Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Feminism Strikes Again

I wrote my last post several days ago. I stalled for a while on publishing it, because I felt that it was a bit harsh. I'm not trying to make enemies here. Ultimately, though, I decided to push it through, because I concluded that my frustration was justified, and feminism (for all it might be good for) cannot go uncriticized. Echo chambers produce negative feedback. Treating feminism like it's beyond criticism actually harms feminism. And feminism is desperately in need of a rehauling. Anyway, I published the post this morning, and not twelve hours later I was embraced with yet another example of sex-hating feminist rhetoric (thanks, Facebook...).

Trigger warning: feminist rhetoric

It's becoming a pervasive issue: the sexualization of school dress codes - what could arguably be described as a spoiled teenager using feminist rhetoric to legitimize a tantrum by railing against male sexuality. Schools have a right to impose a dress code. If you disagree, you have the right to protest. If the dress code discriminates against you based on your sex (e.g., girls aren't allowed to wear shorts, but boys are), then that is a legitimate feminist issue. But by riding the wave of erotophobia, couched in misandrist language, this girl is elevating her sense of entitlement to the level of social activism, dragging feminism's reputation through the mud in the process. (And the internet is eating it up in droves).

Of course a girl should be allowed to wear shorts if it's warm. And it's inexcusable for anyone (male or otherwise) to suggest that she should cover up only because the exposure of her bare skin is making somebody uncomfortable. These are the problems - the real issues at play. Not "sexualization". I've got some news for you, honey. You're sixteen. Your body is sexual. I'm sorry that the attention you're receiving is making you uncomfortable (I'm certain your sexual education hasn't prepared you for this). But that's a fact. You can't change biology just because it's politically incorrect. And are you seriously making the argument that because 24 year old women's bodies are sexual, they can't wear shorts if doing so distracts men?

The issue here is that men haven't been prepared to deal with their own sexual feelings (did I mention that sex ed in this country is atrocious?). Whether you're sixteen, or twenty-four, or eight, or eighty, you have the right to wear what you feel comfortable in. Whether that's a burqa, a bikini, or anything in between. And as a nudist, I would argue that that even includes walking around completely naked - the argument doesn't change no matter how much of your body is on display (it'd be pretty disgusting - and nudism would fall utterly apart - if that weren't the case). When a man attempts to impose a dress code because your outfit makes him feel uncomfortable, he's trying to control your behavior in lieu of dealing with his own issues.

That is the problem. And fixing it requires acknowledging and accepting the existence of those feelings (which are not going away), not fabricating an illusive reality where the fact that men have sexual feelings is the problem, and eliminating them is the only or best possible solution. This is feminism's enduring fault, and why I can never fully get on board with it - adopting politically expedient delusions while willfully ignoring the evidence provided by reality. Real, positive change can never occur in opposition to the truth of human nature. I wholeheartedly support women's rights, freedoms, and equality. And men's sexual feelings should never stand in obstruction to these goals. But all this talk about "sexualization" is bullshit. Can we stop ruining feminism's reputation with this crap already? Please?

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