Saturday, July 27, 2013

College Men's Common Criticisms of Feminism

It seems like if you get a group of college kids together, late at night when there's just enough trust to let conversations start flowing, it's inevitable that a guy will steer the conversation toward a critique of feminism.

Why do guys feel so much of a need to harp on feminism?
And if guys want to criticize feminism, why do they only want to criticize it when they feel that the criticism isn't going to leave a safe space?

Read more for the common criticisms and my run down on why this happens.

The things that men always bring up against feminism:

  • privilege isn't real because i don't think i benefit from it
    • bonus points for a story of a bootstrapping story of independent success
  • if feminism is about equality why is it femin-sim? why not equal-ism?
    • bonus points for claiming men and women are equal because we can both vote
  • women pay less of car insurance so there's no such thing as a pay gap
    • bonus points for claiming women's low car insurance is strange since women can't drive
  • why are women so upset that they have to shave their legs? i shave my beard
    • bonus points for challenging women to find a guy who doesn't care
  • but really, friend zone
    • bonus points for stories of personal experience
  • i knew this one girl who was a bitch... so... yeah
    • bonus points if the girl wasn't actually a bitch
  • girls get benefits from being hot so it's not bad to want them to be hot
    • bonus points for claiming natural beauty is more attractive anyway
  • it's a natural thing for guys to be agressive and it's encouraged by society for the good of everyone
    • bonus points for also claiming that women can just ignore all societal expectation

If these are honest concerns for the sake of advancing women, why don't they bring them up publicly? For the benefit of everyone? For the benefit of their beloved "equal-ism"?

The answer is of course that these aren't for the benefit of feminism. These criticisms are really just worries that college guys have about losing their privilege. These guys voice their loss of power to encourage their female friends to give men back power, to placate their male friends with subservience and docile explanations for why we women folk have encroached so far.

And their concerns reveal and underlying ignorance and backlash that ought to motivate women even more to pursue feminism. It's so angering to hear these "criticisms" again and again, as if feminists haven't written extensively on these topics already.