Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why Feminism is Not the Culprit in "Ruining" our Boys

On Facebook, on Twitter, in Family magazines, there have been many recent articles circulating on how we are "failing our boys." Most of the articles I have seen are "Christian." While I do not dispute that we have some issues to address about boys...for instance, why can't they wear girly things? Or why can't they be rough and tumble or have attention issues? These issues are NOT because of Feminism. Sure, there are some feminists who are crazy and doing bad things for the world, but the same can be applied to the Patriarchy.

 The fact is, women are still the most abused people group in the world: 

“More girls were killed in the last 50 years, precisely because they were girls, than men killed in all the wars in the 20th century. More girls are killed in this routine gendercide in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century.
The equivalent of 5 jumbo jets worth of women die in labor each day... life time risk of maternal death is 1,000x higher in a poor country than in the west. That should be an international scandal.” 
― Nicholas D. KristofHalf the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

“Women aged fifteen through forty-four are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.” 
― Nicholas D. KristofHalf the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Ignorance and first world problems cover up this issue. I see Christian women circulating these articles about how Feminism is ruining our boys. They do not realize that the simple fact is that IGNORANCE is ruining our boys and our girls. It' NOT feminism. It's ignorance. When we believe the articles that say Feminism is ruining our children, we help buy into the lie that women are yet again to blame for the problems in this world. Why are we not critically teaching instead how to use our brains to critically think about our stances? 

Sure, we should fight for our boys rights to be more energetic. That is not a women's issue...that is a institutional problem. All our schools are set up for quiet little girls. Notice how I did not say ALL girls? It's set up for the naturally shy and learning abled girls (and a minute percentage of shy, quiet boys.) Yes, we should fight for our boys to be rough and tumble if they have lots of energy, but we should also fight for our boys who want to sit quietly at the back of the class and talk about making jewellery.

I am a Feminist and I believe in our boys. I believe in our boys so much that I also believe in our girls because as Mark Twain says, "“What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce."

“The implication of the sex ratios, Professor Sen found, is that about 107 million females are missing from the globe today. Follow-up studies have calculated the number slightly differently, deriving alternative figures for ‘missing women’ of between 60 million and 101 million. Every year, at least another 2 million girls worldwide disappear because of gender discrimination.” 
― Nicholas D. KristofHalf the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Now tell me that Feminism is to blame for the issues our boys are experiencing. Feminism, in it's best form, in fact, is helping our boys and our women strive towards less violence worldwide, better births, and happier family lives. When women are equalized it is a proven fact that their men are happier, less violent, and fulfilled. Women are not the problem, they are part of the solution because women hold up half the sky.

“The tide of history is turning women from beasts of burden and sexual playthings into full-fledged human beings.” 
― Nicholas D. KristofHalf the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Poverty is part of the problem. Greed is part of the problem. Power is most of the problem. These articles circulating in christian and non christian communities claiming Feminism and other strides towards equality are "ruining" our little boys, are fear based propaganda based on power. The balancing side to this is education. How many of the people circulating these articles have actually read a book like Half the Sky? How many of the readers of these articles have read up on the sex trade, violence against women, birth, and menstruation discrimination or poverty? It's not about Feminism. It's about basic human rights. It's about the larger issues. Who cares if some women are planning to ban the word "bossy"? Let them fight their fights. Other words like "retard" are being fought to be banned too. While I do not believe in stopping freedom of speech I do believe it is good to think upon our words and to try to be as positive as possible. But that is not the issue here and we are just making it bigger by making a big deal about it, when instead, these issues are getting in the way of what we want to accomplish. Are we seriously focusing on our speech rights when millions of innocent children are being abused, starved and tortured? When women have acid thrown in their face for not "obeying" their husbands? Why don't we use our words to create a better world in a bigger, more imaginative way? 

We CAN fight for our boys AND our girls rights by actually educating ourselves on world issues. 

I am a Feminist because I respect BOTH genders equally. I am a Feminist because I believe in my daughter, my sons and my husband and want them to have the best world before them. In it's best form, Feminism is defending the rights of women (and men are also valued.) The world is currently unbalanced. If it ever balances the other way, and men disappear by the millions I will be called whatever will free them. Men/boys go missing in the sex trade too, and I fight for them also, but women still do not have basic rights all around the world simply because of their GENDER. 

It's time to use our brains, our activism and our hope to make a better future for both men and women, girls and boys. Feminism is NOT the bad guy. Violence, power and institutional propaganda are better places to start placing the blame and striving towards a better world.

I LOVE this song. I listen to it each time I have to face a situation or people that are not conducive to my growth. I want to see you be brave...think outside the box, fight for BOTH genders, become an advocate for human LIFE:


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this post on feminism and gender inequality.
In our part of the world, feminists are considered crazy and women are afraid to call themselves feminist.
I am of the view that fear, violence and shame is the main reason as to why we are afraid to tell our stories or call ourselves feminists.
You are right that in many countries (particularly in underdeveloped countries),there are some brutal incidents happening which people are not much aware of. For instance , in our country, some babies are are killed in the womb ( female foeticide )and women are "shamed" if they are raped.
Feminism or feminist theory is necessary to sensitize the entire society. I believe that if children are taught about gender based injustice or gender issues from a very young age, both in the school and at home, then their sensitivity towards women/girls would increase.
Among all the feminists, I am most inspired by Gloria Steinem and I have read her book " Revolution from within". I follow her thoughts on women by reading about her recent activities in the newspaper/internet. She is working against prostitution and child trafficking and she makes frequent visits to our country.
What I like about her feminist ideas is that she wants men to develop their "feminine side" or "the nurturing side" which is so beautiful. I have always thought that if men did not go to war, and if men were more in tune with their nurturing side, then it would be so wonderful.
take care,

Keren Louise said...

I read this recently and thought it framed the discussion really well. Feminism is a movement towards whole community, not something that seeks to tear away or tear down anyone else.

Kmarie Jones said...

S: I loved all your thoughts especially regarding your country. I like those concepts of developing the nurturing side too. I do think feminism can help create community when we strive to see what it really is in it's purest form. So glad you could understand what I was trying to say.
I loved your post today. Very true to what I feel:)
Take care too:)
With love

K:Thanks for sharing the article. It does frame it. I appreciate your definition of feminism towards community. Very true! Love

My Little Warriors said...

I love your spirit on these issues:) Half the Sky is a fantastic book!

Kmarie Jones said...

Yes it is:) I am glad you loved it. And thanks:)

Ashe Skyler said...

Amen! Gender issues are just a small part of a bigger problem that affects a lot of other issues: common decency. It shouldn't matter if you're male, female, hermaphrodite, pink, purple, black, white, frizzy haired or straight haired. Everybody deserves the same basic respect and courtesy. We have our differences, sure. Not even twins are exactly alike. Each person still needs to be judged for who they are and not what they are. So I say anyway.

Kmarie Audrey said...

Yes, I should NOT matter...but unfortunately with power games, I think people make it matter, to rule those out that do not "belong" or they can not work it out with. Differences cause friction and a lot of people are not up to working through that...and sometimes even the working out of it fails. Sigh. But I hear you...:)
Thanks for stopping by!!!!:)