Wow. Yikes. Holy Shmoly!
I am a blogger. I write blogs. I take my perspective, slather it in as much information as I can, sprinkle it with a little bit of voice, and call it a day.
Usually, writing a blog to me is second nature. Usually my thoughts put on paper make perfect sense and it’s how I learn/ cope/ deal with life and the happenings around me.
I wrote a blog yesterday that was viewed by a quite a few people. Nearly record breaking. I’m pretty proud of that. And for the most part, people who know me, received it pretty well- even if they disagreed because they know me.
Many of you do not, though. Many of you read my blog as a way to minimize people’s struggle, as an anti-abortion rant, as a criticism of the march, as a way to brag about my white female privilege. Among other things. Some people even questioned how I was allowed to be a teacher… no worries, I question that every day. It’s cool.
While I was prepared for the backlash I often get with controversial topics, I was not prepared to deal with generalizations or misinterpretations. I was not prepared for the people who assumed that I am something based on their interpretation of my words on a page… but it hit me: It’s easier to dismiss someone’s ideas that counter your own if you can place them into a category. It’s the language of warfare mentality. We don’t send soldiers out and say, “There’s a man in that building. He has three children. Go kill him.” Instead, we send them to “hit the target”. And while I know it’s not THAT drastic, it’s the same idea.
Terrorists, misogynists, racists, feminists… the list goes on. We have categories created for everything in order for us to easily dismiss another’s thoughts. For example: “Oh he’s a 49ers fan, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” Here’s the thing, though, 49ers fans have a different perspective as Cowboys fans… they have different poles in the polarization process. Little does the South Pole and North Pole know that it’s nice and warm by the equator.
It’s easier to dismiss my ideas about feminism because I do not think women in America, as a whole, are oppressed. Are women abused? Yes. Are women raped? Yes. Are women subjected to sexist jokes? Yes. Are women sexually harassed? Yes. Is this wrong? ABSOLUTELY. Is it oppression? No. And here’s why: It’s not legal. It’s not okay. If it’s being overlooked or misrepresented then this is an issue with the justice system. It’s like Kapernick protesting the oppression of Blacks in America by disrespecting our flag. They don’t match up. Oppression is not something that we, as American women, have the right to even claim. But that’s my opinion. We do have a ways to go and I’m not saying to stand still… I’m not saying to allow bad things to happen. What I am saying is the voice of the women orators who spoke at the Women’s March and many of the women with signs demeaning to men is not what I consider feminism.
Someone mentioned that I should call it, “Claire Pelletier Feminism”. I think this would be neat. I think it would be cool to have a whole ideology based on my ideas. How empowering. But it’s not just my ideas. Many people share the same ideas as me because that is their right. You disagreeing with my views does not make me any less wrong, because it’s subjective. This is not an objective conversation. You can’t pick C, you have to formulate and base your perspective on your own research, your morals, and your beliefs.
Are women paid less than men? Yes, according to the statistics. But this is not a direct representation of oppression. What’s not taken into account are the jobs that women do, how long women have been working in that job, the area she is working in, etc. Are women paid equal to men in every single job? NO. THIS IS A PROBLEM, I AGREE IT’S A PROBLEM. But it’s a problem that I’m not willing to get all hung up on. Maybe it IS because I’m a teacher. But you choose the career you want based on your interests and your likes, your passions and your skills. So if you are in a career where men get paid more than you, you better be sure you are doing an equal or better job than them before you start tearing off your bras and sticking pitchforks up the man’s you-know-what. Our pay is on the incline. Give it time to catch up. If you are being mistreated, do what you need to do to get out of the situation or sue. Take care of you. You are strong, you are empowered, you are worth it.
Further, someone questioned my humanistic nature, saying they couldn’t believe that I had the rights and ideals of all humans in mind or care about them. My blog was saying that there are women who live in other countries that would give ANYTHING to have HALF the freedoms that we have in America… and if you were a true feminist, you would be giving your ALL to make sure that they do. But maybe that is only in Claire Pelletier Feminism.
In regards to people saying I haven’t struggled; you don’t know that. Just because I don’t feel oppressed does not mean I haven’t struggled. I have been taken advantage of by an extremely older male when I was 11… someone I trusted. I was later taken advantage of when I was 14 by an older male because I was drunk. I have been pressured to do things I didn’t want to do. I have been sexually harassed on the job. I have been in an abusive relationship. I have struggled. I have a loving family, but struggled through the addiction and mental illness of those close to me. Man, I have struggled… so the audacity that someone has to call me ‘privileged’ because I don’t feel oppressed was hurtful. But I know that I’m not privileged, I have worked hard for everything I have. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, but I had an honest upbringing with two parents who loved me and each other. I had a mother who struggled much more than I did, but never once did she let me play the victim card… and THAT’S why I have this point of view. Because I was always taught that if something wasn’t right it was my job to fix it for myself and those less privileged. So that’s what I do. I change things I can change and accept the things I can’t.
I’m back to tell you this: If you are a feminist who hates men and calls them horrible things because they are men, you are not really helping the cause. You are making us as women look insane and crazy. You are bringing us back, not moving us forward. Stop making me afraid to admit that I might be a feminist. I don’t want to be defined by you. People will put us in the same category because we are female. Please, stop.
If you are a feminist who wants equal rights for all, you are an inadvertent feminist, which I spoke of. Emma Watson said in her speech (that I quoted quite boldly in my last blog),
“Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.
Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.”
We cannot hate on men and use the same terms that we take offense to, it’s counterproductive. We need to understand that we are all humans before we are anything else. We need each other.
So, all of you people who don’t know who I am, know that I am raising my daughters to stick up for themselves, to stick up for others, and to be nice people. I will not raise them to walk down the streets topless with vulgar signs. All the people who marched tastefully and peacefully, THANK YOU. I appreciate you. I appreciate the families, the mothers and the daughters who felt it was important to take a stand. I just feel awful that you are being grouped with the people who used it as a platform to spew hate.
There. That’s all I have to say on the issue. Have a great day, enjoy the evening, and tomorrow’s Friday.