So you consider yourself to be a feminine sort of lass, all flowing skirts and floral prints, and you prefer baking cakes over business meetings. You live by that 1950s stereotype that men should be “real men” and not feminists, because who on earth would want to date a man who believes in gender equality? I mean, Neanderthals didn’t need it so why do we? Right?
There are few things that frustrate me more than women who pander to misogyny by adopting ridiculous, outdated patriarchal values as their own. What you wear doesn’t define you as a person. Your hobbies don’t define you. I am a vintage-frock-wearing, prosecco-drinking, cake baking woman, and I am also a very vocal feminist.
A lack of respect for women is not an attractive trait. If you identify or present as a woman you’ll already have experienced misogyny at the hands of men, both intentional and incidental. How is it that we are just as capable and our thoughts and words and hopes and dreams are just as valid, but every day it’s an uphill struggle to be considered EQUAL? We are treated differently, but it’s not just a palpable difference, it is oppression. So why the fuck do some women still hate themselves so much that they speak out AGAINST equality.
No man worth giving the time of day to considers women to be inferior. I know women who are stay-at-home-mothers, whose husbands are the sole breadwinner, and who choose not to work. They still consider themselves to be feminists, because feminism isn’t just a catchphrase to define our personal marital choices. Feminism is about equality. Plain and simple. One of my friends is someone who loves staying at home with her son whilst her husband works full-time, but he is also a “real” man who has the utmost respect for all women and would never foist that role on her. She CHOOSES to stay at home, she CHOOSES to cook for her family, and she enjoys doing it. This doesn’t make her any less of a feminist, or make her want gender equality any less than someone who chooses not to marry, have kids, or favours a career over having a family. To say that someone must be that “stereotype” of a feminist is missing the point of feminism altogether.
Misogyny isn’t a trait that makes a man appear more masculine, in fact quite the opposite. That lack of consideration for all genders, a necessity to oppress women just for being women, is just sheer overcompensation. If your masculinity isn’t fragile, it also isn’t defined by the oppression of women. You don’t need to “control” your woman in some attempt to own her, because an actual man – a REAL man – knows that every person should have autonomy over their own body.
So please, PLEASE stop internalising misogyny. Women in the UK can access education, can hold jobs and own property. We can vote. We take these everyday things for granted but should all remember it was our feminist sisters, mothers and grandmothers who fought for these rights so we don’t have to.