I believe we need feminism.
But we also need it to change.
Because it’s not the issues that feminism stands for that are the problem; for I care equally about the sexual assault, harassment and catcalling of women. I care equally about women’s reproductive rights. I care equally about women who are trodden on at work, or viewed as incompetent, or infantilised.
I care about women too, and these issues matter to me as much as they do any feminist.
The problem is: why does feminism so often have to deny what happens to men?
Why does it have to obscure, hide and erase basic political truths that fall outside of their patriarchal world view?
Why can’t it confront Western boys falling behind in school, why can’t it help change legislation to protect men from rape, why can’t it finally acknowledge domestic violence is not a gendered crime? Why can’t men be seen as valid victims of a sexist society, rather than of themselves?
How can advocates of compassion, often be so cruel?
Personally, I believe we need to detach feminism from the outdated and divisive viewpoints of ‘patriarchy’ and ‘male privilege’, to find a way of actually including men in the conversation and fully understanding the two way street of sexism, its symbiotic relationship, and how it hurts all people.
Because we cannot fully understand female suppression, without also talking about male disposability.
We cannot understand violence against women, without looking into the experiences that shape violent men.
We cannot close the pay gap, without giving fathers equal rights and equal paternity leave.
These issues are complex and interconnected, and equations can only be solved from both sides.
What do you think – is there a fifth wave coming?
Images by omar-flores from Unsplash