I’m worried Feminists are fighting the wrong fight.

I really am, and it’s because of advice I’ve been given as a woman, a mother and a wife, in regard to how to correctly ‘wrangle’ my man and children.

One of the first things you hear when you run into issues with the men in your life is that you need to manipulate him, basically.

The theory goes that if you want something done, you need to get him thinking about it, and convince him to believe it was HIS idea – and that it is a fantastic one. I’m sure it’s familiar to nearly everyone, it’s pretty common. That way, you get what you want and he happily – and obliviously – goes about his business thinking he’s hit on a winner and therefore follows through with giving you what you want, and doesn’t even know he’s doing it.

Now lets talk about the slut-walk, the ‘I have the right to be naked if I want’ brigade, the whole concept of taking our clothes off and not being judged for it.

Has anyone thought that perhaps this is the men or the patriarchy or the male privilege that is being rallied against using this exact same piece of manipulation?

I mean sure, we can re-define what it means to be naked, but we can’t stop or change their thoughts. We can go out there blaring about how fantastic it feels and how we have every right to do so, and we’re going to wear bikini tops and short shorts if we want to, and tell you to think differently when you see it – and there’s nothing you can do about it!

Wow. Well didn’t those guys who DO think it is all for them get lucky?

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying they ‘should’ think that way, but that they ‘do’. And the problem, to me, is less that we should have the right to dress that way and not be judged (which we should). The problem to me is that we shouldn’t be judged on what we’re wearing at all.

I have the right to be admired, respected and desired even if I am wearing baggy, entirely covered up clothing. That is the focus I propose.

My concern is that by taking their desire – that all women walk the earth almost naked and therefore at their visual disposal, and saying we’ll DO that but we’ll do it how we want, and because we want to – not because you said we should – is essentially changing the meaning in order to justify it to ourselves, and pick ourselves up from feeling depressed about the expectation, and giving them what they want. It seems just as pressured to me, just as out of our hands as women.

So I propose we start rallying for respect and appreciation when we dress like members of the clergy. When we are so off-display it’s not funny. I think we need to remove the link of ‘sexual appeal’ to ‘naked’ or otherwise provocatively dressed – stop using our body parts as negotiating tools. We need to remove it altogether – and I think by focusing on the opposite, we could have a better chance of getting it than we do now, when we essentially hand what these leering, ogling, misogynist men want on a platter anyway. The fantasy of these men is being fulfilled when we do it the way it’s been done now. They want the world pornified – they want the world to be like a porn movie, scantily clad women who are up for it whenever and wherever they want. Well they’ve got it to half way now – by convincing us it’s our idea and our right to dress that way!!

While we carry on our message is ignored, while they get more than they ever thought possible, they don’t have to go to a dodgy stripclub or anywhere else to see a woman’s body, they can go to their local supermarket. They can live a perfectly ‘admirable, respectable’ lifestyle with no dodgy credit card transactions – nothing to give their game away. Nothing to openly suggest to anyone that they are a perving, dodgy, misogynistic, sexist prick. For all intents and purposes, it just ‘appeared’ in their view – not their fault, they didn’t ‘go looking for it’. How often have you caught a man checking a girl out and heard that excuse? She just walked into my field of vision… I couldn’t help it… blah blah blameless bullshit.

 

Wow. These men have managed to get the feminist movement working completely in their favour. It’s just become even easier.

I think by removing the body parts we remove the impact they have on these men, or their ability to do so. If you want to respect me, do it because of me the person, the woman – not because I have the best rack you’ve seen this side of the mountains, or because I willingly show it and tell everyone that I have to be allowed to. Find me sexually appealing as a woman because of my mind, my thoughts, my personality, my eyes – not the great arse. And so on.

If nothing else, they have to be a hell of a lot less lazy about it. And if they are dodgy sexist pricks who want a collection of easy-grab body parts, make them risk their reputations to get it.

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2 thoughts on “I’m worried Feminists are fighting the wrong fight.

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, it’s a great angle to look at it from. I agree that we absolutely deserve to be respected regardless of what we’re wearing, but I also think that part of the problem is that some women DO dress this way for the purpose of attracting men. You hear it in the rhetoric towards each other “oh, sexy top, I love it!” “wow, you look hot”. Loudly proclaiming “I can wear what I want when I want” is all well and good, but when you go to a clothing store to pick out an outfit, you pick one that you think looks good on you. Because you think others will think it looks good on you too. And there you’ve fallen back into that trap, be it for impressing men or just your friends, you’re allowing yourself to be judged (and self-judged) by your looks, not who you are.

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    • I walked past a group of women talking yesterday and one said she was taking a friend shopping for clothes and was going to find her a man ‘because she’s young and hot!’ but needed help :\ What about she’s an amazing, interesting person with depth and needs help finding a man to appreciate that? Nope, she’s young and hot and deserves to be arm candy so lets fix her wardrobe so she can score someone who will give her that ‘privilege’. Ugh.

      I agree with your point about that part of the problem. I don’t know what the answer is to that, though. I know I fall into that same trap myself – I am by no means immune to any of the things I talk about or look at! If I’m dressed ‘nice’ I feel ‘worthy’ – of what, I don’t even know sometimes. Because I am the same person whether I have a truck full of make up and a low cut top or tracksuit pants and a stained t-shirt.

      The only thing I can think of is to emphasise dressing for comfort and practicality. Which immediately rubs against that ‘worthiness/niceness/attention’ thing, I can feel it happening in my subconscious somewhere, which is a bit sad. Do you have any ideas there?

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