image - Flickr / Neil Krug
image – Flickr / Neil Krug

I’m a feminist. I believe in gender equality; freedom of choice, equal pay, and reproductive rights for women. I also know that while great steps have been made in our global awareness of the matter and in lessening the gap, gender inequality (and subsequent sexual exploitation, harassment, and even violence) remains a pertinent issue in our world today. I stress ‘world’ and not ‘society’ as this is a global matter. Unfortunately, however, the mere semantics of ‘feminism’ can be problematic. It seems to have become a polarizing term, and therefore often falls short in its ultimate mission: gender equality. And as actress Emma Watson so rightly pointed out in her prolific UN speech last month, this mission concerns men just as much as it concerns women. “We need everyone to be involved” she said. Yet even alleged ‘feminists’ can often get their wires crossed. For instance, Beyonce is a vocal feminist and yet she seems to appeal to the male gaze at any chance she can get. So what is feminism today anyway?

Whilst some people may find the idea of feminism a redundant one, personally, I feel that this is a very exciting time in the gender equality movement.

By definition, the term feminism means the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Although it may be obvious, to give some context, the term (and movement) originated in the 19th century in France (feminisme). More recently, the second wave feminist movement, which began in the early 1960’s in the US—ignited by Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and President John F. Kennedy‘s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women—was a reaction to the post-war domesticity of women.

Certainly, the movement experienced some success with such legal victories as the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court ruling of 1965. And yet as it remains, today women are still paid 23% less than men for the same work, many women world wide continue to be challenged about or are simply denied their reproductive rights, and 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in gender based violence.

So the feminist movement, that is to say, the movement towards gender equality, is still alive and fighting strong.

Sadly though, the term ‘feminism’ seems to isolate too many men. Generally speaking, even liberal minded, educated, and relatively evolved men (men who otherwise share in the feminist ideology of gender equality) can momentarily cringe at the mere mention of it. As one of my close male friends pointed out to me yesterday, “‘feminism’ seems to carry with it the sentiment of ‘anti-men’, ‘man hating’ or that ‘men aren’t included’.” Watson’s ‘HeForShe’ speech finally addressed this stigma, and with bravery and poise, she spoke to men. A self proclaimed feminist, in her urgent call to end gender inequality, Watson said, “I am reaching out to you because I need your help.” This speech was pivotal because for the first time in the history of the feminist movement, men were actively invited to participate. In fact, as she pointed out, gender equality cannot be achieved without the engagement and participation of men. “If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.” She went even further by attesting that gender inequality doesn’t actually advantage men, it hurts them. For instance, as a result of societal stigmas and a culture of ‘macho-ism’, men are less inclined to express their vulnerabilities and emotional landscape. And because of this societal denial of male fragilty, men are left feeling ashamed when faced with mental illness or a failure to reach a certain level of expected ‘success’. Watson proposed that “both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.”

For some time, at least in my experience, ‘feminism’ felt relatively taboo in popular culture. Like it was a word we were no longer supposed to adopt; like we shouldn’t complain because for the most part we women have it pretty good—even though, as Watson pointed out, “if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able to receive a secondary education.”

And then, in May of this year, motivated by a hatred of women, Elliot Rodger murdered 6 innocent people. This brutal hate crime ignited women and men across the globe and consequently opened up an impassioned and LOUD online discussion about gender inequality accompanied by the hashtag #YesAllWomen. Like a sort of a renaissance in the global voice of women and equality in general that had for too long been repressed in popular culture, feminism, it felt, had at last been put back on the pop-culture agenda with a big fat trending #YesAllWomen.

In the last few years, in as far as pop-culture is concerned, TV has carried the enlightened gender equality baton. For the first time ever, real woman—all colors, all bodies, shapes and sizes, all emotions (the good, the bad and the ugly), and all sexual orientations were being portrayed (and still are) on the silver screen for the world to see. Girls and Orange is the New Black, both series created by women, have been the torch bearers of such bravery.

At The New School for Liberal Arts in New York earlier this month, trailblazing transgender actress Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) and prolific feminist author and social activist Bell Hooks (Aint I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, All About Love: New Visions) engaged in a fervent and frank dialogue about gender equality. In as far as where feminism stands today, this public discussion pretty well embodied the contemporary feminist zeitgeist. Cox’s take on feminism is about the celebration and inclusion of the many kinds of expressions of womanhood and femininity. “It’s important that we don’t demonize the woman who is in high-heels and that we don’t demonize the woman who is out of high-heels” she said. And while Hooks remained adamant that she wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of high heels, she acknowledged the relevance of women such as Cox and Beyonce—both successful black women who choose to wear blonde wigs and high heels—working within the framework of an “imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy.” Yet in response to Cox’s assertion that one person is not more feminist than another, Hooks retorted, “But if feminism is all things to all people, then what is it?” She urged that “radical openness requires discernment,” and continued, “Like my student might say, “I’m anti-abortion but I’m a feminist.” And I’ll say, “But that isn’t possible. There’s no one who’s genuinely a feminist who doesn’t support reproductive rights for women.” A fervent contemporary feminist dialogue indeed!

I opened this article with a quote from my 28 year-old male friend, Zach, and I feel it fitting to close with the same one: “Feminism is becoming an antiquated term for a new awareness of human identity.” In a holistic sense, is it that in our collective struggle to end gender inequality (or to achieve gender equality), which includes the various waves of feminism, we have finally reached a threshold that transcends polarity and separateness and rather asks for an expansion of human consciousness? I know contemporary spiritualist and author of The Power of Now, A New earth, and Stillness Speaks Eckhart Tolle would say “yes”, and I’m almost certain that he’s never once adopted the word “feminism”. And yet again, for what it’s worth, these apprehensions to embrace the ‘word’ are coming from men. That being said, I’m still a feminist. TC mark









Thought Catalog

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email

..
quotes on we heart it

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email

//
quotes on we heart it

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email

Untitled
quotes on we heart it

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email

valfre | Tumblr
quotes on we heart it

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email

.
quotes on we heart it

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email

I’m sure all of us have noticed the recent trend of internet lists. You know what I’m talking about: “10 Reasons Why Summer Is the Best,” “15 Ways That Mornings Suck,” and the most popular are always, “Some Random Number About How A Man Should Do Something To Or For A Woman.”

I’m not so sure what spiked the popularity of these lists. Is it because we’re all too lazy to read an entire article and a list just sums it up for us? Or, possibly, because at least one of those things is always so blatantly obvious that we end up saying, “O-M-G! That is totes me and exactly how I want my dream-boo to be!” I’m definitely guilty of reposting some of the funny ones about best friends because, well, sometimes I am too lazy to read an entire article, and sometimes it does “totes remind me of my besties.” However, almost all of the ones that I run across about relationships and what a woman wants just make me want to smack some people in the face.

I realize that I’m not a very typical woman so make of this what you will, but some of these are the dumbest things I’ve ever seen in my life. The lists normally consist of things like: honesty, faithfulness, support, caring, and on and on and on about what all we need to start wanting in a relationship.

Listen here, ladies: if you have to continuously read a list to remind you that you need to look for these things in a relationship, then go home and kick your dad in the balls. All of these things should have been instilled into your brain from the time that you were born. There comes a point when you become an adult and you need to know that these are common grounds for even a shitty relationship.

I honestly think my parents may have done too good of a job of letting me know how I deserve to be treated, because I have become one cocky bitch as I’ve gotten older. When you constantly have your parents telling you that you is kind, you is smart, and you is important, that eventually sticks! I know my dad thinks that I’m the third or fourth (I now fall behind my two nieces and it depends on who’s pissed him off more that day, me or my mom) most awesome lady on the planet, and I hate to break it to you, that’s the only man I need to validate my awesomeness. Ol’ Ma and Pa did a pretty good job of inflating this ego for me, I don’t need anyone else to push it along.

So, I’ve decided to make a realistic list of what, maybe not all women, but definitely women like me, would have in a perfect relationship scenario:

1. If I wake up at 11:00 pm to eat Cheetos, or ice cream, or a four-course meal, don’t say a word about it. Just grab a spoon and join in.

2. Watch some of my girly TV shows with me. No, Real Housewives of Any Goddamn State in America is not the most manly show at all, but if you actually watch, these people are ridiculous and hilarious. I mean Little Women of L.A. is a show about a group of little people friends. It’s gold!

3. Make me laugh. I love to laugh and it’s not that hard to make me laugh. Farts, people falling, talking shit about anyone, it’s all going to get me going. You have endless laughing resources — use them.

4. Laugh at me. Appreciate my sense of humor. Yes, I cuss too much, and I make extremely inappropriate jokes at extremely inappropriate times, but that stuff is funny. Don’t be all Judgey-Mc-FuckFace because I made a Dead Grandma joke when you know you really want to laugh at it.

5. If I put my cold feet on you in the middle of the night, just adjust and don’t bitch about it. I can’t help it they’re constantly blocks of ice and I can’t sleep with socks, damn it.

6. Love my dogs. If you don’t love my dogs, then you might as well hit the road, Jack. I don’t care if they’re annoying and jump on your balls every time you sit down, they’re awesome to me and only I am allowed to complain about them.

7. Don’t get grossed out because I have the same bodily functions as you. I mean, I’ll try not to announce it every time I have to go to the bathroom, but if I say, “Hurry up, we need to go,” it’s a code. I’m not going to cause myself discomfort just so you don’t get disgusted. Deal with it.

8. Don’t waste your time being all romantic, just learn what I like. The surprises that I like most are simple as hell. A Slim Jim and a 6-pack of craft beer? Be still my heart.

9. Just let me be myself. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything about me (as it’s plain to see from this list) so just roll with it. 

And that, ladies and gents, is my perfect list. There’s no security, loyalty, or any of that other bullshit on my list because that shouldn’t have to be said. All of that stuff is the understood groundwork and the above are things that you want and can adjust. I might can stop putting my cold feet on someone, but if having to make sure they know being honest and caring is part of the deal, then I’ll just stick to being single. I like taking up the whole bed anyway. TC mark

featured image – The Office









Thought Catalog

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email

cool kids , never die
quotes on we heart it

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email
Friends with Benefits
Friends with Benefits

“[INSERT PERSON THEY’RE DATING’S NAME] IS MY #MCM/#WCW!”

This is the new Facebook official. I know, Facebook official isn’t exactly old, but recently people find comfort and security in their face being plastered all over the person they’re seeing’s Instagram. Being vocal about your feelings and showing the person off is an elaborate, adoring way of calling dibs.

“Have fun with that.” or “lol have fun”

Ruh roh. You’re going somewhere or doing something they aren’t thrilled about, and they’re passive aggressively expressing their dissatisfaction with your decision. They don’t want you to “have fun.” They want you to have none of the fun. Know that responding “Thanks!” is a surefire way to make the situation 100% worse.

“He’s/She’s creepy/clingy/thirsty.”

Maybe this person is actually creepy, clingy or thirsty, but maybe, just maybe they’re only making a reasonable amount of effort, but the feelings of attraction aren’t mutual, thus it’s not labeled charming, it’s off-putting.

(After 8+ hours) “I just saw your text.”

Rare moments when it’s the honest truth aside, this usually means “I blew you off and didn’t even care enough to come up with an elaborate lie.” Brutal.

*Liking a bunch of the person they’re interested in’s selfies on Instagram*

This probably means, “I like what I’m seeing, feel free to send a direct, private message.” Same goes for faving tweets, or liking Facebook stuff, it’s all the equivalent of flirtatiously batting your lashes, and inviting a move to be made.

“He/She’s giving mixed signals.”

Someone liked a bunch of their selfies, favorited their tweets, and was all over their Facebook wall, but then didn’t respond to a private message.

“The person I’m dating and I trust each other, so we don’t mind sharing passwords and checking each other’s Facebook accounts.”

They have serious insecurities and trust issues, failing to realize that checking each other’s social media profiles is about as untrusting as it gets.

(After their number is requested) “YOU give me YOUR number and I’ll text you.”

It’s not looking good. This could be a precaution to stave off crazies, but if they truly intend to text you, you’re going to get their number anyway, right? For that reason, this is a grim sign and you’ll likely never hear from them, but in the moment it has to feel better than a blunt “No.”

“Not having someone to cuddle with sucks.”

Translation: It’s October-to-December-ish and the cool weather and changing seasons signed my permission slip approving me to go on a feel trip. The cold is a reminder of the lack of warm bodies nearby to snuggle with.

“Being single is exhausting.”

They saw something that looked wild and crazy on social media, and now think they’d rather be dating.

“Dating someone is exhausting.”

They saw something that looked romantic and tender on social media, and now think they’d rather be single.

(To the person they’re currently dating) “So-and-so has been being all flirty and stuff with me, it’s funny.”

This means, “You have competition. Feel threatened.” They might want to see you squirm, maybe to stroke their ego, or maybe to motivate you to make a move and take things to the next level if you already haven’t.

“Literally all of my exes are crazy.” (When they have 3+ exes)

The misfortune of dating two psychos is feasible, but anything more and it’s suspect. Either they’re actually the crazy one, and are unwilling to look in the mirror, or they drive their exes to Insanity Blvd. and drop ‘em off on the side of the road. This statement is one of the reddest flags.

“Want to play 20 questions?”

They’re going to ask what kind of music you like best, and you’ll say “Mostly country” or “I listen to everything but country,” and then after you discuss favorite colors and animals, somehow the topic will inevitably, awkwardly, abruptly and vulgarly change to sex.

*Silence while purposely taking long to text or call*

They actually like the person, and the best way to not ruin any interest their crush might have is to appear to have higher priorities than interacting them, right? At least, that’s what recent norms have convinced the masses to believe. Nothing shows interest like not showing interest.

“We’re talking.”

They’re avoiding any established, deep-rooted commitment because the vagueness of whatever it is they’re doing allows wiggle room for any hurt feelings or “mistakes” to be justifiable.

“Have a goodnight.” (at 8pm or earlier)

You’ve been dismissed. Relieved of your conversational duties for the evening. The sender certainly isn’t going to sleep this early; they’re just shunning you for several hours so you can think about what you’ve done to irritate them. This is the dating equivalent of being put in timeout. TC mark









Thought Catalog

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email
Friends with Benefits
Friends with Benefits

“[INSERT PERSON THEY’RE DATING’S NAME] IS MY #MCM/#WCW!”

This is the new Facebook official. I know, Facebook official isn’t exactly old, but recently people find comfort and security in their face being plastered all over the person they’re seeing’s Instagram. Being vocal about your feelings and showing the person off is an elaborate, adoring way of calling dibs.

“Have fun with that.” or “lol have fun”

Ruh roh. You’re going somewhere or doing something they aren’t thrilled about, and they’re passive aggressively expressing their dissatisfaction with your decision. They don’t want you to “have fun.” They want you to have none of the fun. Know that responding “Thanks!” is a surefire way to make the situation 100% worse.

“He’s/She’s creepy/clingy/thirsty.”

Maybe this person is actually creepy, clingy or thirsty, but maybe, just maybe they’re only making a reasonable amount of effort, but the feelings of attraction aren’t mutual, thus it’s not labeled charming, it’s off-putting.

(After 8+ hours) “I just saw your text.”

Rare moments when it’s the honest truth aside, this usually means “I blew you off and didn’t even care enough to come up with an elaborate lie.” Brutal.

*Liking a bunch of the person they’re interested in’s selfies on Instagram*

This probably means, “I like what I’m seeing, feel free to send a direct, private message.” Same goes for faving tweets, or liking Facebook stuff, it’s all the equivalent of flirtatiously batting your lashes, and inviting a move to be made.

“He/She’s giving mixed signals.”

Someone liked a bunch of their selfies, favorited their tweets, and was all over their Facebook wall, but then didn’t respond to a private message.

“The person I’m dating and I trust each other, so we don’t mind sharing passwords and checking each other’s Facebook accounts.”

They have serious insecurities and trust issues, failing to realize that checking each other’s social media profiles is about as untrusting as it gets.

(After their number is requested) “YOU give me YOUR number and I’ll text you.”

It’s not looking good. This could be a precaution to stave off crazies, but if they truly intend to text you, you’re going to get their number anyway, right? For that reason, this is a grim sign and you’ll likely never hear from them, but in the moment it has to feel better than a blunt “No.”

“Not having someone to cuddle with sucks.”

Translation: It’s October-to-December-ish and the cool weather and changing seasons signed my permission slip approving me to go on a feel trip. The cold is a reminder of the lack of warm bodies nearby to snuggle with.

“Being single is exhausting.”

They saw something that looked wild and crazy on social media, and now think they’d rather be dating.

“Dating someone is exhausting.”

They saw something that looked romantic and tender on social media, and now think they’d rather be single.

(To the person they’re currently dating) “So-and-so has been being all flirty and stuff with me, it’s funny.”

This means, “You have competition. Feel threatened.” They might want to see you squirm, maybe to stroke their ego, or maybe to motivate you to make a move and take things to the next level if you already haven’t.

“Literally all of my exes are crazy.” (When they have 3+ exes)

The misfortune of dating two psychos is feasible, but anything more and it’s suspect. Either they’re actually the crazy one, and are unwilling to look in the mirror, or they drive their exes to Insanity Blvd. and drop ‘em off on the side of the road. This statement is one of the reddest flags.

“Want to play 20 questions?”

They’re going to ask what kind of music you like best, and you’ll say “Mostly country” or “I listen to everything but country,” and then after you discuss favorite colors and animals, somehow the topic will inevitably, awkwardly, abruptly and vulgarly change to sex.

*Silence while purposely taking long to text or call*

They actually like the person, and the best way to not ruin any interest their crush might have is to appear to have higher priorities than interacting them, right? At least, that’s what recent norms have convinced the masses to believe. Nothing shows interest like not showing interest.

“We’re talking.”

They’re avoiding any established, deep-rooted commitment because the vagueness of whatever it is they’re doing allows wiggle room for any hurt feelings or “mistakes” to be justifiable.

“Have a goodnight.” (at 8pm or earlier)

You’ve been dismissed. Relieved of your conversational duties for the evening. The sender certainly isn’t going to sleep this early; they’re just shunning you for several hours so you can think about what you’ve done to irritate them. This is the dating equivalent of being put in timeout. TC mark









Thought Catalog

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousSubmit to redditShare via email