I recently got into a YouTube debate over the necessity of feminism.
It was sparked by an absolutely horrible video of a young female soldier who was tackled to the ground by a drunk, violent, off-duty police officer. His reason? She rebuffed his attentions at a pub.
I feel the video is pretty disturbing, and don’t want to embed it…but for anyone who’s interested in the case, I will leave the link here.
Soon, an argument erupted over the need and validity of feminism.
I, of course, was ‘pro’ feminism and these are the examples I gave:
The problem here is that women are sharing their thoughts and opinions on what’s happening to their gender, and they’re being derailed and criticized for not conforming to the male commenters’ specific set of beliefs. They’re attacked for ‘daring’ to espouse a belief-system that prioritizes their own needs. How dare we advocate for the interests of other women.
This is not an isolated incident. This man is not a lone psychopath. Do you realize how many cases of street harassment, rape, and assorted manners of violence is perpetrated on a woman solely because she has a vagina? Pardon my language but a man, for the most part, does not have to worry about being tackled and beaten up for no other reason than he has a penis. Women have to worry and monitor themselves on a daily basis, in many parts of the world, because there is always the lingering fear that a certain man will decide to inflict pain on her because of her sex.
Examples abound. Right here in America, a pregnant woman was cat-called and propositioned by a man in a car, and when she ignored his advances, he didn’t even bother punching her. He ran her down.
Another case involving the assault of a pregnant woman, occurred in Idaho this month: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ZgTNEI9KCz8J:magicvalley.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/man-arrested-after-pushing-into-home-assaulting-pregnant-woman-police/article_9edd4aae-2d77-11e4-af76-0019bb2963f4.html+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
One of the most heinous cases I’ve ever heard of, happened in India with a young engineering student who was on a bus, minding her own business. She was coming home from a movie where she was besieged by a group of men who gang-raped her so viciously, they pulled out her intestines.
A similar case happened in South Africa.
In that same country, rape of women is so common-place that I have heard of women who have resorted to sticking wrapped sharp objects inside of them, so that it would hurt and deter any potential rapists. It’s led to products like ‘Rape Axe’: http://www.antirape.co.za/
The desperation and vengeance perpetrated on women’s bodies there has led to such a shocking product.
"*One out of three South African girls will be raped before she turns 18.*"
I’ve read of numerous cases of females (even when they were no more than ten, eleven years old), being stalked, followed, harassed, lewdly propositioned, threatened, brutalized—because they resisted the sexual advances of both young boys and GROWN men.
If you want to know my definition of fundamentalism, my definition of it is a religious/social/politically-based fanaticism which devastates human lives.
And I acknowledge women f—ing up too. I’m not going to be delusional, however, and pretend that women worldwide are constantly raping, assaulting, street-harassing and killing men because of their gender.
As long as women and girls around the world are brutalized and objectified, we have a natural human right, even a God-given right (for those who are religious) to advocate for ourselves. This is feminism. It doesn’t mean that all women are saints and all men are villains. It means accepting reality and not living in a fantasy world—it means comprehending the fact that different problems plague women; a different set of circumstances. It is because women have historically been viewed as an inferior gender and men never have. It means understanding that women are abused BECAUSE their worth as human beings is devalued exclusively due to what they were born as.
It doesn’t at all matter whether certain men like yourself and the fine gentlemen on this comment thread, “approve” of feminism. What matters is that it is needed.
And here included is additional information about South Africa’s rape statistics. Generation after generation of women are living in terror.
Almost three out of four South African women have been sexually abused at least once.
South African women have a greater chance of being raped than of graduating from high school.
What kind of country is this?
Where is the outcry? Why isn’t this all over the news? Why aren’t women’s groups crying out at the top of their lungs? Why aren’t people demonstrating? This is South Africa, a country considered modern and civilized. Now it has descended—without much fuss, apparently—into a jungle of chaos.
Yet even South Africans don’t really understand what is happening to their country. They feel the temperature rising, but seem dulled to the danger.
One recent study examined about 250 reported rapes from 2005 to 2007 that occurred in the vicinity of one small town. More than half of the reported victims were children. Yet, only nine of the accused were convicted. Only seven received jail sentences.
Two hundred and fifty rapists—seven convicted. Yet, no media firestorm. No international protest. The incomprehensible has become a fact of life for South Africans. They have a saying for this: Only in Africa.
Several men were accused of five or six rapes, according to the study’s authors. Not one was convicted. Only in Africa.
An astounding 66,000 rapes occur in South Africa each year—one every four minutes. Interpol says this makes South Africa the rape capital of the world. According to experts, rape is so common, justice is so rarely served, and so many women have been raped so many times that many women don’t bother reporting it.
That’s just the way it is in South Africa.
I gotta say though, that in many ways, the Western feminist movement, probably the most socio-politically powerful feminist movement in the world, has kinda dropped the ball.
If Western feminists took their heads outta their asses and expended as much energy on advocacy and raising awareness for deeply oppressed women in other environments instead of obsessing about body hair, slut walks, and pro & anti-arguments over makeup, maybe we’d really be making a significant impact on womens’ lives throughout the world.