Feminism is not Misandry

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*Disclaimer:  These are my own thoughts and opinions–please understand that this article is not intended to start an argument, political conversation, and is absolutely, under no circumstances, meant to undermine men (since you know, the whole point of this article is to reaffirm that feminism is not synonymous with misandry).  This is just something that truly needs to be understood.  If you do not have feminist ideals, this article is probably not for you.  Furthermore, if you don’t have anything nice to say, tell your teddy bear or write it in your journal, because I’m not interested in your negativity.  You’ve been warned!*

First, let me start off by saying that I am proud to be a woman.  I am independent, confident, strong, but I can also be stubborn, opinionated, and impatient.  I believe that, together, women and men have the ability to change the world, and I hope for equal opportunity for all people.  I believe in the equal treatment of every race, religion, sex, and body size.  I dream of a world where people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and cultures are seen as beautiful and can be celebrated.

Unfortunately, not everybody thinks as I do.  I understand this, and I also accept other peoples’ ideas and opinions.  I keep an open mind when listening to other parties speak their minds.  I try not to judge others for their opinions, even if they do not align with my state of mind.  I do a fairly good job at this, until, you know, somebody becomes irrational, or worse, is just plain wrong.

If you are unaware of what intersectional feminism is, no worries.  To be honest, I did not know what it was until a little while ago.  Turns out, I was an intersectional feminist all along, and I didn’t even know it!  It is important to understand what intersectional feminism is in order to truly understand what we believe, and why true feminism is not misandry.

Unlike Brandy Melville, intersectional feminists believe that one size does not fit all.  What I mean is that there is not one type of feminism that can cover all the different types of oppression.  Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, etc. are all connected together and should therefore be examined together.  For more information, here’s a handy dandy link with more details on intersectionality!

That said, I know that there are all types of negative feminism and nonfeminism.  Feminazis, TERFs, and antifeminists are all real, but that does not mean that they are justified or correct in their actions.  Rather, they have taken a positive thing, and turned it a complete 180.  And of course, instead of focusing on the positive side of feminism (Equal pay!  Body positivity!  Loving and supporting other women!  Safe abortion/access to birth control!  Sex equality!), society and our media tries to target all their attention on the adverse aspects (re: negative forms of feminism listed above).

But luckily, intersectional feminists are bonding together in order to truly establish who we are and try to rid of the idea that feminism is the idea of equality for all!

It breaks my heart that there are people, especially women, who do not support my decisions for my body.  That there are fellow women that do not want me to have access to birth control and that some women do not even accept that I deserve some jobs that I am qualified for.  I know that not all women support other women, and while I do not necessarily agree with their choices, I choose to support their opinions because that’s what feminists do!

My main goal here is that people stay informed on the truths regarding feminism and the ideals we support.  That will not always happen (for example, people still believe in the Planned Parenthood hoax even though David Daleiden admitted the videos were fake).  However, ignorance only prohibits those who practice it.  Choosing to believe lies only sets those back farther in life.

This is precisely why I am so shocked with the backlash against positive feminism.  If you’ve read recent news stories such as the murder of Grace Mann, the countless stories regarding college football players raping women (while victim blaming *but what’s new?*), and even instances of women proudly declaring their antifeminism, then you know what I’m talking about.

What is so difficult for me to comprehend is the horrible things people have to say in relation to feminists.  While regarding the vicious murder of Grace Mann, one antifeminist blogger stated, “One day a feminist wearing an “ironic” KILL ALL MEN t-shirt will walk down the wrong street, enter the wrong room and encounter the wrong man; a man that does not value her as a woman and chooses not to treat her as an equal. The man will not see the t-shirt as ironical humor, but be offended and beat her savagely, laughing as he licks the tears from her crying eyes”.  I have chosen not to state the name of the writer or blog, because frankly, he is not worth my time.  But you can find more info here.

Other antifeminists claim that feminism is outdated.  They claim that feminism does not support conservative, or traditional, ideals.  Amongst many other reasons, they also claim that feminists do not believe in the victimization of men.

While I can see why they’re concerned, I also believe that they are majorly mistaken regarding what feminism really is.

For starters, a real feminist would never wear a KILL ALL MEN shirt, because that it not feminism.  It is misandry.  Feminism is about the equality of men, women, trans, different races, cultures, etc.–wearing this shirt would completely go against our ideals.  That is not to say that a Feminazi would not wear this shirt–she might.  But she is not a true feminist–she is a misandrist, and they are just as bad as misogynists.

To further clarify, in case you still don’t quite get it, feminists promote the equality of men and women.  It is also about women supporting women.  Therefore, we accept all choices that women make.  The reason we do not openly talk about women who choose to get married, have children, and be stay at home mothers is because they face little criticism from society.  But working women?  Women who may not want to get married, or have children, or who do not like to cook, or dress up?  They face criticism every day.  We are not putting down women, we are encouraging them to follow their path and make their own decisions.  Another thing that Women against Feminism do not understand, is that we, as feminists, are supporting the equal treatment of men and women across all races, cultures, sexual orientations, ages, etc.  Women against Feminism are quick to state their position on equality between men and women, but completely disregard other types of oppressed people.  This is why feminism is still relevant.  We support everybody.

Lastly, we do not believe that men are never victims.  Men can absolutely be victimized.  Men are raped, men are abused, men can be mistakenly accused as sex offenders.  I, as a feminist, support their rights, but I do not believe that women have more rights than men.  In some areas we are equal, in many we are not.  The idea is to get to the level where we all have the same amount of rights, the same voice, and equal love.  The reason we try so hard to support women is because we have been oppressed for a long time, and historically, men have not.  Women are told that we should not have a say regarding our bodies.  We are told we do not deserve equal pay to men.  We are told that we are worthless without men but that we are sluts if we spend too much time with them.  However, we would never think of disregarding men in the process of attaining equality.  Remember: feminism is for everyone!  (I have many feminist men in my life, and they are just as wonderful and appreciated as the feminist women in my life!)

What absolutely sickens me is that, in the act of opposing feminism, real people are getting hurt every day.  People get raped, murdered, harmed, and physically/verbally/emotionally abused fighting for their basic fundamental rights.  Nobody deserves this under any circumstances.  Ever.  Say what you will about feminists, but a true intersectional feminist would never harm somebody to get what they want.  The same can not be said for those against feminism and equality.

Feminists are not out to get one another.  I mostly believe that we are misunderstood.  I believe that antifeminists are either misogynists or they are misguided concerning what real feminism is.  We want equality, we want our rights, and we want the love and support of other feminists.  Don’t like abortion?  Don’t get one.  Don’t agree with easily accessible birth control?  Don’t take it.  Want to be the CEO of a corporation or be a stay at home mom?  Follow your own path.  We are not trying to take anyone’s rights away, but rather increase the rights of all groups of people.  Overall, I want to make my own decisions regarding my body, my lifestyle, and who I choose to be as a person.  I do not want to be judged for my decisions.  Nobody does.

Feminists face a lot of opposition, but we are still going strong.  Unfortunately for those against us, they are fighting a losing battle.  There will always be men and women who choose equality over all else.  We are louder, because we are willing to fight for what we want.  We are leaders.  We are strong.  It’s time to do your research, and learn what real feminism is all about.  Those who face the facts will soon realize…

…Feminism is not misandry.

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*Song of the Day: Been a Son–Nirvana

*Want some recommendations on some great feminist blogs?  Just ask!*

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Apple Pie with Sugared Crust

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I’ve waited a long time for this, guys.  Fall, that is.  And pie.  But mostly fall.

There’s something about the fall semester starting that makes me so impatient for the actual season to appear.  It’s probably that I just want to wear scarves and boots and tights all the time.  Mostly I think that I just get tired of walking 15 minutes to class every day in 85+ degrees and showing up sweaty as all hell.  But I do really love my tight collection.

Seeing as it was the middle of October last week and still in the 80s, I was starting to lose hope that it would ever be fall.

And then…Friday happened.  It rained all day, the leaves turned orange and fell off the tree in my front yard, and the air was brisk and breezy.  I wore my favorite Burton coat.  It was a rare sort of bliss.

And then I baked an apple pie.  To celebrate, of course.  Which isn’t to say that I haven’t made apple pie in the summer before.  Actually, the pie in these pictures was one my mom made a few weeks ago while I was visiting my fam in Vegas*.  But I digress…

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I actually remember the first time I had apple pie.  I’m not sure what my deal was when I was a kid, but apple pie majorly grossed me out.  It seemed slimy and soggy from my 8 year old perspective (also, I grew up with chocolate pie, and nothing is better than that when you’re a young child.  Or an adult, but whatever…).

And then one day, my mom baked an apple pie while we were on vacation at our cabin with my best friend.  My mom cut me a slice and put a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  Not wanting to seem too picky in front of my BFF, I put on my brave face and ate the whole thing (wow so deprived *eyeroll*).  And then I was forever changed.

Sometimes I wonder if I would not have the constant, incessant craving for apple pie if I had just turned my nose at my mom’s that day.  However, I like to think that I would be a much sadder person without it.  It helps me justify eating microwaved apple pie with ice cream for breakfast, anyway.

So when you inevitably go apple picking and come home with 48 lbs. of beautiful, orchard grown apples, just set aside a few pounds to make this pie.

It will hug you and make you feel all the warm, fuzzy feelings.

Plus, it’s fall as hell.  And that’s what I’m all about right now.

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*I am all for homemade pie crusts, but I’m not going to lie and tell you that’s what I did for this recipe.  I definitely used a refrigerated Pillsbury crust because, well, I’m lazy.  If you want to make it easy like I did, use the kind that you have to roll out, not the kind already in the tinfoil pie plate.  It’s pretty close to the real thing.*

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I really recommend preceding this pie with some kind of comfort meal such as garlic mashed potatoes, vegetable beef soup, or garlic herbed pork tenderloin.

But those are just a few ideas.  Or you can come over and I’ll make you a cozy fall meal complete with the perfect apple pie, some spiced cider, and Cards Against Humanity while Hocus Pocus plays in the background.

The choice is yours.

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*Song of the Day: Wake Me Up When September Ends–Green Day (throwing it waaayyy back, here).

*Thanks to my brother, Garrett for taking these pics!!

Dating Sucks

I pretty much use Napoleon Dynamite references whenever possible. Image: http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vxnni
I pretty much use Napoleon Dynamite references whenever possible.
Image: http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vxnni

Considering media practically runs our lives, it’s no surprise to me that people look to the nearest dating app to easily find their next relationship or hookup.  I personally have never used Tinder, so this is coming from a biased point of view, but I also have seen the effects of using the dating app firsthand through some of my friends throughout college.

My first problem with my generation is that we do everything on the internet or through our phones.  I’m not going to say that I’m some saint who is never on her phone or the internet (hello, I’m writing about this topic on my blog right now), but I also use caution with my electronics.  Unless I’m waiting for some important phone call or email, I really try to stay off my phone when I’m hanging out with my friends or family.  Ever been in the middle of a sentence when somebody starts cracking up over something on their phone, and you realize they haven’t been listening to your story for the last 8 minutes?  Yeah, not cool, everybody.

Really though, I find it a huge bummer that the sanctity of relationships has become so distorted that I can’t even remember the last time I was asked on a date in person, by somebody less than ten years older than me, in my college town.  It’s been at least a year.  I’ve actually met men in person who only ask me to dinner after they find me on Facebook.  Even though they had just been talking to me in person 2 hours ago.

Not even shitting you, I’ve been broken up with over text message before.  Please, for the love of God, stop the madness.

As much as it seems like I’m totally against dating websites, I’m really not.  If online dating is your thing, please understand that I’m not ridiculing you, and I know there are people who have met incredibly wonderful SOs online.  I just believe that moderation is key.

My real problem with Tinder and dating apps is that people let them ruin their social skills, their relationships, and will even lower their standards as a result of online dating.

Again, I have never used Tinder, so my initial opinion of the app when it first became a big thing was essentially that it was for the low self-esteemed and desperate.  I’m not necessarily proud of that, because I try really hard not to be judgmental.  I also have friends with Tinder profiles that are definitely not desperate or low self-esteemed.  It’s just that the idea of hanging out with my friends, swiping through profiles, occasionally dodging a dick pic, and completely disregarding guys I’m not necessarily attracted to seems so, so harsh.  For somebody who really places an emphasis on personality, a dating app based solely off looks was on a way different level than I was.

Maybe the real problem is actually me, and I’m just not down to conform with my fellow Millennials’ ways of life.  It’s not like our parents were flipping through their iPhones swiping right or left or whatever*.  They found love somehow without all of this online bullshit (my parents are high school sweethearts, happily married 25 years…).  As a little girl, TV shows and movies and books and magazines told me that love would happen so romantically.  I’m not a very romantic person, but I also would like to be taken out on an actual date once in a while.

*6 year old me believing love experiences would be as awesome as Lizzie McGuire’s really let me down*.

I’m fairly certain that dating apps have turned me into a hopeless romantic.  The term has now evolved so much that even going to dinner with respectful, 20-something man is too much to ask for.

Dating apps and online dating has, unsurprisingly, allowed Millennials the freedom to conduct all of their relationship and social business over the internet.  I swear, I don’t think most guys my age would even know what to do if they wanted to ask me out in person.  Would they bravely walk up to me and ask for my number?  Unlikely.  But that’s probably why I only get asked out by guys who were already preteens by the time I was born.

Even sadder than my nonexistent love life is hearing instances of people still scrolling through Tinder when they’re already in relationships.  Aside from the frustrating hook-up culture we live in that makes it completely abnormal to actually define relationships, Tinder has marketed itself as a “social” app, meaning that people apparently find no problem in swiping through every once in a while to see how many matches they have.  Earlier, my friend told me her friends use Tinder to find matches just to make sure that they still can.  People want to know that they’re able to appeal to others, even though they’re in relationships.  However, in doing this, they’re reinforcing their low self-esteem (ex: “I’m not attractive/desirable/wanted if people do not ‘swipe right’ on my profile”) and hurting people that care about them.  Maybe some people are okay with their SOs scrolling through Tinder every once in a while, but I know that I would be incredibly hurt by this.  In raising your self-esteem, you may be lowering someone else’s.

Going back to what I was saying earlier about our hook-up culture and “defining relationships”, I cannot stress enough that I do not find it a bad thing.  I am completely all about sex positivity.  The problem is that it has overshadowed people looking for actual relationships.  It seems as if every guy I talk to is only looking for casual hookups or low-involvement.  Again, that’s fine if that’s what they’re looking for, but for young people that want to remain monogamous, it’s a huge letdown.  I’ve gone on a couple of dates where the whole time I was thinking, “Is this a date?  Is this not a date?  What is happening right now?”  If you ask somebody out, make your intentions clear from the beginning so that nobody ends up hurt at the end of the night.  If you want a hookup, that’s fine.  If you’re looking for a serious relationship, great.  But find your target market and pursue only your target market** . Then, ask them out in a respectful manner.

I guess, in the end, what I’m really trying to say is that dating apps and online dating should not to be used as a primary option for people my age.  I go to college in one of the most single cities in the U.S. for young people (seriously, Reno is ranked 8th), and I rarely get asked on a date in person.  We have transformed ourselves into a society that would rather get to know somebody over social media than in person.  The love of your life could be standing right in front of you, but you would never know, because you’re swiping through Tinder looking for them.

I know that not all people follow these ideals, that there are good guys out there that share the same beliefs that I do, and that I will eventually find someone that gives me the same love and affection that I will give him.  But that’s not at all what concerns me.  I’m worried about my friends getting stuck in shitty relationships distorted by false images portrayed by online profiles.  I feel sad for my smart, beautiful, talented friends that stress out about “defining the relationship” with a person that really isn’t looking for one.

People say that new is better than old, but does that really apply to dating methods?  I’m not looking for some Nicholas Spark’s-novel-kind of relationship, but I also don’t want to be dragged into these fucked-up mind games where neither party knows what the hell is going on.  And I don’t want to be considered a “prude” or as “high maintenance” for following these beliefs. Dating should be enjoyable and uncomplicated, but it never is.

I’m optimistic that my kind of person is out there, and truthfully I’m not worried about finding him any time soon.  It’s just that so far, dating in my early 20s has left me rather unimpressed.

Any thoughts about Tinder and online dating?

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*Not even kidding, I had to Google how Tinder works…

**This was the marketing major in me showing her true colors.

*Song of the Day: Ooo–Karen O, because she gets it*

Black and Denim

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I swear, one of these days I’m just going to start a blog called “Shit my Professors Say”.

Example entries:

“I’m going to apply some marketing concepts toward owning a coffee shop all semester. Although, if all you want to do own a coffee shop, you should just leave. You can do so much more fun things with these 4 years” (I want to own a coffeeshop).

“Now, this financial formula is quite simple, but I’m going to show it you guys in detail, because I oftentimes get a lot of students confused on how to compute it.  Although I’m pretty sure they’re all marketing majors” (I’m a marketing major).

“People normally consume their products quite publicly.  Unless you buy, say, a Playboy magazine, and then you might consume that alone in your closet…” (What?)

Anyways, it’s pretty clear my professors are on some kind of level that I’m not quite following, but I have to stay in college, because someday I might have a dog to support.

But in the meantime, I’ll just pretend like I understand my crazy professors and continue to work towards good grades.  I think that’s the goal in college.  Just go with the flow.  (Right??)

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Grumpy candid
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In general, college is going pretty great aside from the fact that I have 4 tests next week (but let’s not talk about that quite yet).  Living in Reno is simply amazing, which is why I was super excited when my little brother was in town visiting me.  We took a nice stroll along the river (or stream practically 😦 ), and he got a few shots in for fun.  In case you’re unaware, my little brother is a really great photographer, and I like to use his work whenever I can.  Here’s some more pictures by Garrett here and here.

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I’m also pretty excited, because I wore my new shoes on this particular day, so they got some spotlight.  They were freshly thrifted ($5) so of course I couldn’t wait to wear them!  I think that black and denim is such a classic look, and the mary-janes added a nice touch.

I also used my new backpack bag that my mom bought me while she was in Italy!  Isn’t is so cool?

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Shirt: Forever 21 Jeans: Lucky Shoes: Thrifted Bag: Gifted Bracelet: Gifted Earrings: Fossil

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*Song of the Day: Snap Out of It–Arctic Monkeys