I wanted to feel good today. For real, I did. I had plans to get to have fun with my Dom tonight (that’s right, I am in a Dom/sub relationship, and it’s awesome), and overall, it hasn’t been a bad day. But wouldn’t you know it, I came across something that really annoys me. Damn you, Internet! You have taken the wind out of my sails! See, one YouTube vlogger who I have followed for some time is Zinnia Jones. I have agreed with her a good 70% of the time in what she says, and I like hearing her opinion on issues of gender, gender identity, gay culture and religious bigotry. She is a neat vlogger to listen to . But then I saw a video that her partner made not too long ago, and it has annoyed me. I didn’t want to, but here goes. Here is a link, and here goes. Oh, and I should note that I am not going to be attacking the speaker of this video. I want to talk about the ideas put forth, and why I think they are horribly wrong.
Radical Feminism is a platform for gender equality which includes, among other things, a belief that most gender is performed. As a radical feminist, I believe that gender roles are artificially created. That most a morphism is affected, rather than mandated by nature, and that the divide has been pushed beyond all reason for the express benefit of men. This is what we call “the patriarchy.”
Huh. Well, first let me say that this is not a good way to start a conversation about gender equality. Because the biggest problem is that it puts the viewers into two categories – the oppressors and the oppressed. Now, I could go out and ask people, and I bet you a shiny nickel that most women would not identify themselves with being oppressed. And most men would not describe themselves as oppressors. Not in most situations, anyway. I’m not saying that there is unilateral gender equality. There are definite problems on both sides. But when you start a video with a comment that is intentionally drawing battle lines, then you open yourself up to the criticism of people like me, who say that we are just trying to live our lives and don’t want to hurt anyone. That we want all genders to have equal rights and equal treatment. But immediately, you put people like me on the defensive, because you have just said, flat-out, that men are oppressors, and women are the oppressed. Not a good way to start a dialogue.
One unfortunate aspect of this socialization is that society, through various messages, including but not limited to, role modeling from peers and media teaches young men that they are entitled to the hearts and minds of women.
What? Where is this being taught? For real, I was never told that we are entitled the “hearts and minds of women.” My whole life, I was taught that you should be nice to other people, but nobody is required to like you. In fact, most people won’t. This is because, underneath it all, people suck. That’s one of the true equal parts of gender. Men and women, we all just suck. I was never taught that I was entitled to anything. I was taught that I had to work for it. So has every single person that I can possibly think of. This genuinely makes no sense.
Including, but again, not limited to domestic and sexual servitude. Women, no more fond of subjugation and servitude than men, become, unfortunately, prone to self-loathing and more unfortunately, prone to rebellion.
Are you talking about America? I mean, really, are you? Because, if that is the case…what?! Not one time has I ever heard any woman be told that her role is to be the domestic and sexual slave of men. Now, there are some backwards-ass countries where women are getting some really fucked-up messages from people, like most Muslim countries, but in the Western World, this doesn’t jive.
And how is being prone to rebellion a bad thing? One of my big button-issues is how people, both men and women, are taught that rebelling against what you don’t agree with is bad, and following the mandate is good. Rebellion is what inspires change. Rebellion is what made this country. The people didn’t like the governing body that lorded over them, so they rebelled against it and got themselves a new one. Now, I will be one of the first to say that women get the raw end of the deal when it comes to things like body image. The media tells them that being skinny is good, and being fat is wrong. That unless your thighs don’t touch, there is something wrong with you. But to say that being prone to rebellion is a bad thing seems totally antithetical to empowering women.
If the contention of radical feminism is that neither behavior, nor presentation, nor physical appearance should make or break the difference between men and women, why draw the line at the word “man” or “woman?” The very words will become nonsensical and impossible to define. Sure, there will still be some natural hormonal division, but when people can safely, permanently and completely alter these differences at will, why deny it? When women and men are socialized equally, what will anyone have lost? What will anyone have gained but the right to define themselves? The right for which radical feminists so arduously fight?
There’s a lot to talk about here. Bear with me. Okay, first, are you saying that the difference between men and women is limited to their hormones? Last I checked, men have an additional chromosome. Yeah, it’s called the Y chromosome. It makes us men. We also have these genitals that are different and far more vulnerable to pain than yours. The growth of the terms “man” and “woman” didn’t evolve because of some effort to subjugate women. They grew out of a biological difference between the males and females of this species. If the contention you’re making is that we immediately are defining you by your gender, then I would have to call bullshit.
Next, I am with you that emphasizing the differences between the genders interests isn’t the best idea, and we could stand to talk about it far less. However, that said, if your contention is that women have the same desires as men, the same interests, then you are patently wrong. I have yet to meet two people who have the exact same interests as one-another, let-alone an entire gender. What we should be doing is letting people culminate their own interests. Not forcing anything on them. And it’s done with men, too. Boys are still sold Army toys, because it still is popular in America for young men to be soldiers. However, there is no reason to think that a perfect blending of genders is the same as gender equality, because everybody has their own interests.
The problem with your video, Heather, is that you seem to have the notion that you are fighting for what all women want. And that’s not true. I had a friend who is an artist. She has a vision completely her own in what she likes, what she wants to do, and how she executes it. This view isn’t shared by you. Something tells me that you don’t go nuts over great works of art, love ice-skating and want to kick a lot of ass at Tae Kwon Do. And she isn’t the only one. I have another friend who is a sub, like me, and she is into D&D, kinky sex and role-playing (not in the sexual way. She used to be part of a LARP group) various stories she likes, or changing these stories to make them her own. Not all interests are universal. You don’t speak for all women, Heather. In fact, I would be surprised if you spoke for many.
And let’s not forget, Heather, that you and your ilk do not speak for all transgender or transsexual people. I have heard from a fair amount of these people who say that they are not attacked every single day by men, and are actually kind of offended when people like you seem to think that you speak for them.
The patriarchy has the same persistent negative impact on trans-women as it does on cis-women (I hope I got what she said right…?). Society tells them that they are more acceptable when they present in a feminine manner and worth less as a person when they fail to please the eye.
Okay, here’s the problem with that – society does that EXACT same thing to men. Guys are judged by their appearance ruthlessly. So are women, I admit, but yeah, men get the criticism just as harshly. If a man doesn’t have a monster cock, he is looked down upon. If a man isn’t the buff display of manhood, women seem to think that they are lazy, stupid or worthless. It goes both ways, Heather, and your lack of seeing that kind of irks me a bit.
The rigid physical standards applied to women cause trans-women inordinate amounts of stress. The sex-classing of women and requisite caste system of the class, more commonly known as varying degrees of “fuck-ability”, or even more commonly known as the scale from 1-10, has inhumanely relegated trans-women with a certain remaining organ to the undesireables. They’re expected to be content with either fetishization or pity-fucking, along with siz-women of the overweight and differently-abled variety.
Once-again, bear with me. We have a lot to talk about. See, I have heard this kind of stuff from lots of these feminists, and it honestly strikes me as insulting. What Heather seems to be implying is that it is society that somehow controls what people are attracted to. Society tells you something is unattractive, so you naturally think that way. The implicit statements in that are more than a little insulting. See, if you buy that logic, then basically, gays and lesbians are choosing to be gay, because society somehow informed their thinking. For real, if you think that the human mind is so easily persuaded by what culture tells them is hot, then you have to admit that you are saying that those who are gay and lesbian are, on some level, choosing their sexuality.
But the reality is that attraction isn’t that simple! You can’t choose what you’re attracted to. Your brain is hard-wired to like certain things, and not other things. Heather kind of touched on this, without knowing it. She said that trans-women are fetishized, without realizing that there wouldn’t be a fetish if there weren’t people who are attracted to those kinds of people. The same way that Dom/sub relationships are a fetish. I am attracted to my Dom, partly because I like women (but not men, as Doms. I prefer men as subs) who take control and know what they want. We call it a fetish, but the truth is that it is attraction. And you can’t choose that. Your demand that society should say that these things are beautiful is all well and good, but that won’t automatically make people think that trans-women or plus-size women are beautiful. Oh, and by the way, my Dom is a little on the heavy side. So yeah, I don’t have a problem with that, either.
Is a childhood of boy-designated socialization sometimes evident in arguments with trans-women? Absolutely! For starters, they don’t question themselves, apologize for themselves, or wait for their turn to speak quite as often as cis-women are taught to do from birth. Likewise, a childhood of girl-designated socialization is sometimes evident when trans-men make arguments. It will be nice when girl-designated socialization and boy-designated socialization include a childhood where respect and assertiveness are taught equally, but though there has been progress, we’re not there yet.
On some levels, I agree with this. On others, who are these women who are taught from birth to be quiet, wait for their turn to speak and not assert themselves? When I was growing up, my girly-mates were just one of the guys. We didn’t see them as any different. We talked about Pokemon, Digimon, and the cool books we were reading like it was nobody’s business.
There are problems between the genders, both against women and men. And there should be a continuing dialogue. But when Zinnia did a response to this, she focused simply on the trolls, and not on the people who had real comments to say.
Gender equality is something that I am definitely for. I can’t think of anyone I know who isn’t. But, I am definitely not going to be one of the people who thinks that radical feminism will get us there.
Until next time, a quote,
“Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.” -Tweedledee, Alice in Wonderland