Blogmas Day 8: We're Our Own Person

Hello, everyone! I hope you're all having a good day; I know this post is coming at you a little earlier than usual, but I've been up since 6:30 AM and figured I might as well knock this out head-on. I was up so early to take my first final exam, which was at 8 this morning and took a grand total of 20 minutes to complete. So here I am in my dorm room, feeling as though I've already accomplished a lot today, when in actuality I've only taken a 50-question exam and watched 2 episodes of The Office. Whatever, man. Let me have my false sense of pride.

So on to what I wanted to talk about today: I was inspired by the positive feedback I've received after yesterday's post about my favorite feminists, so I thought I'd follow that up with another feminist blog post. Not to turn this blog into my space to ramble on about the patriarchy, but if we're being honest, feminism is on my mind a good portion of the time, and the point of this blog is to express those thoughts. What I'm trying to say it's necessary for my health that I get a good feminist ramble in every so often, so bear with me.



Anyway, today what I wanted to talk about is a notion I've been seeing all over the place recently, and that is the idea that men out there that need to be persuaded into treating women equally based on the notion that "you wouldn't want someone to treat your sister or daughter that way." There's even an entire anti-assault movement surrounding this notion, called "She's Somebody's Daughter," and while it's a great cause, it grinds my gears. And that's because this argument, while well-intentioned, is problematic. Here's the thing: GUYS, YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO IMAGINE YOUR FUTURE DAUGHTER TO UNDERSTAND WHY GENDER EQUALITY IS IMPORTANT.

To backtrack a bit, I just want to reiterate that men who understand a feminist point-of-view from taking on this angle aren't bad people, and they really do mean well. But allow me to break down this statement further so you can understand where I'm coming from. Basically when you say "I should treat women well because I want other people to treat the women I love well," you're effectively saying "feminism isn't appealing unless I can make it about me." And that sucks.

While of course we don't live in an archaic world where women are property anymore, that's the world we come from and that's the attitude we're relying on. If you don't believe me when I say that, let me just remind you that the title "Mrs." is an abridged form of "Mr's." Those of you that know a thing or two about commas will know that "Mr's." effectively means "in possession of Mr." If that's not proof enough that we come from a society that prizes women as property, I don't know what else you want from me. So anyway, what I'm trying to say is while women aren't formal property in our modern day, women are still viewed as such, which is ultimately damaging. When a man says, "I don't want people to treat a woman I love with disrespect so I won't do that to other women," the only logic he's going off of is, "these women are important to me, so I'll make sure I treat other women well because those women belong to other men, too." You're effectively sending the message that women deserve respect because they have a man in their life that loves them. And while maybe that's not what you mean when you say things like that, that's the message you're sending. And guess what? We should respect women and acknowledge feminism not because women are property, but because they're human beings.

Is that really that crazy of a notion? That women are valuable not because we belong to anyone or have meaning to someone else, but simply because we're people? Do you really need to remember "that girl has a father or a boyfriend or a brother" in order to respect her? I say no. I would challenge men everywhere to take women seriously for the sole purpose of our mutual human status. You shouldn't have to remind yourself that my dad would hate to see me upset before you intentionally harm me. You should just understand that I'm a person and respect me as you'd want me to respect you. After all, that's what feminism is: the belief that the sexes should be given equal treatment and opportunities.

So anyway, that's all for me today. I know this was a shorter blog post than usual, but I'll contain myself before I start to drone on and on. I'm off to have lunch with some friends and do a Secret Santa exchange, which I've been looking forward to for weeks. I love Christmas, y'all. Anyway, I hope you're having a good day: may your coffee be strong and your Monday short.

“We gotta start teaching our daughters to be somebodies instead of somebody’s.”  -Kifah Shah

x,
Lauren

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