Opinion: Equalists vs. Feminists

Why I am Not a Feminist (appeared originally in December 2015 issue of The Echo)

By Lauren Crosier | Reporter 

Okay, I will admit, at the beginning of this feminism boom I called myself a feminist. I was all for female power. Looking at it now, I cannot believe I was all for empowering the female whilst being completely ignorant to the suppression men face. It sure does seem like everyone and their mothers are jumping on the bandwagon and calling themselves a feminist, for the sake of the name itself. I am not calling out everyone here; there are feminists with good intentions and who fight for good causes, but there are the few who would rather fight shallow arguments for already solved issues.

The literal definition of feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities or organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests.” Yet, most of the feminists you see only talk about the issues women have, such as the difference in pay between genders. No one acknowledges things men are subjugated to. For example, men are required to sign the Selective Service card at the age of 18 if they want to act upon their right as a citizen of the United States and vote. Thanks to some women, (cough cough) Beyoncé, people are now blindsided to what feminism really should be about.

Women can easily discriminate against the male gender without social penalty, where if a man were to do that he would be ridiculed beyond belief for being sexist. The government spends $500 million on women’s health. The government also has a department specifically for women’s health, while men have no such department. In custody disputes, women are granted full custody in over 68 percent of cases while men receive primary custody less than 14 percent of the time. If a woman physically assaults a man and police get involved, it is likely that he will be the one going to jail.

I’ve been told countless times how men are more privileged than women and that as a woman I should realize that. In this day and age, where everyone is jumping on this bandwagon, I’m constantly criticized for not being a feminist, and have even been told that I might as well not even be a girl if I’m not a feminist.

With such pressing issues within the male spectrum, I cannot comprehend why most feminists ignore these problems. After much thought, I have come to realize that I am not a feminist and I never have been. I would rather be ostracized by my classmates and peers for speaking my thoughts than be applauded for inequality in a supposedly pro-equality system. How about instead of being a feminist, we just be equalists?

 

Letter to The Editor

By Jenna Watkins

Dear The Echo,

In regards to a published column last issue concerning a reporter’s take on feminism, I have quite a bit to say about the stance that was taken.

I would first like to point out discrepancies in some of the claims made. While pushing to for everyone to be “equalists,” the reporter ignores her earlier definition of what feminism is. Her talk of feminism, focusing on just women’s rights and ignoring the plight of the male condition, is a barbaric approach in refuting the cause of feminism.

Feminism is equality for ALL sexes, and the fact that it’s been a focus on women is just a product of the times. She points out feminists honing in on women’s issues such as the wage gap, but that is hard to ignore when it is directly affecting what the cause stands for.

Women on average get paid seventy-seven cents to every dollar earned by men. Some argue that this is because women are disproportionately represented in lower-paying fields and aren’t very well represented in higher-paying jobs. However, in a study done by Dr. Claudia Goldin, a labor economist and leading scholar on women and the economy at Harvard University, found that most of the wage gap stems from differences within occupations, not the genders themselves. This gap widens in higher-paying jobs like business, law, and medicine.

Also, there is no denying the fact that men can be a victim of domestic violence, as proven in a statistic that says 10% of men have experienced some sort of violence from a partner in one form or another. A true feminist who represents and believes what they stand for would never try to ignore problems on both sides of the issue, and the fact this reporter believes so strongly that the feminist movement isn’t about this, is saddening.

The most pressing concern about the article is the continuing mention of feminism being a “bandwagon.” To me, such a description to a movement that has changed the life of women drastically is an insult to the cause. In this country, women have only been allowed to vote for 80 years. It’s a shame nowadays that people try to find any position to go against what many people believe in just to be “different.”

Letter to the Editor written in response to Lauren Crosier’s column. 

Photo illustration created by Hailee Smith (Jenna Watkins left, Lauren Crosier right)

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