September 7, 2014
By Hannah Haddix
Feminism is a dirty word. It conjures the same connotations as racism, classism, ageism, or otherwise identifying “isms.” By labeling yourself as a feminist and delving into the culture, you are setting boundaries between yourself and others. You are causing sexual segregation, which might seem evolutionary and important to a cause, but really… it is another movement that breeds bigotry, misunderstandings, and oftentimes—hate. Let’s transcend the “isms.”
I was fortunate enough to spend my late teenage years and budding twenties living in the Gates Institute- a Brooklyn brownstone “commune” owned and occupied by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and her lovely wife, Lady Jaye. Through their pandrogeny project I was introduced early on to the concept that every man is a man and a woman, and every woman is a woman and a man. Sexuality is fluid and non-dualistic. Since that time after years of immersing myself in the vastly diverse and strange society we live in, I have witnessed the validity of that notion. The genitals you are born with do not determine your goals, roles, struggles, ideologies, sexual interests, or really… anything else in life. There is no absolute. Pandrogeny taught me that sexuality and gender are as malleable as your hair.
Say your genetics determine that you have thin straight hair, but you desire luscious curly locks. No problem. Whether the solution is a curling iron and a bucket of hair products, a full on perm with extensions, or a one night affair with a convincible wig- the power is in your hands. Our biological beings are not the end all be all. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the typewritten “male” or “female” on your birth certificate somehow defines you, your personality, or what you are capable of achieving and being.
Even though we are bombarded with gender-roles and sexual expectations from birth (girls like pink; boys like blue, and so on) we must break these limiting societal constructs. This begins with YOU getting in touch with who you TRULY are without taking into consideration what others expect of you. We each have the power to examine and change ourselves, not others. Feminism is a movement that fails to take sexual and gender diversities into consideration. Feminism is a movement that perpetuates societally constructed gender-roles, therefore it must die.
There are some current mind-bogglingly absurd political issues surrounding laws restricting biological women to have abortions and birth control. I have heard the fight on these issues being referred to a “women’s movement” and “feminism.” But, when it comes down to it, these issues do not just benefit women. I can think of plenty of men who greatly appreciate and benefit from their significant other’s freedom to choose whether or not to procreate. It is not a women’s movement. It is a human movement about maintaining personal liberties. It is fighting for the right to have control over our own lives and bodies, which we should all keep fighting for.
If you are passionate about an issue, by all means, make yourself heard. But, there is no need to put gender labels on things. My point is simple. Labeling yourself as a feminist is not benefitting you or your cause. You are just sending the message that you judge people based on their gender, and you believe the issues you face as an American woman are somehow radically different than an American man. They aren’t. We aren’t. If you keep your microscopes on all the differences in humanity instead of telescoping to the bigger picture, you will continue to only breed bigotry and miss the point entirely.
Ladies, gentlemen, and everything in between and beyond, examine yourself closely. Do you demonize the “opposite” sex? Do you believe that you are a victim because of your gender? Do you think you are superior to the other gender? Are you a woman who hates other women? Do you make assumptions and judgments of others because they are sexually different than yourself? Are you hateful when processing these differences? Are you unable to accept others because you don’t understand where they are coming from?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I implore you to look for the root of this toxic mentality and kill it at the source. We are all subject to social conditioning from the second we enter this world, but it is up to all of us to transcend any notion or movement that builds barriers between ourselves and other inhabitants of this planet. Feminism is one of those movements. Therefore, feminism must be destroyed.
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