Atheist Life Hacks: How To Take A Stand On Feminism

Godless Dad's glory days

Godless Dad’s glory days

If you’ve hung around here long enough, you know my other half, Godless Dad, once toured with a popular Canadian punk rock band he help found as the drummer. Since the day I met him, he’s told me stories of the tour van breaking down in rural Ontario or that time they stopped in the middle of the prairies, flat land as far as the eye could see, and were swarmed with mosquitos as they relieved themselves on the side of the road. When we travel back to Vancouver and through our old neighbourhoods, he points out the same places over and over again: “that’s where Mike broke my ankle!”, “that’s where we wrote the song, Eat at Bernie’s“, “that’s where we auditioned bassists!” and so on and so forth. Sometimes, he pulls out his old boxes full of memories from that time, and plays songs for us, shows us photos, and tells us stories. It’s a running joke that any time any of this happens, I sing the chorus from the Boss’ masterpiece, Glory Days and poke fun at my punk rock drummer.

Like my hairier half, every successful movement had its glory days. Those days in the heat of the fight when everyone involved was lit up with adrenaline and endorphins, their pupils smaller than a pinpoint, ready to throw down, fight and end up in jail. Revolutionaries, really, these people were willing to look the status quo directly in the eye and tell it to go fuck itself. These days, no doubt, were scary and exciting and when the actors in the movements realized they’d won, it was a thrill.

For a moment.

And then it was, “now what the fuck do we do?”.

Speaking from experience, for anyone who’s done anything big, whether it be working toward having your music video added to the rotation on MuchMusic television, or winning the right to vote, when it’s all over, it leaves a void. When you put everything you’ve got into something, and then it’s suddenly done, it’s no wonder some people just can’t seem to let go.

Feminism was important. There was a time when women were seen as second class citizens. There was a time we weren’t allowed to vote and found it difficult to find meaningful employment. There was a time we were shunned for wearing pants, or anything even remotely revealing. The brave feminists of the past fought for us and ended this all. They gave us the tools with which we can protect ourselves, defend ourselves, pay our own way and have our voices heard.

Feminism won. It won a long, long time ago. So, why do women keep pushing the feminist agenda?

When my Dad told me stories of the sixties, and played the Doors for me the very first time, I remember thinking I should have been born in a different era. An era that meant something, where the mere act of writing a song could be seen as an act of rebellion. A time when everyone was fighting for something, whether it be civil rights, women’s rights or an end to a goofy-ass war. I remember thinking how exciting and meaningful it would have been to have lived in that time, to have protested with Abbie Hoffman or been in the muck at Woodstock as Country Joe belted out, “1, 2, 3, What are we fightin’ for?” or watch the world hold their breath when JFK was shot.

It was almost a nostalgia for a time I never lived in. It was a longing to feel like I belonged to something as important as those times were. I wanted to know what it was like to have stood up and fought for something I believed and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who felt that way.

I eventually found my causes. New causes. Causes that matter in the present day. Causes that were affecting real people and causes that would effect real change.

Some people suffering from the same longing for a meaningful fight as I did, chose rather to try and resurrect old causes. The ones which had already seen triumph and success. The causes that no longer need our attention. The causes that should be, to us, a chapter in a history book that fills us with pride.

It shouldn’t be something we try to keep pushing. That, tits n’ beards, is a recipe for disaster.

What happens when you keep pushing a cause that’s already been won? What are the consequences of not letting go?

There’s a line in the old sitcom, Will and Grace, in which the gay character, Jack, gets a lapdance from a person he thinks is a woman, and becomes aroused. Upset, he runs out of the room. When he explains the problem to his friend, Will, Will responds,

“I don’t believe it. It’s finally happened. You’ve gotten so gay that you looped around to straight again.”

While it turns out Jack’s stripper was actually a man, and he was, in fact, still gay, with movements like feminism, the story doesn’t have such a happy ending. Pardon the pun.

Feminism succeeded, but it’s still being pushed. Like Will suspected was happening to Jack, it’s being pushed so far, that’s it’s looping around to the beginning again.

What I mean by that, is that feminism is reversing all the good work of the feminists who actually mattered. The feminists of today aren’t pushing for equal rights, they’re pushing for superior rights and protections. Like a toddler bowling, they’re trying to erect the bumpers, so no woman can lose. In doing so, they’re openly saying we need more than men to get by, and this is a clear reversal of what the first and second wave feminists wanted. Those heroines of our past wanted equality. They wanted to be treated just like any man would. They wanted to be able to face the same problems any man would, without the assistance of a man. Now, though, feminists want our problems solved for us, making us look weak and incapable.

They say we need language to be policed. Using terms like, bitch or whore or twat are things that clearly no woman can handle. No, we need protection from such language, because we’re delicate flowers who will crumble if our soft little ears catch wind of any of these terms. Yes, men seem to be able to handle being called a dick or a prick with ease, but we are women and we are weak.

They say we need help getting work. We need diversity consultants and affirmative action, positive discrimination and employment equity just to get hired. We can’t do it on our own merits? Why? Because we’re women. We’re weak and stupid. Thanks feminism, for reminding me of that.

They say we need help getting paid. While every first world country has laws on the books ensuring everyone gets equal pay for equal work, and we have avenues to fight any violations of said laws, we still need help to get paid. I’m starting to think these feminists just want to get paid more for doing less.

They say we need moms and dads to raise their boys in a very specific way in order for us to be safe. While I have never uttered the words to my son, “Don’t rape”, I am sure he never will. He is a compassionate little boy, as are most of the men I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. There will always be criminals. This is the world we live in. Men who rape don’t do so because they haven’t been told not to, they do it for power, because at some point in their lives, their power had been stripped from them. These men are few and far between and as someone who’s been raped myself, I’ve known more wonderful men than awful ones by hundreds. We can’t expect parents the world over to change the way they raise their kids, just for precious little us, and even if they did, shit is still gonna happen, people are still going to be raped and assholes will still exist.

They say we can’t be portrayed in certain ways in videos games, movies and TV shows. It’s totally okay for men to be slaughtered by the hundreds in video games, and for them to be ripped, with their bulging six-packs threatening us from beyond the screen. It’s okay for men to be tortured and maimed and mutilated and scarred, but they shan’t dare show us a lady bum, because we are the weaker, more fragile sex and we just can’t handle the fact that men (and women who swing the other way) like to look at our bums. Admiring beauty, being aroused by it and loving to look at it as much as possible, is not the same as feeling entitled to it. I don’t feel put out in the least by a man admiring a nice set of tits in a video game. This is harmless. As someone who has experienced being raped, I can assure you, this… this is fucking harmless.

What these new feminists are asking for, is for the world to bend and shape itself to our delicate needs. It’s an admission that we are incapable of handling the world ourselves and we need help doing so. Feminism has been pushed so far, that it’s looped around begun to repress us more than help us.

feministsThese feminists do not speak for me. I don’t need special treatment to get by in this part of the world. I say this as someone who has experienced rape. I say this as someone who experienced abuse at the hands of a man. I also say this as someone who has traveled the world and seen where real feminism is needed.

I honour those who came before me; who won us the vote and the right to work alongside men in any capacity. I honour those who first fought for our right to wear pants and bikinis. I honour these women, but they are long gone and in our past. We are where I want us to be: in a society where women face just as many gender-specific issues as men do, problems that they are more than capable of handling on their own, just like men do, because all the tools exist already with which to handle them.

The feminists who came long before our time installed those tools for us. We should remember them and the glory days, but we should leave it there in the past. We’re doing just fine, now.

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