a follow up.

Remember when I called myself a feminist?

I’m not taking that back.  Or maybe I am.  Either way, there are a lot of things that I left unsaid that, truth be told, need to be explained, and one thing in particular.

A few days after I published that post, a friend of mine sent me this;

I agree with what you said, but is it necessary to take on the label “feminist” to stand for women being treated appropriately? I think it does more harm than it is worth, because it brings along associations that you don’t necessarily agree with.  […]  Even though I agree with most of what you said, I don’t consider myself a feminist, because I don’t agree with so much of what that view stands for.  […]  The whole societal outlook is a problem, and it’s not just girls that it affects, so it seems unfair to stand up for them and blame all guys as guilty. I know that you said none of that, but that is the basic feminist perspective, and so instead of taking on a societal label and the views that come with it, I would encourage you to think about what gender relations should be like according to the gospel.

To which, I replied;

Probably not, but at the time I started writing that post (a few weeks ago – I’ve been holding off on publishing it until I was positive I wanted to) it felt like the best way to open that post. I do consider myself a feminist, though, in that women should be treated no differently from men.

There was more but this is the point where I’d like to sort of edit what I said.  Because my friend pointed something out that I realized but hadn’t consciously thought about until that point.

Men and women are different.  We’re built differently and we think differently.  We process and react to things in different ways, and that’s how God made us.  It’s how we’re supposed to be.

What I failed to understand and, therefore, failed to explain is this: I’m really not a feminist because I don’t believe in true equality now.  It isn’t really a tangible idea.

What I want to see isn’t general equality for the sexes.

I want to see an equality in the respect for the sexes.  I want to see women given the same respect as men are, not necessarily treated the exact same way.

I’m still angry.  Really angry – because recently it’s become personal.  Someone that I love very much is being emotionally abused and manipulated by a man who thinks he deserves something from her because he was nice.  He was a nice neighbor and now he thinks he is entitled to an amount of time that she isn’t comfortable giving him.

To reiterate – I know that it isn’t “all guys”.

But it is “all women”.

And we can’t tell by looking at your face if you’ll be the one who respects us and treats us like we’re human beings, or if you’ll be the one who corners us in the dark and make us feel guilty for being too weak, too dependent, too feminine.


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