I have a friend who is very anti-feminist. The story is vague on details, but he often likes to play it up continually. Constant posts about being a “menist” often come into my Facebook feed, and as a feminist our relationship is strained, but I try to be respectful of his thoughts.
Today he posted this status:
I found it interesting how a compliment can be turned into a double edged sword. To disagree would mean admitting that not all women are beautiful, not all women are responsible, and not all women should act accordingly. Which is hard, as a woman who is pro-women, to admit.
The biggest flaw in this argument, is flaw it’s self. What this does is disrespects women for having flaws, just like saying “men” in place of “women” would do for men as well. It puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on a human being for behaving a certain way.
Another issue with this argument, is we don’t have an adequate definition for “responsibility.” Nor do we for “intelligence.” “Beauty” defined? All of it changed based on age, culture, worldview, perspective, and so on. How can one make a blanket statement about gender at all?
It is impossible, not just as a specific gender, but as a human being at all, to approach this issue and not realize that everyone in the world, has a standard they hold people to. What makes that even more complex is that standard differs from person to person and relationship to relationship. There is no consistent standard within our own perspective, so how can we even begin to have a standard for an entire people group as a people group?
I lay out the way I want to be treated as an individual and let others decide how to approach me. Weather or not they want to meet that standard and value me as I value myself, or to betray that standard and disrespect me. I often have to learn to forgive them if it was an ignorant offense. I often have to find ways of telling them how they offended my standard and feel out how they choose to respond. I often have to remove repeat offenders. That’s just life. That’s just the only way to deal with people, is based on how you value and respect their boundaries and how they choose to do the same for you. In turn you learn to appreciate them, get to know them, and figure out if your personal standards are compatable or not.
By that point, it’s not a gender issue. It’s a personal one. Personal issues can be dealt with much more easily, because the problem has become smaller. It’s become individual. Not a mass people group you’re trying to put into a box of “all of them.” It’s manageable, and yes, there will be common ground, but this stereotype of humanity is too big a problem to blanket anymore. No one is perfect. No one should be expected to be.