Pagan Blog Project #6 – The ‘F’ Word

In Western society there’s this weird taboo around words. Some words can’t be said in polite company because they’re offensive. Why is Feminism such a dirty word in our culture? If I claim to be a feminist at a party I know that at least one person will have an issue with that and try to convince me that being a feminist is about hating men and if I really wanted equality for women I shouldn’t be fighting for us to have more rights.

So, let’s set the record straight: Feminism is about equality for men, women and all those who identify as both, neither or somewhere in the middle. It’s about getting paid the same amount of money for doing the same job, it’s about turning up for work or college and not getting harassed, it’s about being able to choose who get’s to stay at home with the children instead of that role expected of the woman (even if she earns more than her partner), it’s about feeling comfortable enough to claim that I’m a feminist without the backlash. It’s about speaking up for those women in other countries who don’t have voices. I can’t understand why it’s seen as a controversial subject, even those closest to me stop listening when I say the ‘F’ word. Why wouldn’t you want 100% equality for your mothers, daughters, sisters and friends?

I could rant about the patriarchy – but I feel like that’s another one of those taboo words.  So, let’s move away from these words and talk about the concept instead because feminism is for men too.

We have these stereotypes and labels that are harmful for both men and women. Our leaders are usually ‘manly’ men; they are intellectual and value materialistic things but when a woman displays these characteristics and finally becomes the leader of our country she is shut down again and again, not only by the opposition leader but also by radio hosts and the like. Valuing masculine characteristics like individuality, competitiveness, etc then hating women when they start displaying these characteristics is just as hypocritical and wrong as telling young boys to stop crying and ‘be a man’, for example. You are effectively telling young boys that emotions don’t matter. This perpetuates this idea that feminine characteristics and values such as emotions and ‘crying’ are bad things. Does that mean women are bad? It sure as hell makes me feel like it sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t think everyone should stop being masculine and start becoming feminine. The human species is probably the most successful on Earth at this point in time and we have the masculine qualities such as competitiveness, independence, more logically focused and rebellious behaviours to thank for that.

However, we have devalued and tormented the Feminine qualities in the process. Qualities such as creativity, intuition, empathy, compassion, etc have been mocked for being ‘illogical’ or ‘not real/proven’. It is because of this that I believe we have lost the respect for our home (Earth) and that has caused complete devastation of rainforests, oceans, rivers, etc. We’re seeing major problems with food all around the world including the unsustainable practice of Big Agriculture, poverty, eating disorders, massive food wastage, etc. Our medical systems have become so advanced that we are seeing a decline in our own innate immune systems – the rise of anti-biotic resistance and food sensitivities are evidence of this. We’ve also turned pregnancy and labour into hyper-medical events, in the process dis-empowering the feminine even further. Our lives are usually filled with work that a majority of us could say we dislike or even hate – why?

There have been archeological evidence of women led societies in the past, but as a majority men have always been in a place of power within human society. This makes sense from a biological point of view; we are mammals and a wide majority of mammals have a social hierarchy centered around the males of the species.

So I guess you could say that I’m encouraging a type of evolution within our species. We should stop mocking feminine qualities as ‘weak’ ‘unnecessary’ or ‘illogical’. We should accept that in every person there is both feminine and masculine qualities (regardless of sex or gender) and I truly believe that if we balance them we’ll see our species furthering even more and at the very least avoiding a societal collapse.