You’re just straight-up asking the internet to call you an asshole.
The internet is reasonable and sane, plus this is a national conversation that needs the input of another man.
You’re gonna fuck this up.
You’re just saying that based on my track record. Get started.
Sure. What is feminism?
Depends on whom you ask.
What if I asked the dictionary?
You would get no response; a dictionary is a book.
Hey, man: a dictionary contains all of English, but a dictionary can’t speak English. ISN’T THAT TRIPPY?
Webster’s says that feminism is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” or “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.”
Okay, so: pretend I’m an alien. Why did–
Wait, you’re not an alien?
No. Of course not.
I thought you were, like, the Martian anthropologist.
I am a human being.
Then what’s with the antennae?
Those are skin tags. May we continue?
Pretend I’m an alien.
Why would women need to fight for equality or organize for their rights?
Because they weren’t equal and had fewer rights.
In America or everywhere?
Everywhere that progressed past basic agriculture and hunting/gathering lifestyles. Once you leave the village for the city: whammo, women aren’t people anymore. All the monotheistic religions. And the polytheistic ones, too. If there were any religions that used a quantity of gods other than “one” or “many,” then they would have fucked women over, too.
Men are bigger and stronger than women. Men can beat women up.
That surely can’t be the explanation.
It’s not the explanation. The explanation is that women were mentally inferior, or that they had fragile constitutions, or they trusted a snake, or they were unclean, or that thinking for themselves just wasn’t in a gal’s nature. Lots more explanations, too. But the reason? The reason men were (and are) in charge is because they’re bigger and stronger, and they can beat women up.
How long did this go on for?
Forever. All of western civilization.
Oh, yeah, enlightened and progressive Athens. Women couldn’t leave the fucking house in Athens, and if they did they wore whatever the Ancient Greek word for burka is. Democracy was for dudes. And then republics were for dudes, and then empires, and then monarchy, and then democracy again. Full circle until the 1800’s
What happened in the 1800’s?
What happened in the 1800’s vis-a-vis feminism?
It got its start, at least formally. French guy named it.
This was the First Wave of feminism.
Is that like the New Wave of British Heavy Metal?
First Wave feminism was intertwined (at least in the States) with abolition and temperance and focused on suffrage. Ladies wanted to get their vote on.
How long did it take for women to get the vote?
Well, the American feminist movement started–according to scholars and such–in 1848 at a convention in Seneca Falls, NY.
Yeah. Anyway, after that you had the Second Wave, which was concerned with women’s health, sexual freedom, bodily autonomy, that sort of thing.
Seems a little frivolous compared to the First Wave.
How often you think about your dick?
Right. Straight white males can do anything they want with their dicks. Everybody else had laws about their dicks, or–in women’s case–their ladydicks.
Can’t take your dick out at the Foot Locker.
Don’t argue from the margins; that’s a good law. The Second Wave feminists were also about reproductive rights. Abortion, birth control, that sort of thing.
There are many opinions on abortion and birth control.
There are many opinions on disco dancing.
That’s a non sequitur.
So was what you said. When women can decide how many babies they want to have, all of society benefits.
What else did the Second Wave do?
New pronoun. Ms. As opposed to Miss and Mrs.
Why do we have two different pronouns for that?
To let everyone know whether the woman belongs to her father or her husband.
Yeah, society’s shittiness is baked into its language. Then, in the 90’s, you had the beginnings of Third Wave feminism.
Cultural stuff, workplace equality, sexual stuff. Privilege, patriarchy, and rape culture. Plus, the Third Wave of feminists discovered that there were women who were not white.
Nice of them. Wait, what’s rape culture?
Men used to get away with rape all the time.
Its better now. They only get away with it most of the time.
Yay, progress. I don’t understand something.
Most of this seems like common sense. Treating everyone equally is a no-brainer.
And that’s who’s against it: no-brainers.
Who’s against feminism?
Religious assholes and irreligious assholes. Pope Francis and Ann Coulter.
Don’t you love Pope Francis?
I ignore his actual beliefs because he has a lovely smile.
Fair. Wait, Ann Coulter? She’s a woman.
I’ve never seen her birth certificate, but I’ll take your word for it. Yeah, plenty of women are anti-feminism right until they’re not. For example, there was a woman named Andrea Tantaros that used to work for Fox News. She wrote a whole book about how modern women didn’t need feminism.
I’m sensing there’s more to this.
There is. She filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News.
Oh, is harassing a woman an actionable offense?
Did men pass that law without being prompted?
Fuck, no. Feminists did that. One of the problems is that conservatives are great at throwing shit onto a word until no one wants it hanging around their neck. Progressives used to be “liberals” until Reagan got ahold of the term.
And that’s what’s happened with “feminist?”
A little bit. Its detractors–and by “detractors,” I mean “people who fucking hate women”–have misrepresented feminists as man-haters, and cribbed all their straw-men from the violent fringe.
Feminism has a violent fringe?
Every ism has a violent fringe. Feminist tried to assassinate Andy Warhol.
What is it about “violent fringe” that you’re not understanding? Every group has its wackadoodles, but you don’t judge the essential philosophy by the nutcakes.
And what is the essential philosophy of feminism?
There should be legal and cultural equality between the sexes.
It really does seem reasonable.