At school, when I was 4 or 5, there would be huge lines of girls linking arms and skipping around the playground chanting “No boys allowed!”, and vice versa. I’d imagine that if a teacher had said “Can’t we all get along?”, they would have received confused stares. Sadly, although I’ve left school, I still see this situation all around me.
In the kyriarchy, gender is binary. In the kyriarchy, we’re all supposed to live as two teams and compete in the “battle of the sexes”. In the kyriarchy, so it seems, there can be only one winner. Throughout history, this “winner” has been men, although rigid gender stereotypes have been created for both sexes. That’s why the feminist movement developed. Feminism is the struggle for an alien concept to the kyriarchy – equality. And we’re not done yet. The patriarchy continues to cause so many problems, as demonstrated this week by OUSU WomCam’s “Who Needs Feminism?” campaign, in which over 470 pictures were taken, in various Oxford locations, highlighting why feminism is still relevant.
However, this is the kyriarchy, and the kyriarchy doesn’t know what “equality” means, and it certainly doesn’t know what feminism means. According the the kyriarchy, such a campaign must be misandric (even though at least 1/3 of the pictures are of men) because that’s what the kyriarchy does; it uses divide-and-rule. The kyriarchy thinks feminists are incapable of seeing how stereotypes affect men. The kyriachy sees feminist campaigns as “girls are better than booooooys!” playground chants, and the kyriarchy chants back.
Enter the #INeedMasculismBecause hashtag. Thankfully, it quickly filled up with parody tweets, but there were some genuine tweets in there, which have been listed and responded to in this brilliant post by Flightrisker. Most of the arguments are either statistically incorrect or just plain wrong (I’ve never seen a feminist campaign for all men to pay on dates. Ever.), and all are based on the typical right-wing media view that feminism is about female superiority. Just to clarify, it isn’t.
Here’s an example; the one true problem that kept cropping up in the hashtag was that mothers disproportionately gain custody of children in divorce cases. Think about this:
- Mothers disproportionately gain custody of children because childcare is still seen as a woman’s job.
- Childcare is seen as a woman’s job because of gender stereotypes.
- Gender stereotypes are enforced by the patriarchy.
- Therefore, mothers disproportionately gain custody of children due to the patriarchy.
- The struggle against the patriarchy is feminism.
- The #INeedMasculismBecause hashtag is a struggle against feminism, and therefore takes the side of the patriarchy.
- Therefore, this hashtag is part of the problem.
The same could also apply to the idea that men always have to pay for dates.
As for the idea that feminists want special treatment for women – as I’ve already said, that’s not how it works. Contrary to what the media would have you believe, women and men are not two alien tribes who constantly play tug-of-war to see who’s better. However, many aspects of society gives special treatment to men; how many all-male speaking panels do you see or hear about compared to all-female panels? All-male bands and all-female bands? How many films and TV shows pass the Bechedel Test, and how many would do so if the sexes were reversed? It’s gone on for so long that most people, regardless of gender, just don’t notice anymore. This is the norm. So, when any attempt at equality is made, or at least campaigned for, suddenly it’s SPECIAL TREATMENT and WHAT ABOUT THE MEN and MISANDRY and all sorts of myths about feminism.
I am proud to call myself a feminist, because feminists have always fought for equality; the whole “battle of the sexes” thing is just plain immature, and oppressive to everyone. People are not just pawns in a huge sexist game where everyone thinks that their team is best. To quote my school days again: It’s not faaaaaaaaaiiir, and I’m not playing anymooooooooore!