I don’t get feminism.
As a young woman, I should be a feminist, right? The idea of feminism distilled in its purest form is that women should be equal to men. I agree with that.
I also believe that I should not be denied a job because I am a woman. However, unless I’m applying to be a lumberjack in Canada, the chances of me being denied a job based on my gender are incredibly slim.
The larger problem I have with the feminist movement is they seem to want preferential treatment because of their sex. It’s akin to reverse discrimination. Many male-dominated industries seek out women for the sole purpose of appearing diverse, which does not sit well with me. I do not want to be sought out because I am a woman. I want to be sought out because I am the best candidate.
Attempting to solve a problem by balancing out the playing field sounds good, but at the end of the day, it is still discrimination.
Modern day feminism is used as a crutch in many ways. Putting down males won’t bring up women. Rants about equality are just that: rants. And forgoing committed relationships to just “hook up” because it’s somehow “empowering” might be the greatest running joke of all time.
I don’t expect a man to open the door for me or pick up the dinner check. I can open doors just fine on my own, and I can earn my own Amex points. However, I appreciate both of the aforementioned, because it is respectful and courteous.
I appreciate it just as much when a girlfriend picks up a late night frozen yogurt fix or my boss takes me out to a nice lunch. Being thoughtful and having good manners should apply to everyone, regardless of gender.
I was once at my favorite pizza restaurant and overheard a couple on a first date. When the bill came, the man graciously picked up the pizza they had shared. The woman began a long rant about equality, independence and being raised by a single mother. I cringed and felt genuinely bad for the man. A simple thank you would have sufficed, in lieu of a rant.
No one, male or female, likes to be berated by a date for trying to be courteous.
Another problem is endemic to the modern career woman, who seems to think that to make it to the top you have to push everyone else, including other women, out of your way. I hear it all the time, one girl talking about how another girl is in the same field as her so they are “competing for the same jobs.”
Why is it a competition? I know it’s a tough economy, but there are plenty of jobs to go around. If women helped each other out and worked together they could accomplish great things. Instead, they push each other down.
True success comes from not only building yourself up, but helping out those around you. If feminism focused more on building up women, I might give it a chance.
Until then, the last thing I want to be called is a feminist.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her at @AnnicaBenning