I don’t usually talk about politics or the fact that I’m a feminist publicly. Instead, I save it for those who I feel could hold an intellectual conversation and have a healthy debate with me that won’t include name calling and unnecessary bursts of shouting. I’m the kind of person who wants to hear both sides and make a decision based on what I believe and what I feel is right, and not deal with someone calling me ugly names or attacking me because I disagree with them.
Part of that stems from my 12 years in the news business. The only way you can remain unbiased is to do just that: find out both sides and report that. However, in the world of instant information, many people don’t do that. They jump on a bandwagon of angry villagers that are desperately trying to convince the other that they are right despite being unable to hold a decent discussion with facts and points to prove it.
So I tend to sit quietly and watch others, shaking my head in sadness that there is no way we can all have a decent conversation about all of this.
See, the thing is, I firmly believe in equal rights. I’m a feminist that believes that we all should be treated equally and fairly. I’m not an “I can do anything better than you can” feminist, but an “I can do that too” feminist.
I believe that both viagra and birth control pills should be covered by insurance. I believe that women should get paid the same that men get paid. I believe that men should have no say whatsoever on what a woman does with her body. I believe that Planned Parenthood should be supported because of the things they give women who don’t have insurance and need medical exams and medications. They do more of that than anything else.
I also believe that a woman who has sexually abused a man should get the same penalty that a man would get if he abused a woman. I believe a woman who has physically abused a man should get the same punishment that a man would get if he abused a woman. And I believe that people need to stop being so lackadaisical in their reactions when these things happen. Because they do happen. I believe that a woman who sleeps with a student is not a hero but a predator, just like if a man sleeps with a student. I believe that sexual harassment from a woman should be taken just as seriously as if it came from a man. I want men to be able to get paternity leave just like women get maternity leave, and I want them both to be paid leave and protected.
And it’s not just about men and women. It’s about races, nationalities, sexualities. It’s about HUMANS. Being a feminist isn’t about bashing men, it’s about making things equal across all lines. And I believe that everyone should have the same chances as everyone else. Who are we to take away opportunities from others to be able to make their own decisions? Who made us dictators?
I have a friend who believes that she is less than her husband, and while I disagree with her… she is still my friend. I have a colleague who doesn’t believe in abortion, and I am pro-choice. He is still my friend. I have a large group of friends who decided to vote for Donald Trump, and they are still my friends. Some of those friends are also marching in today’s Women’s March, fighting for the rights of women and minorities everywhere.
All I’m saying is you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. A little bit of kindness, understanding, and intellectual conversation may do wonders in helping us all come to a consensus that will allow each party to find something to be happy about.
Until then, I’ll continue to watch from affair and refrain from burning my bra. This thing was expensive, and I like the color.