Bitter feminist.

First, lets start off with the correct definition of feminism. It’s simply wanting equality between men and women. That is all.
Any argument that feminism equals misandry is void. I will not hear it because it is not the same.
And onward.
Lately, I’ve internalized chauvinistic acts and have come to a realization. No, these acts aren’t a new thing for me. I’ve been hooted and hollered at since before my cycle, by grown men (or should I say boys?) A child, yup a kid, getting cat calls every time I walked down the street. Growing up with it I had to learn to push my emotional hurt aside. Like many women, I grew numb to it and would shrug it off like it was expected. It got to the point that when conversing on a walk I wouldn’t even skip a step, in my stride and my speech.
I used to be a feminist that like to view myself as balanced when faced with these encounters. But I can honestly say that I’ve grown extremely bitter. I absolutely hate that I’m bitter. Please ignore the redundancy in that.
An incident last night has left me dumbfounded and enlightened at the same time. My friend (formerly known in a past post as Cigarette Lips, now lets call him Jason Segel) someone I always speak highly of and whom I can say I was in love with at one point in my life, felt it okay to feel me up–in front of people, during conversation. Granted, it was a party setting and drinking was definitely involved. However, never did I think he’d do that, especially because of his awareness of my feminist views.
Long story short, it blew up. We argued through text and probably used attitude and sarcasm we shouldn’t have. In the end, there were a couple things he said that stuck with me.
1. I won’t quote him to spare sharing people’s names, but he compared my reaction to the way a mutual friend of ours might handle a situation. This mutual friend is quite misunderstood, I think. When people ask, “why are you offended by that?” he throws back, “well why aren’t you?” And sure I may have thrown that same question back at Jason in a different way, but this mutual friend also struggles with chronic depression. Him and I do not handle situations the same way, nor are our minds and chemical balances or imbalances the same. Not to mention our personalities. However, what irked me about this remark the most was that this mutual friend of ours is always referred to as too feminine in his emotions, as if that’s a bad thing. Also, why must having and showing them be a strictly male or female characteristic? Because thus far, society has instilled in boys that crying should be left to girls? Because its a sign of weakness and boys should not be weak? I mean this is a common topic nowadays as these norms are constantly being questioned and redefined. I guess I just wanted to point out the underlying reason why his remark bugged the crap out of me. The entire analysis behind his reasoning and the rest of society’s view on it could easily be left for its own post. Onward.
2. I told him it upset me that he “joked” at my expense. He retorted with, “at what expense was it to you? I acted like a fool in front of our friends.” Okay. Deep breath. Okay.
Yeah, no.
At what expense is it to me? Really? How about the fact that my body is just that, my own body. Not some fucking plush toy sitting on a shelf with a sticker on it that says TRY ME. I’m sorry I’m not sorry that you acted a fool and got embarrassed more so by my reaction than the fact that you acted a fool in the first place, in front of our friends. Let me just go ahead and stick something up your ass in front of everyone and see if you think I did it at no expense to you. You know, I bet you’ll be super comfortable with it and feel not at all violated. No, not at all. Then let me turn the attention to myself and play the victim, because I was so hurt by how I, myself, chose to act a fool in the first place.
And this is the underlying mentality in most men that irks me to my core.
What is it that is instilled in young boys that makes them grow up thinking that crossing into our personal space, moreover touching our private areas, shouldn’t make us feel like it was done at our expense? Is it the usual story of little Johnny chasing little Sally around the playground no matter how loud or how many times Sally says to stop? When this story arises in conversation, what do people usually call it? Usually not what it is, which is harassment. “Oh little Johnny is just being a boy, you know how boys are.” Of course I know “how boys are.” I grew up being sexually harassed and cat called, and I was told to ignore it instead of addressing this deep-rooted issue. This misconception that it is pure instinct to fondle a girl at a young age needs to be corrected. No, it is not instinct. What if little Johnny doesn’t “grow out of it?” Treating sexual harassment as a phase in a little boys life is like cutting weeds from the garden instead of tearing them out from the roots. It’s going to come back, and we better hope not with a vengeance. So why not a new tactic? Seems like the one used in society now and in the past hasn’t curbed sexual harassment. How about treating sexual harassment for all ages as a bad thing? Hm. What a concept. And I wish it was that simple. We’re up against the rest of history, one that made it the norm to objectify women, and one that is obviously still in effect today.
I told my friend last night, not Jason, that I thank Mother Nature for bringing me into this world in the decade I was born. That I would have hated the housewife lifestyle of the 50’s and the corsets at the turn of the century. However, the idea behind those mentalities still exists, which makes me wish I was born in year 3013.
Can I please just have my personal space and my private parts respected? Nope, I guess that’s asking too much.