I am calling for a new feminist movement and men, we really need your help.
Rush Limbaugh’s comments from last week still has people outraged. Though there are many men who despise him and his views on women, the fact that he is so forthright in the public eye suggests that many more of them are in agreement with his opinions. It is men like Rush who have given “feminists” a bad name and created the stereotype: that feminists are angry “man-haters.” Though he would probably deny it, it is obvious by his loose usage of the term “feminazi” that he has helped to perpetuate this hateful and outrageous stereotype. As a feminist, I have never been a man-hater nor met any feminists who were. It has been made clear by the public’s reaction to Rush’s recent rhetoric that both men and women are fed up with these unfair gender stereotypes and shamefully ignorant accusations.
I used to wonder how the public’s perception of the word “feminist” became so skewed from it’s actual definition “a person who advocates equal rights for women.” Instead of being viewed as courageous, people who dare to challenge the status quo in a country where women are still paid 20% less than what men earn in comparable positions, we are viewed with public disdain and branded man-hating rabble-rousers merely for daring to vocalize these glaring gender inequalities. Publicly, those with clout, like Rush, talk about and regard us with the same type of annoyance and irritation that they also reserve for the brave participants of the Occupy Movement.
I see myself as a feminist, but not in the lens of this stereotype. In fact, the idea of the “man-hating feminist” disgusts me and I view it as a caricature on par with that of the distasteful “woman-hating mysogynist.” For years, Rush and the like have perpetuated these stereotypes and lies about women through hate speech and bullying. Treating us disrespectfully and regarding us as ignorant was not enough for Rush. To really get his point across, he had to call us names like “sluts” and “prostitutes.”
Now here is the clincher: the feminist movement began as a movement to achieve equality, but somewhere along the line, men like Rush have made enough noise and mongered so much fear that they easily bought and sold their followers and constituents the ideology that feminists were not in fact striving for equality, but instead seeking female dominance and superiority. And with this idea, Rush has stirred up enough hate and fear in men that has allowed him to bank on and perpetuate this fallacy for far too long.
Feminists are not stupid or ignorant. We have never striven for dominance or superiority. We have only sought one thing and one thing only: equality. We understand that taking a stance of superiority and dominance over a demographic of individuals, as Rush has done, does not make you look strong, in fact, it does quite the opposite: it makes you look weak.
Rush has been stoking these dangerous flames for too long and this time he might’ve caused a backdraft. More now than ever, we need men to unsubscribe to this ignorant fear that equates equality for women with a loss of power for men. This is a false assumption. The truth of the matter is that feminists have been touted to have these man-hating qualities by people like Rush so insecure pig-headed men like him in this country can obtain and maintain some sort of male dominance and superiority over women. They have used reverse psychology on the nation to make people believe that all this time they have been victimized by “the feminazi man haters.”
The truth is that feminists have always respected men and treated them with the same dignity we expect to be treated with. Feminists have never looked down on the general male population from a position of hate, the way men like Rush have looked down on us from and publicly stated it. We try to lead by example, but with people like Rush continuously spitting in our faces, it is difficult. What we need now more than ever are strong women and men who support equality amongst the sexes. Now is the time to vocalize our disgust for men like Rush and the hate speech they spew and perpetuate.
I am calling for a new feminist movement today, a movement where men and women help one another to achieve the respect and equality we all deserve. We must retire those ridiculous and hateful stereotypes once and for all. What do you think? Will you work with me to achieve this? What can you do to help?