I'm a feminist

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
I cringe a little when I admit that. I've always (incorrectly) assumed that feminist were men haters. But I certainly don't hate men. I love a lot of them. My husband, two sons, father, and three brothers to name a few.

But when I marched to the front of my church to give the speaker what for after his comments on modesty, I realized I couldn't deny it anymore. It wasn't just the woman who ruined her family because she wore too short of shorts and tanktops, and it wasn't just that boys shouldn't give the time of day to women who weren't dressed "appropriately" (nevermind treating everyone with decency and respect, no matter how they're dressed), it was deeper than that. A belief that women are responsible for what's wrong inside someone else.

The embers inside of me fanned into flames.

I'm not proud of telling him he needed to do some research and look up such things as, "Modesty Shaming". I'm actually a little embarrassed (not the best venue, right in front of the pulpit), but someone has to say something.

So this is me saying something.

Women: based your modesty from a place of deep respect for your body. The way we dress sends a message. Let that message be about telling your story, not trying to sell someone elses.

Men

Let's start with a scenario.

You're on a beach.
A woman with curves in all the right places jogs toward you, a bright smile on her face, and a string bikini on her body.
She ranks a ten. An eleven, even.
And she's your daughter.

Now tell me you can't control your thoughts. That it's her responsibility to make sure you don't take advantage of her.

I'll end with this: Treat people to the highest of their potential, and they just might surprise you by surpassing it.

2 comments:

  1. Anthony said...:

    Well, since you asked, your beach example is pretty poor. There are very good reasons why a father isn’t sexually attracted to his bikini clad daughter, little of which has to do with controlling thoughts and who’s responsible for attracting whom.

    Just so we get it out of the way, I am an evolutionary psychologist. My exposure to biological research as it pertains to human behavior, specifically inter-gender behavior, has me concluding feminism is an political construct for selfish and destructive ends.

    Consequently, most feminists hate evolutionary psychologists. Because sexual dimorphism pretty much destroys the feminist clown car.

    But let’s go back to the hot girl on the beach.

    Why does that man view that girl different than other girls? I mean really? Not an exercise in principals. But why?

    The answer is deeply rooted in biology. Just as women have specific (and better) communicative attributes different from men, and men on average have more upper body strength than women, so also do men have visual acumen (such as better spatial awareness) different from women.

    These differences in how visual data is processed by the brain stems from evolutionary traits. One way how this dimorphism manifests itself is through the ability of a man to pick his offspring, starting with an infant, out of a group of like-aged children, even if dressed similar. Most men will do this better than women.

    In this example, the nubile bikini-clad hottie running down the beach with her bewbies bouncing up and down is visually patterned as his offspring even before the man can consciously recognize her. I could prattle on and on about the biological hypothesis of incest avoidance (the driving factor to the cultural incest taboo), but it all boils down to the father and the daughter are bonded. Just as the pair-bounding of a man and a woman creates the biological backing for advanced sexual relations, so does the father-daughter bond provide the biological root to abuse avoidance (which includes incest). This type of bond is evolutionarily distinct from sexual attraction. It is an attraction that supersedes sexual attraction.

    There was no question on “why”, but I asked it anyway. The questions for men were rhetorical and not really questions at all but rather a generalization on how men behave. So I supplied the exact reason men behave that way in the scenario provided to come to this: “Treat people to the highest of their potential, and they just might surprise you by surpassing it” is a key reason why I object to feminism as an ideology: because feminists usually generalize and then demonize behavior they don’t understand.

    I completely agree with your end note, yet I reject feminism. Now isn’t that funny.

  1. Anthony: Feminism is defined as this: the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
    Just to be clear: you're against that?
    Also to be clear: your stand is that men are more spatially aware, and therefore genetically programmed to make women into objects?
    You're entire argument was based on hating my example. Fine. I'll make things really simple for you.
    I don't like being judged based on my looks above my actions.
    I don't like being told I must dress modestly to save men from themselves and their thoughts (I dress very modestly for myself). Men are perfectly capable of controlling their own thoughts, even if every woman in America decided to join a nudist colony.
    You want another example of men controlling themselves? How about Amazon and African tribes where the women wear next to nothing. How about gynecologists? My stand is that modestly is largely culturally dictated.
    Our culture sexualizes men at a young age, and men buy into the message. I can believe that men are more visual creatures. What I don’t buy is that men are victims of their genetics, which is just an excuse men use to engage in the above behaviors, as wells as many others that I have had to suffer through.
    My stand: take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions. Don’t make excuses.

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