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5 Things You Better Not Say To Me.

It’s quite chilly here in Winnipeg, Canada and the -40C weather can make me a little grumpy. So to beat the frost and the fools, I’ve slipped on my sassy pants to keep myself warm. The frost will soon disappear, but unfortunately the fools won’t – so the sassy pants are here to stay. As a result, if you plan on making one of these horrendous statements, prepare yourself for some sass.

1. “Feminism is irrelevant in the West.”

Do not tell me that western democracies are not patriarchal. Do not try to claim that men and women have the same opportunities, or that women and men are perceived as equals.

Hyper masculinity, prejudice against ethnic minorities, and rape culture are all issues prevalent in the West. These are all borne from patriarchy, which feminism seeks to dismantle.

Just because there are radical publicized forms of oppression and sexism in other parts of the world does not mean attention should not also be paid here. Just because not all forms of sexism are overt does not mean that they are not extremely detrimental to society.

We will let you know when feminism becomes irrelevant, anywhere.

2. “You just like complaining.”

Funny enough, we feminists, do not like complaining. Who wants to spend their days resenting the world in which they live?

Life would be a whole lot sweeter if we could enjoy it as it was. It would be so perfect if we could go about our daily business without becoming infuriated.

We criticize because we have to. We make a fuss to show that things are wrong. We speak up so everyone can hear us.

We HATE complaining, but we won’t stop until we have nothing to complain about.

3. “But if you account for the factors…”

When discussing issues of gender, colour or sexuality, people always become extremely concerned with statistical accuracy. So concerned in fact, that they often forget the real issue at hand.

It is a petty rebuttal to say a number should 18% rather than 21%. It doesn’t change much, and it also shows you have no greater insight to add to the conversation.

Furthermore, asking to account for extraneous factors is actually at odds with discussions of oppressed minorities. Saying, “you need to account for maternity leave”, or “don’t forget about education levels” is shortsighted and deflects the importance of the topic.

Sure, if we ‘account for’ numerous factors we can tweak the statistics to produce a completely different result, but if we change the numbers we are ignoring the fact that oppressed minorities exist in different economic, social, and political positions.

Newsflash: that is the whole problem.

To compare genders or races so narrowly as to eliminate real social differences defeats the purpose of the comparison in the first place.

4. “All feminists are lesbian, bra burners, and man haters.”

It upsets me that this even needs to be discussed. I mean, really? How can someone be so narrow minded as to make these assumptions?

That’s like saying all men who play sports are sexist, can’t read and lack emotional depth.

Do not use unfit caricatures of feminists as a rebuttal against the movement. It is neither factually correct nor a good argument. Do not use an isolated example to defame an entire movement.

Feminists are straight, blonde, male, short, transgender, conservative, and every other identifier you can imagine.

5. “Feminism hurts men.”

This is perhaps the biggest misconception of feminism. Anyone who says this is clearly speaking from a place of ignorance.

Feminism fights for the equality and empowerment of all genders.

It is patriarchy, not feminism, which gives women a bias in family court issues. It is patriarchy, not feminism, which promotes hyper-masculinity. It is patriarchy, not feminism, which says men cannot resist their carnal urges to rape.

Feminism wants society to see both men and women as equal humans who can excel in all areas of life. Both men and women can be caregivers, breadwinners, strong, and emotional.

Every person on this planet should support feminism, because everyone should want equal opportunities and rights. Those who don’t support feminism are those who benefit from its suppression.

So next time you are about to criticize feminism ask yourself if it is a valid argument. Have you done your research? Would you feel comfortable penning your name beside it? Does it further a meaningful discussion? How would the women in your life feel about it?

Whatever you do, make sure your statements are more calculated than the following incredible declaration of ignorance.

“Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their kids, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” – Pat Robertson

Growth Isn’t Always Good: Women in Today’s Globalized Economy.

Five Feminist Fantasies.