Why Do We Hate Feminism?

Want to hear a funny joke? Men’s rights. My first reaction: No, just no. When I first heard this joke in the seventh grade, I didn’t laugh. Or even smile, for that matter. It simply wasn’t funny. More importantly, it wasn’t true. I always expected that joke to be created by a Secret Society of Bitter Women (SSBW) who attempted a witty retaliation at men but failed. Epically. So when I heard this joke again just a few days ago, I suffered a nauseating blast from the past. This was a time (thankfully long gone) way back in middle school, when guys, desperate to reinforce their “manliness,” would incessantly insult girls with their pubescent, squeaky-floorboard voices, as if to put us in our place. I’ve tried hard to forget the specifics, but here’s a sample joke: What do you call a woman with two brain cells? Pregnant. Because of this superiority complex of those infuriating teenage boys, my friends were almost exclusively girls for three years. Quite frankly, I (and some of my less hormone-driven friends) considered them to be a waste of life. Together, we plotted, congregated and sought a way to bring them down, all playing a part —be it running faster, scoring more goals or getting better grades. Boys quickly became an alien species to us. They were “the others.” We didn’t understand them. We couldn’t understand them, and so we did the one thing we could: defeat them to earn our dignity back. For all our hard work, to prove those jokes wrong (which we did, incidentally), what were we labeled? The F-word. No, not the one synonymous with sex (get your mind out of the gutter). But rather the other F-bomb, the one that comes with just as much baggage: Feminists. Or, in modern terms, Feminazis. It was utterly baffling to me how something that seemed so good could have such a horrible connotation in society. Since when is feminism equated to being lesbian? How can one liken a movement towards equality as something backward, a step towards Satan? And of course, politics aside, why do we hate Hillary Clinton? Some of society tells us that feminism destroys America’s marriages, churches and homes. The “feminist agenda” is evil, they cry! Stamp them out before our kitchens are under stocked. Specks of dust on the living room mantelpiece! How could they do such a thing?! Hyper-religious sites I visited equated feminism to Satan. Right. Because feminism is definitely a “sin.” And Christianity definitely supports the suppression of women. Oh, and let’s not forget that in America, the word of God (however grossly misinterpreted) should even apply to Buddhists, atheists and Rastafarians. Women are clearly ripping apart families by filing for divorce at twice the rate of men. It’s not our fault that we just might have a legitimate reason for doing so. Evidently, along with being natural sinners, housewives and baby-killers, we women are not supposed to perform “men’s jobs,” be it in the White House or in law enforcement. Society deems us much too weak, and much too incapable. Being “mannish” is all too vulgar – even if sometimes, we are better at it. I can feel the eyes rolling already from both genders. Here I am, just another yapping feminist, blabbing away at the inequalities of society. But no, not quite. I am ever so grateful for the upturning of gender rules. As women, we have more rights than ever before. But I ask you – what is the point of drawing these gender distinctions? It has been scientifically proven that fetuses have no gender until seven weeks of age. And even at the time of gender differentiation and beyond, any minor dysfunction in male-female development will affect the genetic, chromosomal or physical traits that men or women possess. Interestingly enough, one’s anatomical sex and one’s sense of gender develop in different parts of the body at different times. In extreme cases, this results in Gender Identity Disorder. In lighter cases, some small characteristics of the other sex may result. So if we all have a bit of the other within us, why must there be a black and white line separating the two? We shouldn’t chalk up these differences, only to have them broken by almost every person who possesses traits of the other sex. That’s why we should bring feminism back, for what it truly is – a doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. Because we are all one and the same. Or at the very least related. Tina Su is a new Lower from Andover, Massachusetts.