Feminism isn’t what it used to be, ladies and gents. It started as one thing and has devolved into something distasteful and weird. Like when you bake a crowd-pleasing casserole, put the leftovers in the back of the fridge and forget about it. Two weeks later you discover you’re a scientist who’s grown the cure to a disease which has yet to infect the masses. INGENUITY!
Modern third-wave feminists pull out the bluish fuzzy casserole, scoop the ooze and slather it on a dish. The dish is neither pink nor blue because gender is a construct. The dish isn’t white either, because “white” is both racist and “virginal.” Rather, the dish is a hodgepodge of colors resembling the palette and texture of cat vomit. Or maybe that’s the casserole…
That is how the “casserole” is served. When you turn up your nose and push it away, you’re scolded: “It’s casserole! How can you be against casserole!?”
Welcome to feminism, a once delightful dish served moldy. If you projectile vomit, you might be a sexist.
When feminism began way back in the days of corsets, ankle-covering dresses, and men wearing tights, feminism had lofty and admirable goals: women’s equality…and to get men in pants. Back in those days, women were the “lesser sex” and weren’t allowed to participate in societal discussions that mattered. “What do you want for dinner, dearest?” didn’t count as “mattering.” Inheritances passed from father to son, not father to daughter (an example of real patriarchy). Women were diplomatic negotiating tactics between countries, forging national alliances in a king’s bed chambers—without the help of Fifty Shades of Grey. If you were biologically “she” (this was long before transgenderism was seen as “heroic”), you were a second class citizen who depended on a husband to survive. You also had to know how to cook, because Lean Cuisine and microwaves were a long way off.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a person, male or female (or male who thinks he’s female, or a female who thinks she’s male, or someone asexual, or Hillary Clinton) who disagrees with the aims of original feminism, or “protofeminism.”
But where did it turn sour? Why is it that women today shy away from the term “feminist” like they shy away from cat-calls from creepy strangers on the streets of New York?
In my opinion, the movement turned fuzzy in the second wave of feminism, which took place between the 1960s and 1980s. Women enjoyed working and flexing their independent muscles and wanted to rise like bread dough in their respective fields like the men. Still on track to goodness, my fellow chicas. You’ll notice that I, as a woman, work. And I, as a woman, enjoy working. So I’m still with the movement on this. Okay? Okay.
But then things got a bit freaky-deaky. The word “equality” was perverted into “sameness.” Natural, biological differences were seen as “unequal.” Namely, women get pregnant and men do not. Didn’t expect to get a biology lesson today, did you? You’re welcome. A man, after impregnating a woman, could play his jerk card and disappear, shirking his responsibilities and leaving a woman high, dry, and knocked up. Classy move, sir. The proverbial playing field had to be leveled, and the best way to do that, according to the feminists, was to provide women “choice,” to terminate a pregnancy–fancy medical talk for killing her baby.
That’s where feminism lost me. My idea of original protofeminism was more about women having equal opportunities in law and society, becoming whatever she wanted to be, a wife and mother, a doctor, lawyer, or soy-candlestick maker; not killing her unborn child for the sake of biological sameness because a jerk she hooked up with skipped out on her, stealing her dignity and her zucchini bread recipe.
Oh geez, I can hear you ladies screaming about rape again. Stop screaming at me and go get some facts on rape and incest and abortion. And see if you can find a decent zucchini bread recipe while you’re at it. Gluten free. ‘K thanks.
But feminism didn’t end at the killing of unborn children under the cutesy-pootsy term “choice.” Feminism soldiered on into a militant movement that wasn’t content to just sleep with whomever they wanted without judgment and suck out the results (and maybe sell it for parts) at the local women’s clinic. Second-wave feminism saw the dawn of man-hating, of lashing out at men who treated women differently than they treated men. Door-opening, for example, which was once a pleasant form of chivalry, was perverted into: “What, don’t you think a woman can open it herself, you CHAUVINIST PIG!”
Men were demonized for being masculine. Women, in trying to be equal with men, emulated men in both style and in switching traditional gender roles. Men didn’t know how to treat women as a result. Compliment her beauty or don’t compliment her beauty? Ask her to make me a sandwich, or make my own sandwich which won’t be as good, because it needed a woman’s touch? SEXISM. Be honest with her because that’s what she says she wants, or tell her “No, dear, that pantsuit looks great on you”?
Of course, not all “feminists” of the second wave movement rejected men. But certainly the perception of the loud, proud, and shrill feminists was just that: man-hating women, sometimes lesbians, who aimed to be more asexual than feminine. They rocked butch haircuts and parachute pants. Rocked them hard.
So women were told that to be “feminist” they had to “have it all,” because men had it all. Work, family, 401ks…and demands for “fairness” in the office…then maternity leave…and paid maternity leave…and an equal pay as men for doing the same job, but I still want that maternity leave, you PIG.
Finally we reach today’s feminism, or “third wave” feminism. Which not only adopted much of second wave feminism, but goes farther into the world of silly. Fat pride and fat-shaming. #FreeTheNipple. Making everything gender neutral (which rejects the value of both femininity and masculinity). Dancing around like a freak on stage but not wanting to be objectified. Getting scolded for using the term “do-nothing bitches.” Railing against “rape culture” on college campuses while excusing real rape culture in ISIS and Muslim countries. Allowing men to be expelled from college with just an unproven accusation of rape. Being loud about the pay gap myth, and being silent on female genital mutilation. And completely ignoring the inequality of men in our society. This chick, she gets it:
Let’s review: Feminism began as a movement for women’s equality. Win. Women today, who say they’re feminists, still believe in women’s equality. Cool. But their idea of women’s equality is, frankly, ridiculous: Micro-aggressions and man-spreading? Banning the word “bossy”? Free-bleeding during a marathon? “Trigger-warnings”? Earlier feminists would look at this and cry, shaking their heads and clucking their disproval. Early feminists believed women were strong, believed women were capable of independence, of fighting for themselves, of forging their own paths, not getting their granny panties and thongs in a wad over “micro-aggression,” and thinking the government should pay for tampons and birth control.
I thank feminists like Susan B. Anthony and Jane Austen. I do not thank feminists like Margaret Sanger, Gloria Steinem, or the chicks who cry about being “fat-shamed” (those ladies need to woman up). You know who’s in control of your emotions, ladies? You, and only you. Learn it, live it, and go make yourself a salad already.
We’re done with your moldy casserole, we’re moving on to rib-eye steaks, which we’ll enjoy with our masculine men. Until you can steer feminism back to its original, lofty goals of men and women’s equality on a global scale (Muslim countries included), which also advocates for the rights of unborn girls and boys, your messages will fall flat on that gender-neutral plate of gross.
~Written by Courtney Kirchoff
P.S. Even Emma Watson admits y’all have a branding problem: