Last year I felt extremely lucky to make my big break into the Blogosphere as a writer for Gender Across Borders: A Global Feminist Blog. Since many of you know my employment for the last two years has been spotty, and it wasn’t uncommon for my mailman to ask me how my job search was going. At the time I’d picked up a decent-paying temp-job, but was even more excited about writing for this global publication. As I began to tell him about my new writing gig, he gave me with that, oh your one of them look complete with a nervous chuckle, before I could even finish my sentence.
It is 2011. The United States is still considered a first world nation, yet women still find themselves defending themselves against issues like victim blaming, reproductive choice, and the right to equal pay. Even though the second wave of the Feminist Movement began 40 years ago, I often get that type of reaction from men and women. Although some men, perhaps even my mailman, feel targeted by women's rights groups, the truth is men are not entirely to blame for the barriers feminism faces; it is a cultural phenomena in which some women do their darndest to thwart the rest of our progress.
You see in Modern Day America, there is no reason to feel threatened by us. We are not an extremist group like the KKK, who shamelessly professes superiority; yet we are demonized as such. We demand equality and that is it. Yet people continue to bring all types of connotations to their idea of what feminism is and they are not usually good ones.
I find that many define feminists as nothing short of a gaggle of boisterous hens that just won’t shut up. Perhaps this stems from the second wave of the feminist movement, in which women faced big challenges in their quest for equality as they emerged from the 1950’s era of the Happy Housewife. In order to break through those deep-set gender roles they had to be noisy.
It is more than obvious that some still feel threatened by feminism. Perhaps some people are just ignorant. As a feminist I strongly believe that women must treat men with the same respect and decency we are expecting from them.
In the movie Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen parodies an uneducated foreigner and addresses the Veteran Feminists of America with the following question "Is it not a problem that the woman have a smaller brain than a man? The government scientist Dr. Yamuka has proved it is size of squirrel." Although I found it funny in the movie, I don't find it funny that in Modern Day America, some people still think like that.
This is an Open Call, "What does Feminism Mean to You???