So I mention in my OKCupid profile that I’m a feminist. Now, I understand that this word has taken on a lot of baggage: Feminazis, tumblr feminists, some versions of SJWs, ruining video games, etc. But I’m talking about feminist in the most basic sense, i.e., gender quality through the lens of helping out the less privileged party. I think most people mean this when they describe themselves as feminist. And yet, guys on the internets feel the need to explain it to me, or tell me why I’m wrong to be a feminist. “Well, isn’t that saying that women are BETTER than men?” Nope. “I know that individual women are smarter than individual men, but overall, I just think men are smarter based on absolutely no facts or statistics”. Cool story, bro. “I’m an egalitarian – that’s more equal than feminism is”. Except that egalitarian is super broad, and doesn’t involve taking any sort of action to fix and social problems. It’s pretty much just saying you believe all people are equal, in the same sense that Thomas Jefferson told us they were over 200 years ago. But some of my favorites are the ones who tell me how feminist they are, like this charmer:
ImSoFeminist: Hey, how’s it going? I love your random trunk goodness lol. I’d totally eat your melted gushers, those things rock! I’d be down for some board games together(do you play Monopoly?). I’m cool with you being a feminist, I’m the same. I have a pretty silly sense of humor, and an overactive imagination to boot:) We should totally chat sometime.
Just to clear up confusion, I start off my profile with a list of stuff that I keep in my trunk. It’s a weird list, but I think it gives a decent idea of my personality without me having to sell myself in a way that makes me cringe. And speaking of that, please, guys, stop telling me about how great your sense of humor is. Show me, by, you know, actually being funny.
Me: So..a feminist who still wants his partner to take his last name?
I’m not going to lie, I already knew I wasn’t interested in this guy. We disagreed about some pretty crucial stuff, as you’ll see. So I figured, why not bust some chops?
ImSoFeminist:Yeah, what’s wrong with that? I’m sorry if that offends you, but that is the tradition I’m used to. And hello to you too…
Well, if that’s what you’re used to, obviously you can’t consider anything else. That might require opening up your mind a little. That sounds hard.
Me: Well, you mentioned being feminist, and that, and some of your other answers, makes me question that a bit.
ImSoFeminist: Let me clarify it for you. I believe in equal rights for me and women. We should be treated equally. I have a lot of love and respect for women in general. My cousins gf told me I was a feminist. I may not agree with or know everything about feminism though, so don’t be so harsh towards men.
Ohhhh I get it. You have no idea what the word actually means, and have made zero effort to find out. Gotcha. Oh, and one woman once told you you were one. Also, I like how “treated equally” means, “well, unless it affects one of my traditions”. And that I’m apparently being harsh towards all men because I questioned this particular man’s opinion. Now, here’s the sad part: his views on women look half decent compared to what follows.
Me:Care to explain…this one?: Would you consider dating someone who has vocalized a strong negative bias toward a certain race of people?
Your answer: It depends on which race.
I’m honestly not sure what I was expecting here. I can’t think of a single explanation that would cause me to slap the heel of my hand to my forehead and say, “I see! He’s definitely not a racist!” There’s really no wiggle room with this one. Maybe I just wanted to see a racist try to justify racism, or pretend that it isn’t racism.
ImSoFeminist: I feel some races have more bad people that I’ve come across than others. That’s my opinion, and I’m entitled to it. Wow, whatever happened to just getting to know somebody, rather than see how quickly you can attack them and pick them apart?
Nope, he took a thing and made it worse. He even admitted that this utter horseshit is his opinion, and not based in any facts. Also, I don’t thinks it’s unreasonable to have racism as a dealbreaker. In fact, a guy NOT having racism as one of his dealbreakers…is a dealbreaker for me. If that made any sense. And if you don’t want people to read your answers to the questions and ask about them, well, don’t answer them. Or, I don’t know, consider that if you’re worried that other people might accuse you of sounding like a racist…that you might actually be a racist.
Me: You are, and I’m entitled to think that that opinion..seems pretty racist. I wanted to give you a chance to clarify in case it wasn’t actually meant to be racist.
ImSoFeminist: I mean what is your damage?
Um, what year is this? Are we in Heathers?
Me: I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to ask for people to clarify their views. I thought this was a dating site, where people answered questions, and those answers were public. How dare I want to know about the views of a person I’m considering dating!
ImSoFeminst: If that’s an issue, best of luck to you. Everybody is a little racist in some way. I don’t like anybody Islam because of ISIS. Every time you turn around when something crime related is on the news, 90% of the time the person is a black male. I mean wtf is a person supposed to think?? I guess you’re perfect, right?
First of all, yes, I’m perfect. Also…I…what? Nobody is “Islam”. Islam is a religion. People are Muslim. The same way that people are Jewish, and not Judaism. But this guy is just digging a deeper hole to bury himself in. Does he really not understand that while ISIS is pretty much made of Muslims, not all Muslims (in fact, not even the majority) are in ISIS? And those last two sentences make me so damned angry. I mean, if he follows his own logic, wouldn’t that mean that women are superior, too? And that none of it has anything to do with, say, environmental factors? Sometimes I want to ragequit humanity so hard.
ImSoFeminist: Wow, wound tight a little much are we?
For that, I will end you.
Me: Um, whoa. Not all Muslims are in ISIS. A person is supposed to think…that other factors may be involved. Like poverty, or oppression, or education, or class.
Me: Yup. Because I’d prefer not to date/hang out with racists, I’m uptight. Sounds legit.
Seriously, I’m so tired of this. If a woman expresses an opinion that is contrary to yours, she is not automatically uptight.
ImSoFeminist: Right. And when one of them kills somebody you care about, get back to me on that one. Later.
Like, really? I don’t get this at all. If a white man killed, say, his father, he wouldn’t automatically hate all white people, or all men. He would just hate that particular man. But because it was a black man, he must therefore think worse of an entire race. But not of men. Because he’s one of them. So this way of thinking only works if you’re so set on othering people that you can’t even see that you’ve turned people who are different than you into lesser, non-human things. If a Catholic had killed his father, would he hate Catholics? Unless if was over a religious feud, I highly doubt it. Because that would be fucking absurd. Are there really that many people who haven’t figured out that a good portion of those black men who are committing crimes are also…poor? And that if you look at the numbers for crime from a pool of just poor people, things look a little different? Or that being a member of the most oppressed minority in our country might actually wear away at you until you’re left with only a raw jumble of nerves, and that that might make you incredibly angry?
ImSoFeminist:Get over yourself, girl. Best of luck, you’re going to need it! Bye!
Oh, the butthurt is strong with this one.
I guess I just don’t understand where these opinions even come from. What do people gain from harboring so much hatred for certain groups of people? And how much does humanity lose when some members abandon all empathy?