Art by Jasmin
To quote the everlasting voice of generations past and present, Ferris Bueller, “-Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself.” The subject of Feminism is one that a person such as myself, a white male in his twenties, has very little room for opinion. When such an act occurs, typically fueled by the throes of an intoxicated stupor, my point-of-view is brutally dissected, mutilated, and sewn back together into a bastardized statement of hate.
To play devil’s advocate against myself, the fact is, I have no idea what it’s like being a woman. At least, not past the point of having breasts. Being a fat middle schooler allowed me to experience this facet of life most males cannot be a part of. But chubby tits aside, I don’t know what it’s like on the other side. I’ve never been the victim of sexual harassment, never been denied a job for a man of lesser skill, and never had to sigh in frustration knowing the person I’m talking to is mentally undressing me and mentally premature-ejaculating instead of hearing the point I’m trying to make.
Despite not knowing from first hand experience, I support women in their constant battle for equality, because it’s a nonstop uphill journey. I support any group of people who’ve ever been oppressed, because the effects of oppression and the stereotypes that are born from that are detrimental to the victims. Keep in mind, it was barely sixty years ago when Bugs Bunny donned blackface and played the banjo to a group of little black children drawn to look like monkeys. Oppression is bullshit and oppressors are assholes. Coming from a Jewish family plays into my views, because antisemitism is very much still alive and seemingly will be for the foreseeable future. Stereotypes exist, and they’re apparent in writing and TV. They’re not said out loud, because they never are, but it’s obvious whenever you see an over-the-top, thrifty, large-nosed Hollywood executive or a worrisome little paranoid child with a Queens accent.
As I’m doing right now, the act of talking about these issues and blogging about them in a public space can only help the cause for those who suffer. The Internet is a brilliant tool which brings attention to voices that would have been ignored just ten years ago. Women can go on YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, or whatever and express their honest opinions. If you’re web-savvy enough to know how to make your thoughts go viral, you have the potential to impact massive quantities of people who otherwise would have stayed drowning in their ignorance. But this article isn’t being written just to praise the Internet (regardless of how much I love it) or to spout out meaningless supportive praise. It’s being written simply give a male point-of-view on a topic that most men do not understand: feminism.
Now, my Internet arch-nemesis, Jezebel.com, is a blog that comes up a lot between myself and my female friends. It seems that no one likes Jezebel—they either love it or they loathe it. I can say with complete honesty that I dislike 99% of the content they put out online. In my opinion, Jezebel is radical, scathing, and ironically oppressive. I’ve written countless pieces deconstructing Jezebel’s articles and suggesting that the type of speech they promote is hate-speech, which is pretty counterintuitive to their mission statement, I think. They will pounce on women and tear them apart for holding beliefs opposite from their own and write articles reducing men to two-dimensional stereotypes. They call us pigs, they lump us into categories of human filth ripped from the worst Hollywood movies and sitcoms. I look in the mirror and see Bugs Bunny in blackface after reading a Jezebel article about the horrific acts of men. Now, when I brought this point up to a female friend of mine, she defended the website. She defended it to a point, I should say.
“At least someone out there has a voice for us,” she said, and I can see her point. That’s true, I thought. Off the top of my head, I could name two…maybe three feminist websites. I mean, where can women go to read fair and balanced articles about the world around them? As the Steubenville rape case has shown, the news media isn’t always doing a very good job, and film and TV don’t exactly cut it either. There’s this in-joke with screenwriters that you can tell when a man is writing a script, because every conversation between two women is about shopping or men. So when does feminist blogging become hate-speech? I’m not saying any voice should ever be silent, and I’m certainly not condoning any of the bullshit sexist acts men commit. But there should always be a system of equality in place. A way to bring some balance to the force (lolololol).
You’re probably wondering what I’m looking for in a blog, or maybe you’re currently planning my assassination. Do I expect blogs to pop up online that examine both sides of the argument and talk about the wrong-doings of men and women simultaneously? No. I mean, that probably exists and there are probably fans, but it’s not a realistic platform of change for the feminist movement right now. What I do enjoy are blogs and zines like Illuminati Girl Gang and Rookie. I guess they appeal to me because they promote female strength/girl-power/whatever without simultaneously bringing down any other groups. Tolerance has to be extended in every direction for change to happen. There has to be an initial fight, a coup of some sorts, but after that, you kill ’em with kindness. I want to read a blog that gives me more insight to a part of the population that I genuinely don’t understand. I mean shit, I only found out recently that there’s a separate hole down there for peeing. That’s the the type of ignorance that can be aided through a serious dose of the written word. I give props to brave women like Marie Calloway, Laci Green, and Kat George (Vice, Portable.tv), for example, who freely talk about their bodies and their sexual endeavors without apology.
Women shouldn’t hesitate to write about anything, especially if they want to talk about sexism or oppression. I just think it’s important to stray from demonizing an entire group of people – ever. Some men are awful human beings, but some women are too. Some black men are terrible, some white men are terrible, some transgendered-latino-atheist-diabetics are terrible. A lot of people are terrible. Hate who you hate and love who love and write about it until your fingers bleed, just use your powers for good.
With great power comes great Spiderman. That’s the quote, right?
– Jeremy Glass, Contributor, candyandpizza.com