Thursday, 29 May 2014

Why #yesallwomen shouldn't be exclusive to women.

The trend #yesallwomen has received all manner of commendation and criticism. There was the usual 'oh look at all these man haters trying to gain power' which always pops up and never actually makes sense, or the 'men are discriminated against too' which is very true but statistically it's the female population that needs the attention in order to address all manner of discrimination. And then there was an interesting criticism, one that struck me as a little contradictory, which claimed that this was an all female twitter protest that didn't need the men to join in. 

It wasn't a comment filled with misandry, but it was one I found difficult to comprehend in this particular online feminist movement. Why couldn't men join in? There were plenty of guys using the hash tag and supporting feminism, which to me was a gratifying thing to see. However, some women complained of their support being a little condescending and crashing in on the whole 'girl power' style. Now, I am definitely supportive of the idea of the 'sisterhood' where women unite to look after each other, but the idea of 'girl power' makes me want to be sick. If #yesallwomen was supposed to be just for women because of this 'girl power' reason then I oppose it. 'Girl power' contradicts everything feminism in the new age stands for. It appears to be a sickly phrase designed to make those little ladies feel like they're gaining something out of fighting against the all powerful patriarchy. For me it separates women and men into two different categories that excludes all males from taking part in feminism. It's a special club for girls who can't equal to the 'boy power' that they campaign against. It just seems like a fairly backwards concept. 

Feminism isn't about a struggle against the entirety of the male population it's an egalitarian movement to fight for equal rights for all. Yes sexism is faced everyday by almost all women in a way that men don't commonly experience, but that's all the more reason to have support from men in this movement. If we exclude men from our protests against sexism then we alienate them and make all of them the issue, which is not the problem. In an all male environment if there is not one feminist then we are not getting anywhere. We are failing, we are teaching girls to deal with male issues in a way that does not exterminate the issue itself. The guys are let off because it's not their movement. They can't be feminists. They can't believe in equality for all. 

Feminism is the movement for everyone to fight for the equal treatment and rights of every human being. It is not a girls only club. Please remember that.