Sunday, October 2, 2016

Am I a feminist?

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I’ve decided to try and write a post about a topic I have zero expertise, knowledge or experience with. (Sound familiar?)

I love asking people questions. I hate small talk but if you want a topic for conversation, I got you. Two of my favourite questions the past few weeks have been:
1-What 2-3 thoughts cross your mind the most each day.
2-What do men not understand about women.

Now, I will give you a minute to think of your own responses.

Do you think your answers match up to my unofficial research? If you are a woman, I’m going to guess one of your two thoughts. Don’t believe me?

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Overwhelming, the top answer is food. There is no second place. As for what men don’t understand about women, the answers vary but resemble how men don’t pick up on signals, need to be told instructions clearly and directly and how men can’t fathom how much women analyze each moment of every waking period of time. A woman I asked couldn’t understand how it’s possible for me to not think about something for a period of time; she has never not thought about something once. The fact that men and women are so different and we all live/work/play in the same spaces is proof that whoever/whatever created us has a sense of humour.

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A few other events that I’ve noticed also nudged me in the direction of writing about this. It’s not getting too much attention in the media but there is an election going on in America and there is a man running against a women for the presidency of the United States of America. The debate happened last week and whilst politicians aren’t known for their polite demeanour, a headline coming out of the debate was the overwhelming amount of times the male candidate interrupted the female candidate. The woman essentially never interrupted him or called him out on his behaviour. An article the next day essentially claimed that this is what living life as a woman is. Being interrupted, “mansplained” to, seen as inferior or a sexual object.

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Now, I have no idea, being a man who can’t keep his room clean but I can see how these claims could be accurate. Another article dove deeper and explained how much harder it is for women to get access to Obama and the inner circle in the White House due to an old boys network and balancing having a family and being on call 24/7.

One policy women adopted in meetings was to repeat a key point made by a woman and giving her credit so another person couldn’t claim the idea as their own. As a sidebar, Justin Trudeau has half men and half women in his cabinet. What up America? A second piece of media attention that had me reflecting was a video I saw last year but saw again this weekend. This video I feel is accurate and can only try to imagine how annoying it would be to walk through daily life like this.

Catcalling is not a practice I understand or support. I’m all about trying to find a wife and finding true love but you need to understand the situation, how they are feeling and are dealt with daily in these situations. I have a sneaky suspicion that at times, some women want to be approached by a certain man that catches their eye. However, it’s the guy they don’t want to be approached by is doing the approaching while the more compatible suitor is laughing out loud whilst listening to comedy podcasts on the subway.

A big reason I don’t like approaching women at bars is because you are seen as just another monkey in a jungle filled with the most monkeys. So lately I’ve been trying to imagine what it’s like to be an attractive female, living in Toronto and the challenges but also the perks the receive. I would be interested in hearing about any insights you may have on this topic.

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Do you know what the definition of a feminist is?

The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.

So to sum up, being a feminist means you think guys and girls are equal and should be treated the same? In what world is not every human a feminist? We won’t veer off on how religions play a part in this but I think that when people think of a feminist, they think of a woman who hates men, loves women, has hairy legs and is generally bitter and uptight. The problem might be in the baggage of the word feminism. What if there was a modern, more hip term to galvanize the world into supporting your sister and your mom as much as your brother and father?  Now I’m obviously not the first person to think this so I did some major internet research and found a few new words that have been proposed. They crowned the winner to be Equalism. Gender neutral, new beginning and kind of catchy. Runners up?

Equality for everyone regardless of their genitals


GEM (Gender Equality Movement)




I love questions but I also have a fondness for quotes. I’m not sure how many women would agree with this quote but I am confident it has some merit.

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them."

Margaret Atwood

I had never thought about it in those terms but I found it eye opening. When I’m walking home late at night, the thought of a man raping me doesn’t cross my mind. Stealing my $5 bill in my wallet concerns me a bit but it’s a hit I could take. I remember going on a blind date with a lady and I told her I could pick her up and she gave me her address. After the date, I thought that giving a man who you barely know your address seems to not be very prudent. She obviously had nothing to worry about with me because I never saw her again because I have some fairy-tale dream of how I’m going to meet my wife and picking her up in an Enterprise Rent-a-Car was just not going to happen. 

There are a lot of strange men out there who might not be the most intelligent, caring, or good looking and they have a more negative view of women that I may have. While I’m no Sean Connery, I’m not an Ogre who has major hurdles to climb when trying to find a partner for life. Some men have harder times and I can see how being rejected their entire life could build up some animosity but it’s not an excuse to make women feel uncomfortable or unsafe. It must be wild for grandmothers to see the stark differences between how they were raised and treated compared to a young girl being brought up today.

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If you have any thoughts/comments/concerns, I would love to hear them. I’m just a guy trying to get a bit more perspective on the fairer sex. I am an Equalist after all.

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“The rise of women does not mean the fall of men.”

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