I’m over modern feminism. There, I said it. Cue the haters – I don’t care anymore. But, this millennial is so over it. Feminism started out as a great thing. As a future small business owner, author, blogger, and woman who works incredibly hard, I’m thankful for the advancements of many of my feminist sisters like Susan B. Anthony and Gloria Steinem. However, modern feminism says that if I expect a man to adhere to fairly traditional gender roles, choose to carry a gun (a right women have always had), vote Republican, and wear a make up, I’m this horrible, oppressed person (although I don’t impose that on anyone). I feel that modern feminism forces me to fit into a mold when no women are the same. If one woman wants to be a working mom, another wants to be a stay at home mom, and a third eschews motherhood entirely (like me), all of those are equally fine. There’s no one path to empowerment.
Here’s the thing though: I want to be a feminist and take feminism seriously. I want to see women go out, kick butt, and be awesome. But, modern feminism makes that hard. I want every woman – regardless of shape, size, color of the rainbow, gender identity, or any other factor – to go out, take life by the horns, and own it. But, modern feminism isn’t making that happen. Instead, it is turning us into entitled whiners and victims. Frankly, I’m over it.
The feminist movement and all of those groups at that march ignored a lot of people to be inclusive. If there was a group of Republican or Mormon feminists (surprisingly, there are many), we would be chased out. I’m a registered Republican and am a card-carrying Mormon. Despite being pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and pro-woman, I’m automatically excluded from feminist circles. So, I know the demographic. There was actually a pro-life feminist group that wanted to march in the Women’s March, but, wasn’t allowed. Now, if modern feminism was TRULY inclusive, I would hop on board. But, my experience has been different. Whom I vote for and pray to 1) are no one’s business and 2) not something I feel I have to defend.
However, there was recently a day called “A Day Without Women” that occurred yesterday. In case you were wondering, I absolutely did go to work. The strike called for “wearing red in solidarity with other women, avoid shopping at any business that is not female or minority-owned, and taking that day off from paid and unpaid labor.” While the first two items on this list are admittedly fair, the last one bothers me. As Meghan McCain summed it up clearly: “I don’t know how I show my value by not showing up.” The first rule of success is to show up – whether at your job, as a parent, or any other responsibility. Walking out of class, work, or any other obligation doesn’t make you a hero; it makes you a lazy, entitled brat. First, most women can’t afford to take a day off of work to protest. That is an incredibly privileged thing to do. Secondly, if you don’t show up to your obligations, how do you expect to ever be on par with everyone who is showing up? Thirdly, it’s highly inappropriate and unprofessional to skip out on work to prove a political point. If this was one of my employees, they would be fired in about five minutes. If you don’t show up for work without a valid explanation, an employer should give that job to someone else who not only needs it more than you do but, will be an asset to the company.
On top of that, multiple school districts (including one in Alexandria, VA) were forced to close. Guess what this led to? Many women who originally wanted (and probably needed) to work being stuck to either take the day off or scramble for childcare. Who is that fair to? Certainly not the very people that A Day Without Women was meant to help. In fact, many women were left in a bind. On top of that, it punishes the students. These are the same students that look up to their teachers and expect them to help them. In fact, some of these students have meals that they can only get at school and can’t necessarily get at home.
In fact, the day itself was elitist. Only women with incredible privilege and financial standing could afford to take the day off. And, guess what most of those women were? White, straight women who spoke English as a first language. Most women who could take the day off are in fields where they are either wealthy enough to not need a job or protected from getting fired unless the circumstances are extreme. Very few women fall into this category.
First off, I shudder to think what my grandmother had to deal with at work while raising six kids on a tenth grade education in the middle of nowhere. She also did so with zero government assistance. Did she qualify? Totally. Could she have taken it? Easily. Is someone a bad person who takes it? Only if its abused. But, guess what? She did all of that and excelled- sometimes working two or three jobs just to scrape by.
In my opinion, modern feminism sounds a lot like socialism. There is no such thing as “free”. Any country that has a lot of “free” stuff, has very high taxes. Some people don’t mind paying that- good for them. I do. If the government managed our money better, maybe. But, realistically, no. This includes maternity leave. You are entitled to three months unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. In my opinion, that’s sufficient. Having a child is a CHOICE. A BIG one. If someone can’t afford it or take care of it, they should reconsider having it. Harsh? Sadly, that’s reality. While that should extend to both parents more, more than three months is excessive and a company should have discretion over how much leave someone gets. Personally, I would be as generous as I could. I’m a big believer in treating your workers well. But, a fifteen dollar per hour minimum wage and paid maternity leave for a year (like some countries)? Come on, that doesn’t work as well as many claim.
I’m still trying to figure out how I’m not equal to a man. I can make the same money at the same job if I work as hard. Granted, I will acknowledge that some fields haven’t been as open to women in the past and that women in certain jobs is a phenomenon that occurred in my lifetime as a young adult. However, we have the same rights as men. As a Mormon, I’m thrilled that the days of polygamy and having kids in the double digits are over. I’m thrilled that I can drive, vote, build a dream doing what I love, travel the world solo, get an education, and take on as traditional of a role as I want when I meet Mr. Right. Frankly, I don’t feel oppressed nor do I associate with the cult of victim hood that has befallen many women in the modern feminist movement.
In my opinion, modern feminism has gotten hypocritical. Where was the applause for Kelly Anne Conway for being the first woman to run a successful political campaign? What about the outrage over Hillary Clinton shutting up Bill Clinton’s accuser’s (including one who alleged rape)? I also don’t like that they did not accept the results of the election. It has been months – Trump is president. No amount of whining will fix that. Frankly, I’m pleasantly surprised at how well he’s doing already. If the tables were turned, none of these marchers would be seen as heroic. Now, I’m glad that the marchers have been peacefully exercising their First Amendment right. However, enough is enough.
Feminism doesn’t even seem to focus on serious issues anymore. Things in America could use improvement. But, guess what? They could in most parts of the world. Instead of bashing a woman for voting for Donald Trump or ranting on Twitter, think of ways to help women who are in more dire situations. Some of these women include women forced into human trafficking, those living in countries with next to no rights (like Saudi Arabia), or those who have suffered Female Genital Mutilation. Most of us don’t want what feminists seem to want.
Let’s consider an example. Growing up, I played hockey – I was a goalie and pretty good at it. However, there aren’t many girls hockey teams in the Atlanta area(where I live and grew up). So, guess what? I had to play on boys teams. I was respected as well for one simple reason: I seldom (if ever) asked for special treatment. I never expected it and did my part to help the team succeed. I think the only “special treatment” I asked for was changing in a different locker room or on a bench right outside (which is reasonable).
In short, stop shaming other women who don’t aspire to your brand of feminism. If feminism still stood for being equal to men and empowering other women – whether the president of a company or a stay-at-home mom. Instead, feminism has devolved into women bashing women that don’t aspire to their brand of feminism.