Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chauvinist / Feminist

Time to talk about this issue seriously. I've been wanting to explore the history/herstory for a long time now, about the disparity between men and women, about the sexism, about "victim status", and most importantly, about how the genders stand today.

Feminism (noun):

1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2. (sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. feminine character.

Chauvinism (noun):

1. zealous and aggressive patriotism or blind enthusiasm for military glory.
2. biased devotion to any group, attitude, or cause.

Looking at the definition of these two words, which many people throw around carelessly as labels/descriptions/judgments about others, it seems that our connotations hardly match their denotations. Surprising? Maybe so. Let us deconstruct!

Feminism apparently seems to have forgotten to include that along with equal rights they should be getting equal responsibilities, and Chauvinism is almost so generic of a word that applying it to men almost seems to be solely based on it's association with aggression and how that's a traditionally "male" characteristic.

Me, I am a masculist. I am assertive and passionate about my enthusiasm for being male, for being a guy, a dude, a bro, a homie, a motherfucking man! I don't need to defend my position, because I'd rather just attack yours... Okay, being serious, I mean that I identify positively with my masculinity, without the need to defend or justify it.

Now, most women are not feminists. Why? Because Feminism doesn't mean equality anymore. Feminism means an inbalance, an unequal sharing of power and freedom between the genders. (I'm making the assumption that most women don't believe themselves to be superior to men, or at least, don't support inequality.)

Today, Feminism as a movement doesn't really mean what it says, what it was begun as. Feminism today is part of our culture in such profound ways, most people don't really realize it - but not in a good way. Negative male stereotypes (such as sitcoms where the female-lead is a brilliant beautiful woman and the guy is a dumb-fuck lucky to have her) exist in plethora. It's not okay for a man to beat his wife, but okay for a woman to beat her husband. Women say they want chivalry and to be treated like a princess, but then still get mad when a man takes control. Oh, and let's not forget the goddamn Draft. Yeah... why is it only men get to go out and die for their country?

Today, Feminism means to me that you actually believe women are superior to men, and for all intensive purposes, that's what's happened in our country. It's not obvious or expected, but like all subtle truths, occupies those dark places we despise.

This is why I am so often labeled chauvinist, misogynist, asshole, jerk, douchebag, bastard, by many women who describe themselves as "raging Feminists", reading NOW magazine or the Manifesta, listening to the Vagina Monologues, and hating mainstream culture for pressuring impossible standards of beauty upon them... that they still religiously conform to.

People see me embracing my masculinity, and think, "what the fuck? you pig! don't you know that men are the cause of war, rape, murder, and all sorts of other evils in this world?" And to these obscenely ignorant women, I say: Cleopatra, Andrea Yates, and Aileen Wuornos. I say: go to [Toy Soldiers] and learn about real silent suffering.

This is why I read what I like to call, "Chauvinist literature", enjoy so-called "Testosterone Poisoning", photoshop wigs onto pictures of "Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them", and leave the goddamn seat-up in my bathroom! (Because why should the expectation be on us to put it back down? Why not on women to put it back up?)

I feel a sort of self-inflicted duty to help combat the latent sexism present in our culture these days, a sexism directed specifically at masculinity, maleness... at men.

And as for the Feminism movement? Well, what with its own history of racism, classism, misandry, and the inescapable truth that it was never about equality but about power for women, I think eventually it will disintegrate into a myriad of factions, from Lipstick Lesbians to radical bra-burning herstory revisionists with no sense of direction or cohesiveness.

In short, Feminism might rule our collective cultural unconscious now, but not forever.

6 footnotes:

emily said...

sometimes you make me want to scream.

Zek J Evets said...

@emily: really? because i can't hear you ;)

tuleep said...

Me, I am a feminist. I am assertive and passionate about my enthusiasm for being female, for being a gal, a lady, a motherfucking woman. I don't need to defend my position, because men's actions do it for me. I identify positively with my femininity, without the need to defend or justify it.

People see me embracing my femininity, and think, "what the fuck? you bitch! don't you know that your constant complaining and questioning of your role in society is annoying as tits? You will never have power over men. You're accomplishments in society will never outdo that of men." And to these obscenely ignorant men, I say it is not about outdoing or having power over men.

It is about being given the respect that allows me to speak and be heard, to be given rightful consequences for my actions both negative and positive, to allow me to do and be recognized, to be valued for what I think and say, and to not be simply expected or demanded for my stereotypical roles: Asma Al-Assad.

This list can be used to defend both feminism and masculism. It should never be expected of the other to put the toilet seat up or down, but ideally it should be done out of courtesy for the other. (Really, both should close all lids. It's more sanitary. But that's besides the point.) Above all, this list defends humanism, because, above all, I have enthusiasm for being a humanist.

goldforever said...

sometimes i think i was supposed to be born a boy 'cuz this is exactly how i feel. wellsaid, sir

Zek J Evets said...

@tuleep: seems like you're deliberately changing my postulation about the definition of "feminism"... haha, okay.

but what you wrote there, isn't about feminism - that's called equality. feminism is specifically based on women's issues, whereas what you (and i, because you borrowed my style for a moment there) wrote could be applied to any group or gender or label.

which is why i still think most women are not feminists... maybe naively so, but even "tortured artistic souls" like me can hope.

and i admire your humanism, because i follow many of those tenets myself. maybe soon more people would rather embrace than stare as well.

p.s. leaving both lids down is not more sanitary, because it traps in the noxious fumes, creating gastric pressure that, when the toilet is used by someone else, will assault the senses, causing dizziness, nausea, and even fainting! but in general, it's better to air things out rather than close them up.

@goldforever: thank-you m'dear. but i'm glad you weren't born a boy; you'd be less pretty.

tuleep said...

Heck no techno! Not with my tooth brush in the same room :) I keep it all holed up and frequently replace the anti-bacterial thing that hangs off the side.

And yes I was deliberately changing it, or more so disagreeing with it. It is equality, but that's what feminism is to me, just narrowed down to one group. It applies to any minority struggle as well.

And thanks for letting me borrow it--gotta love parallel structure.