Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Misogynist in Feminist Clothing

I hit a snapping point today after reading yet another article preaching about women. There’s been a lot of this kind in recent months – always authored by women and always loaded with opinion. Today’s final nail-in-the-coffin moment was inspired by an article published on Huffington Post. The article intended to make the point that money spent on weddings and baby showers was frivolous, and would be better expended toward fanfare for graduations and promotions.

What irks me about this article – and others like it – isn’t the suggestion that we should celebrate women outside of familial milestones, but the fact that it puts down other women’s choices. This belittling and judgmental tone is unfortunately one that litters most so-called “feminist” articles. But really, there’s nothing feminist about that. What they truly are is misogynistic.

The true definition of feminism seems to have clouded recently. Feminism isn’t about erasing any or all female traditions, and it certainly isn't about judging other women. Feminism is intended to lift up and to empower women to take control and make choices, not to be forced to fulfill any role. Misogyny, on the other hand, is hatred against women. And when these articles put boxes around and negatively frame certain choices of women, that’s misogyny.

What I loathe about these articles, and those who promulgate them incessantly on social media, is that each post is inherently condescending: always judging, always putting down the women who prefer baking over sports. Or the women who choose to get married. Or the women (the allegedly most wretched type of all) who choose to be a stay-at-home moms.

I am tired of the cloak of feminism concealing a petty witch-hunt to criticize and bully other women. Those women – the ones who feel the need mock others for personality or lifestyle differences – are a conniving bunch of “against you” women: newly-instated female members of the He-Man Woman Haters’ club.  

I am an advocate for supporting and celebrating the women I love in however they want to be celebrated. For one friend it was happy hour to celebrate a new job in a new city, and in September, I’ll be celebrating my best friend’s wedding. What’s important isn’t how or what specifically you celebrate. It’s that we celebrate other women in being true to who they are, and for the moments that matter to them. If that means a promotion, a wedding, a baby, purchasing a home… all are cause to celebrate. None are cause to scoff at a woman being true to herself.

Full disclosure: I am a married woman. I also love my career, sports, reading and occasionally baking. I will also definitely attend and bring a gift to your $20,000 promotion party with open bar. Thank you for inviting me. 

UPDATE 12/20:Wanted to share an article from PolicyMic responding to the Huffington Post article. This one deconstructs some of the suggestions the Huffington Post contributor makes as well as sharing my same disgust with the flurry of "feminist" articles that bash other women's choices. 

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