Why I have a hard time being a feminist


The Appalachian Online

Dewey Mullis

From newsworthy appearances by Hollywood celebrities and marketing campaigns on college campuses, the feminist movement is making waves.

Before the discussion gets foggy, let me clear the air. Women in the workplace deserve to make the same amount as their male counterparts. No one asks to get raped by wearing certain clothes or making certain decisions. Women should have control over their bodies – reproductive parts and processes included.

What I don’t completely comprehend is feminism.

Maybe it is because I don’t have the perspective of a woman or personally experienced the concerns of the movement. Perhaps I’m missing the point entirely. But what if the message just isn’t clear?

There are definitions that differ between dictionaries, societies, political ideology and the spectrum of demographic categories. Reactions from onlookers, supporters and opposition are equally as varying.

I think this is where I tend to fall off of the feminism bandwagon. I can’t define it – for myself or for anyone.

The dictionary tells me feminism is about bringing women on equal ground with men politically, socially and economically. Some feminists give me that definition, as well.

Others tell me it is a battle for all genders. But then I get confused again because the name itself is feminism. If it is for everyone, then why isn’t its very name gender neutral?

Then, the kicker. It is to build women up to the same playing field as men – the one they strive for and deserve. But then I hear, “men are scum,” or, “I hate men. They’re pigs.”

What? Equality just went out the window.

Men are parents and stay-at-home dads. We have fears and anxieties. Some things embarrass us and social expectations bar us from being upfront and totally honest. We have to man up. Rape culture among men is a hush-hush and men are gay, too. Men and women are not that far apart.

It, indeed, will take a movement. There will be a movement for women and then a backtracking to pick up the men that have been raped and humiliated, teased and kept down when they really don’t want to “man up” because it isn’t who they are.

I’m not saying we need a movement for men. I’m saying we need one movement for the sexes – one that is clear and on a platform that is open.

Mullis, a senior criminal justice major from Wallburg, is an opinion writer.