Ask Surly Amy: Feminism, Is it Even Worth it?
Dear Surly Amy,
Sometimes I feel discouraged in regards to feminism or skepticism or both. I start to question my ideals and goals and wonder if they’re really worth it. Are women really less privileged or does it just seem like it? Am I using my gender as an excuse? Would society really be better off without religion in it? Most days I’m confident in my answers but some days I’m just not so sure. I’m just surrounded by people who don’t think feminism has any valid ideas, or that feminism has gone too far and now men are underprivileged. Why doesn’t everyone at least understand my viewpoint? Does that mean it’s the wrong one? What’s a skeptic feminist to do?
If I didn’t think it was worth it I wouldn’t be here right now.
Every single one of the writers on this blog dedicates and donates their time and energy to try to make the world a better place. None of the writers on Skepchick get paid for what we do. We are skeptic volunteers. Many of us have spent entire days and weeks being told how absolutely horrible and stupid we are, that we should just shut-the-fuck up, that our opinions do not matter and that even the facts we bring to the discussion are not relevant. Some of us have had our lives threatened. But we continue to write here, and we participate in events and we actively speak up because equality does matter and we all deserves a fair shot at life and the right to make choices for ourselves.
We speak up to the charlatans, misogynists and the bigots not because it is the popular opinion but because it is important.
There are many people in the world that don’t think women should make equal wages. There are people that think it’s ok to rape women and then blame their clothing or their belief system. There are people who think it is appropriate to force vaginal ultrasounds on these victims if they decide to abort an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy. There are people who say two people of the same sex should not be given the right to marry one another. There are people who would gladly watch you die from cancer as long as you pay them for their snake oil. There are others who think a mysterious, magical MAN in the sky has deemed women second class to men. There is a war on women being waged by the GOP. These are all issues that directly affect women each and every day. This is happening now. Not 1,000 years ago. Not 200 years ago. Not 50 years ago. Now.
Feminism is not about an angry mob of women bulldozing over men in all directions. That is often a smoke screen used to frighten people away from the fight for equality. We are angry about issues sure. But we are far from irrational. In fact, this website prides itself in being rational about issues. That’s our thing. That’s what we do here. Also? We want men to thrive. (Waves at Sam!) We love the mens. We just want the same opportunities they have. Feminism is about equality and leveling the playing field not about destroying an opponent.
People are always going to push back when you point out inequality. Privilege is not something that people want to give up. Why would they? But unfair advantages, misogyny and outright bigotry are things that have to be addressed and solved and organized feminism actively fights to fix these problems.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how you feel about these and other issues. I for one am going to continue to stand up and speak out for equality and I hope you will too.
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