Dear Old Man at the train station,
Thank you for sharing your Anti-feminist Manifesto with me, I have summarised your points as follows so we can keep track:
- That it is Feminist Marxists like Julia Gillard who have ruined families.
- That Tony Abbott has been unfairly maligned because he is a Catholic and male. (Feminist Marxist plot right there)
- The Single Parent Pension and the Baby Bonus made males redundant within families by giving women the ability to ‘opt out’ of hetero relationships.
- That traditional families, (also the country, the economy and the world), can never recover until men regain their rightful place as the leaders within them.
- That domestic violence statistics do not fairly reflect the amount of men that have been tormented into becoming violent. (Women get what they deserve.)
- That people need to study how to be in traditional relationships instead of having constant harassment from Marxist Feminists to ditch the men and build a Lesbian Utopia.
I was tempted to ask you what you thought of immigration or gay marriage but I could tell you were genuinely upset about the state of things in the world for men, because when I offered a comment in defence of Julia Gillard, you said: ‘I bet you are about to use the word patriarchy, which by the way, is a concept invented by feminists.’
So I changed the subject to the weather and pets, both of which seemed entirely more suitable for a random train station chat with a stranger.
The problem though, my dear Old Man at the train station, is that your opinion is not isolated. Your attitude seems to be very prevalent amongst your fellow predominately white, middle class, male demographic. How do I, an accused Marxist Feminist of your imagined Lesbian Utopia, help to spread the message that we just want to be treated fairly and have relationships in which we are true partners, who share decisions equally and shoulder the burdens and reap the rewards together? How do I have ‘the conversation’ when an entire group of human beings already have their stock answers ready to go, in voices that get louder and louder? It seems like all the words that we use to discuss these issues, like feminism, misogyny and patriarchy have just become trigger words for angry rants, thus closing down any further communication. And if we don’t have the words, we lose our voices entirely. The conversation is simply left like lost property at the train stations of the world, unspoken and unresolved.
At this stage, dear Old Man at the train station, I am hoping your proposed Marxist Feminist Lesbian Utopia takes off soon and gives out free candy to new members, because I’m so there. But before I pack I would like you to read the following:
Feminism, whether it is Marxist Feminist Lesbian Utopian feminism or not, is needed because:
- Victim blaming is still the ‘go-to’ for perpetrators of abuse, the media, and sometimes even lawyers.
- Women often feel obliged to wear make-up, regardless of their personal views on the process because of being constantly judged on their appearance.
- Traditional women’s roles are undervalued in our society, and the professions that are predominately female are often underpaid.
- A lot of women and men still believe that to be a feminist is to be a lesbian, when in actual fact feminists come in many forms including ‘lesbian’, ‘straight’ and ‘male’.
- A lot of people believe that feminist is just another word for ‘man-hater’.
- In the world today there is gendercide being perpetrated against unborn and newborn female babies.
- A female graduate from any degree can expect to earn up to twenty percent less than her male counterpart.
And, because the word ‘feminism’ is guaranteed to get an adverse reaction, just like yours, my dear Old Man at the train station, resulting in a tirade that gets louder and louder, which is really just a smokescreen obscuring the real issue.
And perhaps, my dear Old Man, you need reassurance. True equality could be good for you too, you see, through feminism, men will also be liberated. It will be okay for boys to cry instead of having to act tough and impervious to pain, it will be okay to admit you need help to fix a car, and you can have equal friendships with other men without constantly being concerned over who the alpha-male is, and a father will simply parent his child without feeling as though he is baby-sitting until their mother returns.
Perhaps, Old Man, the Marxist Feminist Lesbian Utopia is a great place for you too.
Now, where’s my candy?
(c) Rianh Silvertree 2013 (Also published in Lip Mag August 2013 as An Open Letter to an Anti-Feminist)