Being a young person in modern day Australia, and more to the point, a young male, I have found my interest in feminism has been somewhat tempered over time. During my schooling days I learnt about the suffragette struggle of Susan B Anthony and her contemporaries (although I am at pains to remember their names). I always considered myself a modern person, and to an extent I still do. I am a strong believer in gay rights and gay marriage. I am all for women’s rights, equal pay and all that comes with the basic arguments of feminism. However, for me, the feminist argument of recent years has diluted by sympathy, even to the point of perhaps viewing some elements of the cause in a negative light. A quote was put me to me recently by a friend. A male friend. It stated:
“Feminism takes the view of equality, by only focussing on the needs of one of the sexes”
Whilst this view is definitely steeped in sarcasm and male whit, I do think it has a point. For years now, men has been told by women to virtually hate themselves. Any strong, independent woman who is shut down, fired, argued against or even talked to wrongly, pulls out the claim of sexism. One girl at my current employment even told me I was sexist when she complained that her premiums were higher on her car than mine and I replied it was because she was a girl (retrospectively woman under the age of 25 are statistically more likely to be in a low impact accident than men of the same age). Surely the “sexism” line has gone to far, as is starting to follow the lines of racism, where by any decision made by a white person against someone of colour was perceived to be racist, no matter how correct this decision would be.
It is almost as if most women now like to pick and choose their feminist traits. Equal pay…”yes please” (as it should be). Pay for the movie…”Fuck that, that’s a man’s role”. Feminism isn’t a buffet. It is a strongly defined viewpoint that women should be equal to men. Something that is not only correct, but anatomically true. However it seems women begin to lose sight of this.
I am the first to admit the events that have gone on in Saudi Arabia, Iran and India recently have painted the role men play in a horrendous light. But it does seem that all men have been painted in an equal colour of horrendous black, whereby everyone of them is a sexist. A misogynous. An overall asshole. When every decision they make that could have a negative impact on a woman’s life is considered wrong. I write this article not to express my distaste at the feminist movement. I consider people against racial, sexual and gender equality not to be opinionated, but to be overall ‘bad’ people. But I’m asking for leniency against men as a whole. Please treat everyone of us on our merits. Don’t judge us from afar. From a thousand terrible films where we are assholes. Don’t judge us on our genitalia but on our words.
By Dechlan Brennan