Feminist Identity

Modern feminism is very confusing to me.  It’s as if it can’t decide which message it wants to spread.  On one hand we’ve been taught that women can be soldiers, police officers, firefighters, or the President of the United States.  But we are also being told that women are delicate flowers that can not be expected to speak up and stand up for themselves if a man gives them unwanted attention.  Feminism needs to pick it’s identity because I don’t think you can claim to be bold and brave and passive and childlike at the same time.

I was born in the mid 70’s so I inherited the Gloria Steinem, “I am woman hear me roar”, brand of feminism.  I’ve never completely bought into it.  I definitely believe that women should be independent and that we should be able to pursue any career that we choose as long as our talent, abilities and skills are competitive with others in the same field.  There is absolutely no reason that women should be barred or discriminated against in most fields.

The aspect of feminism that I’ve never agreed with is that men and women are equal.  Math was never my strong suit but I know that equal means the same.  I don’t believe that either gender is superior to the other but I do believe that men and women are different.  We are just hard wired differently.

Feminism has been telling women for decades to act like men and take on masculine characteristics.  I think this in itself is sexist and shows a lack of appreciation for femininity.  I believe that women are more modest by nature.  However, feminism has told women to put their bodies on display as often as possible.

60’s style feminism also brought about the sexual revolution which hasn’t worked out very well for women.  By nature women yearn for exclusive relationships.  Feminism has taught women to be sexually liberated and have as many partners as possible.  It seems to me that this attitude from women have made men value women less and it’s made it more difficult to find men that are interested in commitment and family.  If sex is readily available for men many of them don’t see the need to be married.

Sexual assault and street harassment is a hot button issue for today’s young feminists.  I see them on Twitter all the time complaining about their space being violated by men publicly or privately.  I don’t understand why young women can’t tell men on the street to leave them alone.  If a man at the workplace is making unwanted advances why don’t these ladies make it clear that they are not interested and if the behavior continues document the incidents and report them to human resources.

For decades feminism has encouraged women to be bold and assertive but now it’s claiming that women are delicate flowers that need to be protected.  Which is it?  There use to be societal norms that made men take relationships more seriously, respect a woman’s space and take more responsibility as a father.  But feminist attitudes chipped away at the conventions and now they are all but destroyed.

Women have always had a hard time regardless of the culture or time period.  Feminism started off well and still offers a lot of great values.  But I think the great feminist mistake was not valuing and respecting femininity and teaching young women to be more like men.  A man is not superior to a woman but we are not equal, meaning the same either.  I want to be respected for my skills, talent and work but I want to be respected as a woman too.

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