It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me that I would adopt something so unpopular at the moment. I couldn’t imagine anything more socially ostracized than a feminist (okay, Black Lives Matter has it pretty rough right now too). It seems so many hold hate towards the title with little to no regard for the person holding it. So why would I, in 2016, choose to believe in something that so many consider a disease?
Well, I didn’t really decide to become a feminist. After 10 years of abuse (between 2 relationships), I wanted to blame me. “How did I end up in this mess? What am I doing wrong? How do I prevent this from ever happening again?” Never mind the 3 rapes, being molested by 3 different males, or the countless sexual assaults and sexual harassment. That actually had nothing to do with discovering my inner feminist. No, it was the abuse and abuse alone.
With all these questions I wanted answers. I wanted to heal and not feel broken. I wanted what psychologists call a “healthy relationship”. I always thought “it takes two to tango”, so I have to hold some responsibility, right? Wrong! I mean, how did I miss something so clear? How do I control myself when someone else is controlling me? That’s a conundrum–but oh so obvious! But how did I miss that? How are so many missing that?
So here it is, years later. But time means nothing without actual effort towards a goal–and I did exactly that. I have read several books on the subject and even created a fb page to support victims & survivors while hoping to educate the public. I couldn’t confidently educate and help others without ensuring my own education, right?
By this time I had put in a lot of my personal passion into ending domestic violence. But there’s that age old question lingering in my head still. “Why do people abuse?” I still don’t have all the answers! Of course there’s many theories, but none seem to account for all abusive men–until I came across a book by Lundy Bancroft titled “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men”. As he goes through all the theories, he mentions the one thing that was universal amongst all the abusive men he has worked with. It was rigid idealism such as sexism and mysogony (beliefs the man is the leader and hatred towards women who break the idealistic mold). I thought,”But this wouldn’t be possible in this day in age, would it? It can’t be! Wait… what else would make a man beat on a woman for control? Wow, another clear thing that I was so blind to. How am I so blind? Nothing else makes this much sense”.
I rush to my computer and quickly Googled “does sexism cause abuse?” And there it is, pages upon pages on it. Some articles were written from a psychological perspective (the kind of research I favor), but I also quickly took notice to the feminist articles too. “Wait a tick” I pondered, “feminists are fighting what I’m fighting?”
Then I Googled feminist views; which I greatly understood because of my research. But with that revealed this mass culture of the “antifeminist”. I tried to engage a few people who held antifeminist beliefs when I quickly realized the hostility these people hold towards feminists. It didn’t matter what I said, there was already a stubborn biased thinking based on total ignorance.
When you think abuse = hitting, you’re already wrong. Abuse is a system of control over another person. The abuser must have the advantage over the victim. The victim must be at a disadvantage for the control to be enforced. Hitting is meerly a symptom to abuse. But hitting can also be self-defense. Therefore hitting can be a sign someone is using their physical advantage over another, but not all abusers/controllers hit and not all hitting is abuse.
I was attacked with more sexist comments and mysogony by these antifeminists than I have ever experienced in such a short amount of time. But it became clear that Lundy’s research held true. Not only do many hold sexist beliefs that men are heads of women for whatever reason, but the amount of justifications one holds for it seems to render them blind to their own sexist beliefs (like if it’s excusable it no longer fits the definition? Thats a head scratcher). This had led them to believe that they’re the ones being victimized by losing the male head privilege. It’s crazy! But antifeminism reinforced my want to join the feminist plight. Apparently we have a lot of educating to do!
The exact opposite of a feminist is someone who is against equal rights for women–aka, an abuser. And it’s become clear that anyone who is anti-female rights would choose the side of antifeminism. Of course there’s some egalitarians who are afraid of the word “feminist”, but a lot are actually the enemy of feminists… their exact opposite.
Antifeminists inspired my desire to promote feminism. Thanks to their impeccable ability to project and deny.
Fun Add On:
- Triggers are real; look up PTSD.
- Rape is rape. Nothing else is rape but rape. Descriptions of rape is easily searchable.
- How a woman dresses is none of your concern.
- With how many people argue science and religion to why men are born leaders over women, I can’t imagine why anyone would believe in headmates or a patriarchy. *sarcasm*
- Tattoos are also none of your judgemental concern.
- “Lives like a slob and eats like trash while expecting all of society to adjust to their standards of beauty”? Awful ironic. Sounds like you’ve described a lot of men. Not to mention the beauty standards the meme suggests (what a woman should wear or how many tattoos are acceptable)
If we are equal, why is it okay for men to live like a slob, eat trash, and expect women to adjust to their beauty standards? But if a woman challenges it, she’s a feminazi? A woman deciding what a woman should be is a nazi, but men deciding it is okay? Wtf?! Is this, the twilight’s zone?!