The weird state of feminism

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 9:18 PM | comments: 0

Maybe it's because I started coaching high school girls early in my 20's, maybe it's because women have simultaneously frightened and amazed me, but I've always been something of a "girl power" kind of guy. I mean, if I had to pick a superior gender, it would probably be women for a lot of reasons. Their cultural expectations are ridiculous, and they often have the responsibility of growing a human life then squeezing something the size of a watermelon out of an opening as big as a lemon at best. All love and respect, ladies.

In my college years, and much of the next decade, I thought of feminism as something that ultimately was supposed to bring women to an equal place as men. In other words, they would be astronauts, presidents, executives, etc., and make just as much as their high-testosterone counterparts. I remember meeting a girl in college who said she hoped to get married and have lots of kids after school was done, and she had no desire to enter the workforce. I thought, wow, that's f'd up. Way to dream big.

Today I think differently, because my own perception of what success is has changed so radically over the years. I completely reject the type-A definition. After all, part of the thing I always thought made women powerful was their childbearing ability. In fact, that's where feminism has made an interesting (and rightful) turn. The stay-at-home mom is no longer a relic of the stereotypical 40's housewife, but a positive and respectable occupation. Generations of parents were absent. Now it's balancing out again, and often one parent, if they can afford it, is staying at home.

Meanwhile, the Internet has brought misogyny to a new level. I mean, it's outright scary, and it seems more in the open than racism or other more classic isms. But women are taking more prominent and powerful positions in the world, and I would say that's progress. At the same time, the sexual angle has changed a bit. It used to be that a woman's sexuality, when demonstrated, was a sign of weakness. Now the sexuality is part of the power that's inherently female. Still, it causes controversy, as the recent spread with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer showed.

I think the evolution of feminism is interesting to observe. It seems willing to admit that women and men are different, but that the difference doesn't indicate weakness or superiority. And at the end of the day, I'm still willing to declare women the "winning" gender.


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