Today, I bring you another edition of “Leah responds to shit she sees on the Internet”. This time I’m addressing Gina Davis, author of “I Am a Female and I Am So Over Feminists“, an article that has generated a whopping 477,000 shares on Facebook.
My problem is not necessarily with the sentiment of the article – despite its condescension and clear basis in internalized misogyny – but with the reasoning Davis offers to support her feelings on feminism. It is misguided at best and intentionally twists the meaning of feminism at worst. Let me break this down by her quotes.
“My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days).”
This is classic anti-feminist rhetoric that implies feminism does not value men. On the contrary, there are many male feminists and in truth, feminists hold men to a much higher standard – that they are intelligent, capable and rational human beings, not mindless sex machines.
“This is the 21st century. Women have never been so respected.”
And why do you think that is, Gina? Perhaps because feminists have spent the last 100 years fighting for women’s right to be respected? (Also note that this only applies to Western countries.)
“Women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new… about the ’80s or so.”
This is just factually incorrect. Women flooded into the workforce during and directly after WWI. And not only that, but women had to fight HARD to join the workforce Furthermore, lower-class women and women of color have always had to work throughout history – far, far earlier than the ’80s.
“Let’s stop blaming men and society about how we continue to “struggle” and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark on today’s workforce. We’re doing a kick-ass job, let’s stop the complaining.”
Women ARE doing a kick-ass job in the workforce. And that’s the problem – they are not being paid fairly for it. Hell yes we are going to “complain” about it. We are going to fight for our right – including your right, Gina – to equal pay for equal work.
“I don’t believe being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the dominant gender.”
I am ‘so over’ the argument that feminism puts down men. Can anyone offer me insight as to where this argument comes from? There’s no factual basis for this at all. Equality is not dominance. What men currently experience is dominance. What women are fighting for is equality.
Feminism doesn’t aim to bring men down. It aims to build women up. Please see the dictionary definitions of “feminism” versus “misandry”. You don’t hate feminism. You just don’t understand it.
“Men and women are meant to complement one another – not to be equal.”
Men and women are not… meant… to be equal? This is a disturbing level of internalized sexism and frankly I am saddened that any woman would feel that way.
Overall, this article basically says “I don’t feel that I’ve directly experienced sexism in my life, so it must not exist”. That’s great for you Gina, and yes, we have come far in the realm of women’s rights. But we don’t just stop. Not when gender discrimination is still permitted in the workplace. Not when women are still terrorized just for walking down the street. Not when women don’t have the right to paid maternity leave. And not only for the United States, but for women all over the world who are in desperate need of feminism.