Friday 28 October 2016

If feminism amounts to hating men and taking offence at everything, count me out

Larissa Nolan

Published 06/04/2016 | 02:30

Emma Watson
Emma Watson

I realise I'm a masculinist It's someone who is characterised by attitudes or values held to be typical of men; an advocate of the rights or needs of men.

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Brigitte Bardot is one too, declaring: "I am a masculinist. I hate feminism."

I hate feminism too - not its fundamental tenet that all men and women deserve to be equal. I couldn't be a bigger champion of that, personally, politically and socially.

But the brand we are fed here in Ireland - the militant, illogical, strictly PC, feelings-before-facts type of neo-feminism that has crept into society in recent years. I find myself sympathising deeply with the men it demonises.

The kind of so-called feminist that makes a parody of the whole movement, that is so serious about itself and so constantly outraged and fuming and quick to take offence at, well, everything, that it is dragging the campaign for women's rights back decades.

Its loud, bullish, no-debate voices are often the only ones given a platform on the issue of women. Is this what our culture wants to depict feminism as?

Because it's excluding those of us who have high regard for balance, fair judgment and being allowed to decide for ourselves.

Intelligent people, the ones you want on your side, when you're really passionate about the battle for the rights of women, who remain, behind all this debate, the most oppressed people on the planet.

What would Countess Markievicz think of today's feminists? The feminist icon who didn't just think like a man, but was proud to do so?

When a global company urged women to "think like a man" in an ad recently, they were forced to apologise, such was the mortal offence amongst the more delicate flowers in the neo-feminist brigade.

What? Are we denying now that women and men think differently? It's a scientific fact.

If you're a media feminist, you are appalled at this. Here are their rules. If you don't agree with them, you're a misogynist.

You must jump on bandwagons and get incensed by issues, whether they are backed up by evidence or not. You must laud Waking The Feminists as the world's greatest campaign.

You must be vehemently pro-abortion, even if your gut is telling you that terminating the life of an unborn might not always be the right choice, and get on the abortion bus, even if it feels a little crass.

Rail about the Repeal of the 8th and send Enda Kenny tweets about your menstrual period.

Take everything that ever happens and make it the fault of men.

Last month, a young woman called Victoria Curtis took to Twitter to show a slightly bruised eye that she got after getting into a debate on Dublin's Camden Street at 2am that Sunday.

Just for context, party zone Camden Street is probably one of the drunkest places in Ireland in the early hours at the weekend, and, consequently, one of the most dangerous.

It's the place where much-loved journalist Eugene Moloney was killed by a blow to the head as he walked home in 2012. A very real tragedy.

Ms Curtis told how she got the injury after she "called a man out" for asking her and her friends to show him their "arses". She stated she was punched in the face because she is a lesbian.

We don't know the man in question, we haven't heard from him, because Curtis's story went viral on social media without the other side of the story, or without a court hearing.

I have lived on Camden Street for years; and many times I have walked through the staggering throngs at night, with the head down, ignoring all comments, my own safety paramount.

But the feminist telling of this story is, it's simply because Curtis "challenged" a man's sexist comments. No discussion.

If you're a "feminist", who lives in an ideological belljar, the correct and only response is: "Bravo! Well done you."

Anyone who questions the wisdom of engaging in debates over sexual orientation at 2am with drunks will be labelled as having an agenda.

It goes without saying that such an attack on a person is abhorrent, and never justifiable.

But does it make you feel any better - if you're sitting in A&E - to know you're in the right?

When you're on social media a few hours later crusading about it, perhaps there may be some lessons learned, as regards personal safety and responsibility.

Just minding yourself, because there are bad people out there who do bad things.

If you suggest protecting yourself against the evils of the world, you're accused of putting the blame on the victim.

Pragmatism, practicality and context are out the window.

Here's a thought, neo-feminists. Not everything is about whether you're a woman, what your sexuality is, not everything is about you.

Sometimes a row on a street is a row on a street and it spills over into violence. At least try to avoid it.

I am not a feminist of the new definition. But I am what was once regarded as a feminist.

A woman who is free, to argue, speak her mind, have her own opinions and not be forced what to think.

Who doesn't let society dictate how she should look, how she should live.

But there is no progress in misandry.

The British actress Emma Watson put it best when she said: "I have realised that fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating.

"If there is one thing I know for certain it is that this has to stop."

Irish Independent

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