I have always known feminism to be explicitly: the movement that strives for equality between genders (more or less). In today’s booming social media scene however, it seems like the feminist movement is a lot louder and far more violent than I’d expected it to be.
To provide some background on this article: I’m part of a Facebook group for Asian Americans, and some of the topics that come up, aside from dating and life advice, are feminist, well, rants. And the biggest problem I have is that, while feminism is still a powerful movement, it is not done in a sophisticated manner.
People nowadays can find the smallest thing to argue about even if it doesn’t seem like it’s worth arguing over. Feminists today are loud and ready to force the public to hear their voices. Unfortunately, when you’re in your mid-twenties hearing a feminist rant, you’re on one of three sides: the Sympathizer, the Follower, or the Reject AKA the Enemy.
The Sympathizer understands where the rage behind the current feminist movement as originated from and therefore concedes with all points behind feminists. In the past, women were not originally able to vote, were subject to sexist advertisements, and were confined to a stereotypical “house-wife” role which disregards a woman’s ambition. The Sympathizer is (typically) the man who knows that women are now an unstoppable force not to be reckoned with, and he will stand behind powerful women in their fight for equality.
The Follower is the loud (but not nearly as loud) feminist who will willingly rally behind the loudest feminist. The Follower uses terms like “womxn” or “woman without man.” This is the girl who did not, in the past, know about feminism, and she will typically follow suit and fight the good fight.
The Reject, however, is not the man who disagrees with the feminist agenda – he is the man who doesn’t understand the suddenly loud approach that feminists are currently taking. The Reject can interject with questions that will not be answered, and he might also be subject to backhanded comments. On occasion, the Reject can be a woman who, although a feminist, does not understand the feminist agenda.
I’m one of those rejects.
I grew up around powerful women. The women who influenced me throughout different points in my life proved many times that a woman can choose to wear makeup, but she can also choose not to. She can choose to wear dresses, or she can choose to wear pants. A woman can choose to have a retail job, but she can also choose to become a doctor. A powerful woman, I learned, was so much quieter than the ones I see today because she was too busy succeeding doing whatever she chose to do.
Today, feminists are loud. They’re all too proud of their parts, and they don’t need a man to tell them what to do. To them, a girl who chooses to stay home for the man she loves is weak, and somehow, some way, this must be the man’s fault for oppressing her. Today, feminists strive to be dictators, and they don’t let people in.
But how do you expect people to learn of a woman’s power if you won’t let men in? At this point, we’re not being oppressed – we’re being ignored! And we’re not being ignored because we don’t matter; we’re being ignored because no one can understand why some of us are so fucking angry and some aren’t.
A man can’t truly learn of a woman’s power if he’s too busy covering his ears because a feminist won’t let him talk. He can’t get answers if she refuses to listen or reply.
I am a reject feminist.
I am a reject feminist because I’m okay accepting the supposed “gender roles” of today in which a woman should wear makeup or wear heels. I’m okay with this because, as a feminist, I can choose not to, but I also have the freedom to follow this role simply because I want to.
I am a reject feminist because when the other girls are calling men trash and creating a new type of anger fueled by the feeling of oppression, I am on the sidelines quietly agreeing with the men who do not completely understand the anger behind these words. A woman will scream “feminist” and still use her femininity to take what she wants. A woman will fight for equality but will reject a man for lack of chivalry.
Modern dating didn’t kill chivalry – modern feminism did. Modern feminism killed the idea that a man should open the door for a woman simply because it’s what a man should do when he is being polite, and it killed the concept of offering assistance because modern feminism asked him “if you offer her help, will she think it’s because you’re being nice or because you think that, just because she’s a woman, she’s incapable of doing something?” Modern feminism killed the idea of a gentleman because some of us can’t accept a helping hand without bringing up the assumption that “because we are woman” a man doesn’t respect us.
I am a reject feminist because I will prove my worth and worthiness of equality and power by achieving what I told myself I’d achieve. This is my plan. I will earn my power and use it. I am this reject because the only person who needs to recognize my worth is, well, me. My validity does not rely on the perceived equality of the sexes; it stems from the power I’ve achieved and my ability to ensure that others feel that power through my looks and actions.
I am a reject feminist because I don’t feel like yelling over a crowd. I don’t want to argue that women are better, and I don’t want to tell men that they aren’t worth half of what a woman is worth. How are we supposed to fight for equality when all we’re doing is showing that we’re angry? Your anger and the volume of your voice do not translate to power, and it definitely does not increase the perception of your power. We can’t fight for equality by being protesters – we have to prove that we’re powerful.
Prove your worth.
Prove the validity of your skill.
Prove that you can dress however the fuck you want.
Prove that wearing a dress and heels does not make you weak because these heels are on the feet of a boss.
Prove that looking sexy is a choice not an obligation. By extension, prove that wearing jeans, a hoodie, and no makeup is also a choice, not proof of inferiority.
Prove that you wear makeup to portray the power you feel inside on your face, so that others can feel your power with a single glance. This makeup is my battle armor, and if you aren’t scared, then you’ll find out later that you should be.
But don’t prove it to a man – prove it to yourself. If men don’t matter in the feminist agenda, why are we so busy telling men we’re worthy of equality?
I am a feminist reject because I can prove that I am worthy of equal treatment without being the louder one.
Equality is not given to those who scream – equality is given to the one who acts on her principles without expecting a crowd.
If you want the freedom to be yourself, fight for it.
But don’t drag the true definition of feminism down on the way there.