And now let me present to you the most inane piece of writing about feminism I have seen in a while. Honestly, I’d much rather some people stayed away from topic they are not intellectually equipped to handle:
And the truth is, I do, I do appreciate the options. I understand that for years, women had no options and the fact that now we have them is decidedly a GOOD THING.
But sometimes it makes me wonder if all these options are weighing us down.
Because we have to make decision after decision after decision and then we feel we have to defend said decisions — to our parents, to our partners, to our friends, to ourselves. And as we defend our decisions, we relitigate them in our minds. Yes, it was the right decision to stay at home. Yes, it was the right decision to keep my name. Yes, it was the right decision to have only one child.
It’s strange because, actually, traditional definitions explain feminism as a movement to achieve equal rights and opportunities for women. But typically, men don’t actually have all these choices, or they don’t think they do, at any rate. Most men don’t decide whether or not to change their names; they don’t think about it all. Most men assume they will not stay at home with their children. And men never have to decide between a skirt or pants! Instead of having equal opportunities, it sometimes seems like women have more opportunities than men. And also more decisions. And more decision fatigue.
Of course, a decision whether to wear a skirt or pants is somehow so much more complicated and crucial than the decision to wear a sweatshirt, a dress shirt, or a T-shirt. Oh, the horrible, horrible feminism that gave us all these confusing wardrobe choices.
Aside from the very silly simplifications the author of the post I quoted uses here, the real issue that the post attempts to address in such an unintelligent way is that many people (completely irrespective of their gender) can’t decide whether they want to stick to the system of strict gender roles or move towards the system of gender equality.
“It would be great to have a successful career and make a shitload of money. However, if I fail at achieving that, will I still be able to gain my entire social validation from the fact that somebody married me?”
“Sure enough, it’s cool not to have to shoulder the financial burden of keeping the family all on my own. But would a financially independent woman still need me? Would she also expect me to contribute equally to housework? Because that would kind of suck.”
“Of course, I wouldn’t mind a husband who splits housework equally with me. But what if he ends up making a lot less money than I do? What he ends up being unemployed for months or for years? Am I ready to accept that I will have no source of financial support to rely on in exchange for being a woman?”
“I’d definitely like to live in the world where people come together and stay together not because they have no other way to make a living but simply because they love each other. However, if I don’t manage to interest any woman enough to love me for my own sake, will I still be able to purchase one (or two, or fifteen) for my own personal use?”
The sad truth for the yet undecided is that you really can’t have the proverbial cake after you have gleefully consumed it. You have to choose whether you want to live in a world where your genitals strictly define who you are and what you can do and reap all the attendant benefits and suffer the attendant limitations that this system imposes on you. Or, you can choose to accept the idea that having a penis or a vagina carries absolutely no social, political or economic meaning. Then, you will have a new set of limitations and rewards implicit in this way of being.
The good news, though, is that this is a choice you don’t have to keep making. Evaluate the benefits and the cost of each system to you, pick one, and stick to it. Only just decide already because all this “Sure, feminism is great but. . .” whining is getting too annoying.