The F word…

…I can barely say it. My conservative, Rush Limbaugh-loving father, god rest his soul, would spin in his urn if he heard me claim this. But, I think I am sort of a, uh, Feminist. Ugh. Why me? Why now? Analytical me has to break this down, because I have a very real idea about the differences in men and women. I respect and appreciate those differences, and how we coexist.

The world I live in, that my father did not, is a land of information overload. Instant information. Millions of sources, both men and women. Every point-of-view you can imagine or search for is available to read or watch. And, in living in this world, I am finding myself very under represented as a woman. The women writing and acting and reporting to me are all super polarized to one side or the other. Extremism is not my jam. But, extremism sells. So, I have to read a little of both and piece together my knowledge and eventually my opinion.

I agree with Feminists, for the most part. But, there are some fundamental problems I have with the race for equality between the sexes. Problem one is: I, personally, am surrounded by more highly successful women than men. So, the wage gap problems are not as evident to me. I read about it, usually from millionaire celebrity types who have just seen an article on the web and taken it on as a personal agenda. Women who have real information on unfair wage gaps are all working too hard to write about the wage gap! Two: Sexuality can be used and is used by women every day. So, when men are ‘crude’ or ‘hyper sexual’ towards women I do not see it as something totally different. I want to live in a world where flashing a soft smile gets me ahead in the grocery line, so if the check-out guy is ‘checking me out’ I am not mad at it. This is human nature, people.

Offended is not a feeling I am often struck with, but this world I live in is constantly offended by something or someone. That is where I feel this strong urge to put the whole idea of Feminism, just a big pile of offensiveness. But, then I read an article about Viagra being covered by health insurance plans but not birth control. I do not get personally offended, but I certainly see the injustice and inequality. My views on female reproduction are very liberal, mainly because I was not raised with religion and I feel our bodies are our own. I also side with euthansia and capital punishment, my ex-husband called me ‘pro-death’.  And, I am sure that will offend someone!

Another problem I have with Feminism is how different American women live their lives compared to women all over the world. How dare we? There are women in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East who endure rituals that include mutilating their female genitalia, and American women have the audacity to complain about ‘mansplaining’. Come on, ladies. Look outside your small life and use this time of information overload and freedom of speech like no other, to speak for women who TRULY are oppressed and under the rule of men like no time ever in our country. Unless you’re a black woman, and that is a whole ‘nother blog!

I guess, in closing, I will sum up that while I do not really WANT to claim Feminism; in my current world, I see no other way to get my facts than to read the extremists’ opinions and when I do read both sides-I side with Feminism. Sorry, Dad.