Not a week have gone by since as long as I can remember without anyone asking me why I’m a feminist. It’s that kind of thing that provokes people. “Do you hate men?” they say, smirking at me. Astonished by their own wit. There is usually a spark in their eyes. Evil sometimes. Bloodthirsty. For a confrontation or the gossip my reply will bring them. (“that girl is nuts, some kind of lesbian or something. She hates all men”.)
I know this speech by heart now. I’m like a machine. “No” I say “I don’t hate men. I’m a feminist because I believe that men and women are equals.” This first bit is rational enough to wipe the smirk of their faces. They realise I’m serious. Before they have time to say anything I carry on “I believe that we’re all equal and deserves to be treated as such. There’s a bigger difference between men and men or women and women that it is between men and women. I don’t think that there is any argument that can justify the pay gap between men and women, the imbalance in the distribution of house work, the sexism in the media, the way women are judged by their looks before anything else. But feminism isn’t just about women. Men are also as affected by the norms we’re all forced to embrace as if it was all we ever wanted. They too have been brought up within the frameworks of the patriarchy, even though the patriarchy itself is slightly biased in their favour. I refuse to accept it. I refuse to use words like ‘bitch’ and ‘cunt’ because if someone’s an idiot it has nothing to do with their gender. I count master suppression techniques in people who think of themselves as authoritarian before I decide to respect them. I’ll wear whatever the fuck I want. I’ll be as loud as I want. I’ll walk through the darkest alleys at night because I refuse to be a victim. (Women shouldn’t be told to stay indoors or have to take a cab home late at night, or told to wear rape-alarms. Rapists should be told that their sexual drive is no higher than anyone else’s and if most people can control themselves so can you. And yes, rape is rape, no matter what. ) Sexism is all around us and is a battle you fight every day.”
I’ve usually been interrupted by now. I know rants are not appreciated by anyone. No matter if the rant-er is on to something or not. People stop listening. They go back into their munchkin world where men are from mars and women from venus.