I guess I knew long before high school that the only possible college major out there for me was Women's and Gender Studies. My parents were born in the 60s and lived as artists in Chicago all through the 80s so it's really no surprise that I had a pretty feminist upbringing. Our family dynamic was non-traditional, my mother was the breadwinner and my father, for much of my childhood, was a stay at home dad. They raised me to be sex positive and body positive. They taught me about the complexities of sexism and privilege when I was in elementary school. I embraced it as a child too. I was so proud to be a girl and a feminist. I carried that title excitedly.
So after a braless, anarcho-punk adolescence, I packed my bags and headed off to college to embark on my life's endeavor. Although college was easily my least favorite part of my life, I did very much enjoy reading bell hooks and Judith Butler and hashing out theories like intersectionality and evaluating my everyday life in terms of gender inequity. I acquired the vocabulary to express the thoughts and feelings I had about sexism and gender. I learned to articulate my world view, both accepting of people as individuals and intolerant of societal pillars of oppression, empathetic yet fierce. To this day, feminism remains the most important aspect of my identity.
With that in mind, I occasionally like to flex my feminist education and upbringing by indulging in a stupid aspect of misogyny and spewing feminist fury everywhere. Today it was a thought catalog listical entitled "13 Things a Woman Can Do To Be More Attractive to Men". Now, I knew going in that this was a poorly written, poorly edited wimpy little list written by a piece of human garbage masquerading as a "real man" but I got lots more than I bargained for. It was chock full of charming little quotes like "Men want to date WOMEN not men with vaginas" or "If you think you are such a fucking lady, you had damn well better act like it for once." (While suggesting that women need to be feminine and not curse, respectively). But there were two especially shitty things that really made this fucking dickbag stand out (John Smith was his name btw. I'm inclined to believe he used an alias because he's a fucking coward). Firstly, in a section of the listical in which he suggests that women with children are unattractive to men, he goes on about how no man wants to be caught raising a child that isn't his specifically, and this is the really fucked up part, if the child is biracial. OH and why don't men want to raise their girlfriend's biracial child? Because the kid's appearance is a constant reminder of what he calls "The ultimate form of culkoldry". Guess what?! I'm actually extremely uncomfortable with the fact that you are uncomfortable with my hypothetical biracial child. I'm pretty sure I don't want my kid to be raised in part by a racist anyway so bullet dodged...
But the second thing, which is really the icing on the cake is that at the end of the delightfully sexist and racist and weirdly personal listical, he added a section of preemptive responses to women complaining that his piece was sexist. He created hypothetical women and tried to speak from their perspective in what turned out to be a laughable attempt to pretend that he is somehow capable of being not just the voice of all men, but the voice of all women!! Of course, his responses actually just end up being hostile and dismissive. The female-him responds "that goes both ways", meaning that women have just as many prerequisites for their partners. Male-him responds "...you should write an article about it." But then, lady John Smith says "You don't speak for every man out there." to which Mr. John Smith replies "the less you deviate from the standard the more 'marketable' you are." Obviously, there is little more than I can say that I think this man is dangerously stupid and I am worried that his words will somehow influence someone somewhere and make them think they're inadequate.
So why is it, that I actually opened and read this article despite the fact that I knew I would disagree and get angry about it? The answer of course is that sometimes it's fun to let Feminist Hulk out of her cage. I don't always get to use my feminist rage but it is always there bubbling below the surface. I like to let that bitch out sometimes, ya know, to FEMINIST SMASH.
Here is a link to the deplorable article if in fact you feel like letting out your feminist rage: http://thoughtcatalog.com/john-smith/2014/06/13-things-a-woman-can-do-to-be-more-attractive-to-men/
And here is another link to some thoughtful internet feminism, Confused Cats Against Feminism: http://confusedcatsagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/
Enjoy, you crazy kids!