A-II
True Feminism: The Demand To Be Treated As Equal People
by Amy Horton

They always say that stereotypes exist for a reason. Well, I don’t know who “they” are, but I agree with this philosophy. I wrote a whole blog series on stereotypes of men in LA and why they exist, after all. There seems to be a very strong backlash against certain terms and ideas lately because of the propagation of false information about them. So many people, male and female, choose to distance themselves from the term “feminist”, for example, since they do not understand what it actually means. It isn’t about not shaving and man-hating. It’s about the simple idea that women and men are equal human beings and deserve the same rights and opportunities. I doubt that people would decry that if they were given the platform without the feminism label, but they are essentially the exact same thing. It’s interesting how stigmas become attached to harmless or even uplifting concepts. It is also crazy how long they can remain, distorting and twisting noble principles.

I am a definite feminist. As a woman, I do not see how you can not be. That being said, I am speaking of the real definition. I think men and women should be on a level playing field, but I do not hate men. I have a great dad and a lot of male friends, and I have dated several great guys. THAT being said, I understand completely why women start disliking men. You dudes don’t always speak and act as you should, and I think you know it. People, in general, can be very superficial and fake towards each other. I don’t think that women can ever reach the heights of objectification towards the opposite sex that men have, though. Men have years and years of it on us, for one. Do you honestly think it doesn’t wear on us ladies to hear you making sexually crude, demeaning and completely superficial statements about other women every day? Well, it does.

You’re going to say, oh, she’s exaggerating. Women aren’t subjected to sexual objectification every single day. BULLSHIT. You don’t get it because you don’t experience it. You certainly distribute it freely, perhaps because you really have no comprehension of what it is like. I have to say that my experience with all of this, sadly, began when I was barely a teenager. I got my boobs early, when I was not even twelve yet. Older – much older – men would stare at me, compliment me, make lewd comments if they were drunk enough. I WASN’T EVEN A TEENAGER YET. How disgusting does someone have to be to hit on a person just because she has a rack, regardless of her age?

Unfortunately, some of the early development of my feelings about men also stemmed from my father. My parents had just gotten divorced and he dated quite a few women afterwards, some for longer than others. One woman in particular he was with for years. She was (and is) pretty, brilliant, capable, incredibly caring, and funny. All I remember him talking about was how wide her ass was and how much it bugged him. It pains me to even share this, because I love my father. Everyone makes mistakes, and he made a giant one by speaking the way he did about women in front of me at an impressionable age. He often discussed their physical attributes in a complimentary or detrimental way and I heard it all. I know that he appreciated their other strengths, but what I took away from that was that it didn’t matter how amazing you were otherwise if you had a few physical flaws. By the way, this particular girlfriend was still in incredible shape and very slim. A woman can’t exactly control the width of her hips.

This affected me more than I realized for many, many years. I know many good men. I know men that are good people in many ways, but talk about women as if they are prize cattle at an auction. It is very difficult to acclimate these two traits in my mind. How can a man be so caring and thoughtful and yet so ridiculously obtuse? Some men seem to change a bit when they have a daughter. That is absurd. Oh, it took you actually creating a woman to realize that you’ve been treating all her compatriots like crap and maybe you should cut it out? Grow the fuck up.

I love many men. I want to like all men. I want to feel respected and treated well and be able to respond in kind. There are a few special men out there that I know who really are true feminists. They get it. Sadly, there aren’t a lot of them. It is impossible to spend every day next to men hearing them talking about other women in overtly sexual, crude and derogatory ways – I work in a restaurant so I hear it a LOT – and still like them. They aren’t ashamed of it. They don’t even attempt to hide it from their female coworkers, because they don’t think they are doing anything wrong whatsoever. That’s the big problem here, folks. Not only is it a huge issue, the idea of male entitlement (which I’ve written about before) is so overwhelming that it trumps acting like one decent human being towards another. Writer George R. R. Martin stated it simply and best, I think. When the Game of Thrones author was asked how he writes such complex and realistic female characters, he said, “You know, I’ve always considered women to be people.”

Amy Horton

I am an actress and writer living in and loving Los Angeles! I tend towards brutal honesty, but I have a big heart and an adventurous spirit. Writing for DirtyAndThirty.com is my favorite activity :-)

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