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I Need Feminism

Fri Mar 7, 2014, 3:19 PM







I need feminism because
It’s acceptable to call me a slut.
I need feminism because
It’s okay for a guy to slap my butt.
I need feminism because
It’s my own fault if a man rapes me.
I need feminism because
I should look good for men to see.
I need feminism because
People think it means ‘anti-man’.
I need feminism because
I can’t do things that men can.
I need feminism because
Girls think it’s cool to shame each other.
I need feminism because
The world has higher hopes for my brother.
I need feminism because
My femininity makes me ‘weak’.
I need feminism because
If I act masculine I’m a ‘freak’.
I need feminism because
My boobs are my ‘best quality’.
I need feminism because
I believe in equality.


           










Foreword





It’s a rare enough occasion when a literary deviant posts a poem that elicits over 2,000 comments for that feat to be acknowledged and celebrated. CorporateRockWhore recently graced the deviantART community with her work, I Need Feminism which generated a firestorm of opinion, both positive and negative. By serendipitous happenstance, her poem was published just as depthRADIUS was releasing our Coven article about the American Horror Story TV show, which also blew up a gale force of discussion, mostly centering on current perceptions and feelings about “feminism”.




We invited Ellie (a.k.a. CorporateRockWhore) to share with the community a little about the genesis of her poem and her feelings about the overwhelming response, positive and negative, it has received.  In her comments, published below, she addresses several misperceptions about her “feminist” intents, including the toxic notion (pervasive amongst so many men) that feminism is not so much about equal access and opportunity for both genders, but much more about female supremacism and the crushing of the male spirit.









Follow Up





Recently, as some of you may know, I wrote and posted a poem entitled I Need Feminism. This was inspired and prompted by a multitude of different factors, from things I’ve experienced myself to things that I have some across on the internet. For example, one of the lines in the poem is:



It’s okay for a guy to slap my butt.





Not particularly eloquent, I know, but it is based on several experiences that I have had; men, usually older than myself, copping a feel and then, when I protested, finding it funny. Of course, not all guys are like this, but some (a small, small amount) are and, just as equally, some women support it too (a few times I’ve complained to fellow female friends about it happening and a few of them acted as though I should have felt flattered). Another example is this line:





I can’t do things that men can.





Here I’m talking about things in a sort of socially justifiable kind of way. One instance of this could be the idea that it’s ‘cool’ if a man has sex with lots of different women, but when a woman has sex with lots of different men she is shamed for it. Personally, I don’t think either gender should get shamed for that sort of thing—the amount of people you have slept with doesn’t make you any better or any worse a person.


I spend a lot of my time on the internet, probably more than is healthy, and it is from the internet that I got into the concept of feminism. I’d see a post on websites such as Tumblr of instances of sexism that people (both male and female) have encountered and it made me angry, extremely angry. A person shouldn’t be defined by their gender or race or religion or sexuality; they should be defined by whether they’re a nice person or not. Simple. Equally, I have found examples of sexism taking place on the internet. It is all of the above (and a bit more) that inspired me to write I Need Feminism.











by Dolk Lundgren







Nothing could have prepared me for the reaction that it got. Honestly, I never expected it to be seen by so many people and to generate such diverse, strong opinions out of people. Nor did I expect it to cause so many arguments between commenters. I think it’s great, that something I wrote got people talking and brought up the issue; as an aspiring writer, that’s the best thing that I can hope for. I must admit, though, that it did get a bit scary with some of the more aggressive comments—I’d never set out to infuriate or offend anyone.


When someone comments on something of mine, I only think that it’s fair for me to respond. After all, they took the time out of their day to talk to me, so why shouldn’t I grant them the same courtesy? This is how I found myself proactively engaged in both conversations and arguments with the readers of the piece. Also, when I feel strongly about something, I’m always happy to talk about it and hear other people’s opinions.


The comments ranged from in-depth arguments and analysis to people complimenting the piece, from people agreeing to people asking me questions about it, from “you’re my hero” to “slit your wrists”. I found each comment interesting and uplifting, even if they weren’t always intended to be as such. The one thing that came up time and time again throughout the ~2,900+ comments was the idea that feminism is anti-man. I would like to address that here.










Let’s take a look at the Wikipedia definition of Feminism

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.







It is not about women being better than men, it is not about taking rights away from men and it is not about beating men down; it’s about bringing us all up to the same level. There are plenty of male feminists too – Matt Damon, Joss Whedon, Richard Branson and Prince Harry, to name but a few that you may know. In a similar vein, it is not the idea that all men are evil. It’s the idea that some people (both male and female) are sexist and that isn’t cool.





But, Ellie, why don’t you back equalism?





I hear you cry. Simple answer: I do.


I had an influx of comments saying that I should be backing things like egalitarianism, not feminism. I, personally, back both. Egalitarianism aims for complete equality, right? And then feminism aims for complete equality for women; you can’t achieve egalitarianism aims without also achieving feminist aims too. If you look at equality as a fight, then feminism is a faction of the army. I support equality for all, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity or any other factor that isn’t based around whether the person is nice or not. I can be a feminist and still back other movements too.


I’m going to wrap up with this, my own personal view on what feminism means. Feminism is an idea, a concept and it is not tangible – it is not concrete. Feminism means different things to different people. To some it may be used as an excuse to promote anti-male and female-supremacy ideas, but to many it is used to genuinely promote equality. Feminism, to me, means equality, means loving myself, means respecting women as you would men. Feminism isn’t evil or dangerous. Well, no more so than any other idea is.










Interview




@tecgnotic

Do you find it ironic or maddening when people with unquestioned social and economic advantages feel threatened by a disadvantaged group demanding equal status in society?  If this is “feminist” is it really all that radical or just common sensible?  Is “feminism” simply synonymous with “pro-fairness?”  This seems to be what you are saying.




CorporateRockWhore

I find it slightly annoying but I think I understand why some people might feel threatened. In the case of feminism I can see it, seeing as it gets a lot of negative press. I'm not going to deny that there are some radical feminists out there, but it's important to bear in mind that there some 'sane' feminists too. To me, feminism does mean “pro-fairness”; it's about equality/fairness between the genders. At least, that's how I interpret it. It means different things to different people, I think.






@tecgnotic

Would you agree that “feminism” has evolved away from an organized political movement for most women, and become more of a personal code of rules for self-respect and self-worth?  Is this a good or bad thing?




CorporateRockWhore

I think that, in most areas, it has moved away from being an organised political movement. I'm not a member of any feminist groups, but I see it as a mindset or, as you put it, a personal code. I think this is a really positive thing because it makes feminism much more accessible for everyone.






@tecgnotic

Do you think you’ll ever lose your need for feminism in your lifetime, or will your need always approximate your assessment of gender inequality in the world?




CorporateRockWhore

I think I will always need feminism, or the ideals behind it at least. Saying that though, I'm only seventeen; there is plenty of time left for the need to deplete over my lifespan.


















Questions

For The Reader


  1. What does feminism mean today? Is it authentic to its original intent or has it transformed into something for a new generation?
  2. Do you find a person having solid feminist convictions to be a positive, empowering, attractive personality trait, or is it a politically and/or socially polarizing?
  3. When does our obsession with the female body cross over from being an appreciation of physical beauty to objectification?
  4. Does objectification deny the fact that women are human beings who are sexual, but who are also thinking, creative, artistic, loving and in need of being loved?
  5. Is objectifying the female human body a violation of the principles of feminism or does it embrace them?
  6. If a woman thinks it’s OK for men to comment on women’s bodies, or make sexual suggestions in public, or touch a woman they don’t really know, is she just reconciling herself to the reality of male-female relations or is she enabling bad behavior that harms men as much as women?
  7. Do you think poems and other personal statements like “I Need Feminism” are bridges of hope for a more equal future, or just provocations meant to stir the pot?
  8. Do you think there is too much female focused nude subject matter on deviantART or is it a non-issue for you?  How much do you think your gender or sexual preferences might influence your answer?







It’s a rare enough occasion when a literary deviant posts a poem that elicits over 2,000 comments for that feat to be acknowledged and celebrated. CorporateRockWhore recently graced the deviantART community with her work, I Need Feminism which generated a firestorm of opinion, both positive and negative.  By serendipitous happenstance, her poem was published just as depthRADIUS was releasing our Coven article about the American Horror Story TV show, which also blew up a gale force of discussion, mostly centering on current perceptions and feelings about “feminism”.

Writers: CorporateRockWhore, techgnotic
Designers: marioluevanos 
Add a Comment:
 
:iconvampress13:
Vampress13 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
It is an extremely rare occasion that I favorite a journal entry. This is brilliant.
Reply
:iconhunterstrait:
HunterStrait Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Support HUMAN rights, not women or men's rights.
Reply
:icongrumpyoldrossco:
GrumpyOldRossco Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014
Me too. 
Reply
:iconlyrill:
lyrill Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
commentbait much
Reply
:icon44000:
44000 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  New member
I do think that goes against feminism based on how prominent it is. It has become expected, even. People would probably be taken aback were they to start seeing things that objectify mens' bodies all over the place, but seeing it done to women doesn't faze anybody in the slightest anymore. For girls that don't know any better, it sets a standard for what your suppose to look like if you want people to like you. It gives people the wrong ideas. 
Reply
:icongrumpyoldrossco:
GrumpyOldRossco Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014
All of the most popular male actors are all ugly. You never see them in revealing clothes or with shirts off and wearing only boxers. Never have male underwear models in magazines and there is never a social push for men to emulate big physical and musceular men. 

Great, then how can we not agree with you......Oh I know because what I wrote is a lie nd men are sexualised and you are purposely having you blinkers on and being dishonest. 
Reply
:iconramoreira:
ramoreira Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  New member Hobbyist Traditional Artist
as far as objectifying goes it is generally a no no but that is because people do so in a highly sexual way. i do truly think it is possible to see women as living breathing works of art in a non sexual manner (its kinda hard but thats a "society has you trained" kinda thing) i usually limit my involvement in feminism related things as a guy i feel its not my place but as far as my understanding feminism is a movement for the advancement of women therefore any and all actions should not belittle or otherwise degrade women but paint them in as positive a light as possible so it is more a matter of how than should or shouldnt  
Reply
:iconfried-ricer-man:
Fried-Ricer-Man Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Student
for #5 I believe it all depends, a body being used for art and one being used for sex are two different things, if their is a painting of a curvy apple shaped woman, naked and near a bowl of fruit I believe it's "using" her body in a respectful and artistic way however a painting of the same woman in the middle of intercourse could bit a bit more questionable, some think if the woman is naked it's instantly objectifying her and I can sort of see why, but if the woman chooses and is not forced to get naked and the from of art is used in the most respectful way then it's not problematic or anything like that it is embracing them and it's through this artistic and respectful mentality that can make people wither male, female or whatever find new respect and appreciation in the human form, but only if it's used correctly.
Reply
:iconstarglitter05:
StarGlitter05 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014
That was interesting
Reply
:iconcreative-punk:
Creative-Punk Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I am proud to be a freak thank you. :)
Reply
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