This was originally written by me and published on my old blog on March 26, 2016, which I point out particularly because there are references to events that happened around that date.
A few days ago, in response to a friend posting about our Prime Minister declaring himself a feminist (and saying he would continue to do so), a man posted that women have more rights than men and that it is not women who suffer inequality, but men.
I replied with a “*cough, cough, choke*” because it was truly all I could muster.
In the resulting and inevitable THIS MAN IS NOT READING THE WORDS I’M WRITING, he finally said this: “Wow. You don’t even realize you have sacrificed part of your humanity on the altar of your beliefs. I genuinely feel sorry for you and sincerely hope you never have a male child since you will obviously love him less and not advocate for his human rights. Frankly this makes me sick. You two have fun in your echo chamber, I am done here, I don’t feel like losing any more faith in mankind today. Hopefully you will come to see that in this instance you are blind to what is right but either way as I said enjoy your life”
I told him I’d be sure to tell my son that I obviously love him less and won’t fight for his human rights.
And I did.
The next morning.
“So, [10yo], a dude on the internet told me that because I am a feminist I must love you less and will never fight for your human rights.”
*facepalm* “That was to that guy. Maybe you could write back to him and tell him that feminism means women are equal to men, emphasis on ‘equal.’”
And then a few minutes later, this:
“You are my favourite boy on the planet and one of my two absolute favourite kids.”
“I know, but I also know I was your favourite first.”
“Well, yes, because you existed first, but now you’re tied. 🙂 ”
“Won’t fight for my rights…. You’ve done that. What a dumb guy.”
(10yo is making reference to at least two situations in which I fought fiercely for his rights.)
Then, yesterday, in the aftermath of the mess that was the Ghomeshi trial (let me state again here that I understand how our legal system works amd that the judge had little choice but to find Ghomeshi not guilty, and let me also state that I continue to believe survivors and take issue with the judge making statements that served to pass judgement on all victims/survivors (primarily women), rather than sticking to what his job is…passing judgement (even if I don’t like that judgement) on the accused), I got called for OH I DON’T KNOW THE BILLIONTH TIME a man-hater.
So, in light of all that, let me try to convey what so many feminists before me have tried to convey.
Wanting to have the same access to employment opportunities and social services, fair treatment in the justice system (hello, 749 rape myths), or any other thing that men have/experience is not the same as hating men.
Wanting women to be able to do better; to have legitimate choices about what they want to do and how they want to do it does not equal wanting men and boys to do worse.
Someone told me that my role should be to stand behind a great man, rather than side-by-side. I much prefer side-by-side.