by the patriarchy, achieving (greater) gender equality will translate into gaining new ones!

What feminism wants to achieve will positively change things for men, too. For Luke, who never felt comfortable to express his emotions in front of another human being. For Jack, whose career choices aren’t his own. For Stan, who wasn’t ready for fatherhood. For Ben, who never learned about the clitoris.

Let’s fuck the patriarchy together!

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