Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Suck at Feminism?

On more than one occasion a friend of mine has said something to the effect of, “Kyley Eagleson, singlehandedly setting the feminist movement back 50 years.” While this was always said as a joke, I’m sort of seeing the validity behind it recently.

I understand that this post may upset some people but frankly, it might be time to return the favor because some things I've seen recently have just annoyed the crap out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want to go back to a time when women could not vote and were supposed to have dinner on the table every night by 5 o’clock, but at the same time I have seen and heard some things recently that just baffle me.

I’m totally for equal rights and I firmly believe the government has no place in my uterus. I know that rape is horrible and that no one deserves it. I get that objectifying women is a sore spot. All that said, there is one instance in particular I’d like to mention.

The whole ESPN commentator debacle. From what I gather an old sports commentator waxed not so eloquently about a player’s girlfriend. Was it tacky? Definitely. Is it something women need to be in an uproar about? Probably not. For starters, the woman is a former pageant queen which means she’s probably okay with people noticing her for her looks first. I get that being in a pageant once doesn't mean you’re condoning being judged by your looks for the rest of your life but I think it probably does alter your view of the issue. And in that vein, if I’m not mistaken she later said she didn't mind. Like I said, I see that it was gauche but at the same time I can’t understand the outrage others feel about one woman’s beauty being recognized when the woman involved didn't even think it was a big deal.

The whole thing really goes back to the issue of objectifying women. Which I know isn't ideal. But similar to most things, I think there is a bit of a double standard here. I say this because I know many other young women who look a little too long when guys are running around the city shirtless in the summer. But since men were not historically viewed as what amounts to an ornament, there isn't a stigma. No one got outraged when Glamour magazine did a whole spread of the US men’s swimming team in their speedos this summer, that’s all I’m saying.

And that’s not even mentioning the fact that few girls would turn down a free drink from a man when out at a bar or the guy who insists on paying for a first date. I guess what gets me is that so often “feminism” doesn't really stand for equal rights. That’s the apparent ideal but I don’t see a lot of women fighting to end chivalry entirely. Like I said, I just can’t get past the double standard.  I don't know.

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