I asked my youngest brother, Ninja-Bob, to write something about his feminism. He is a straight white dude and the father of a young daughter. He’s a martial artist and a science communicator who works with children. He’s also the sort of guy who will go to the pub wearing the tiara his daughter bought him for Father’s Day because he really doesn’t care what people think of him.
So, My sister asked me to write a thing about why I’m a feminist. Which I was really chuffed by as I don’t call myself a feminist.
I want equality, especially for my child, and if that makes me a feminist, that’s great.
I’m not afraid of anything, by and large, I walk down the street and I don’t give a fuck. If someone speaks to me I’ll listen, but if they piss me off, I will tell them exactly what I think in the sure and certain knowledge that they won’t attack me or harass me or follow me.
I know, from experience, that if I stop to confront someone being objectionable, then they will continue berating me, but they will do it as they back away very-fucking-quickly. I know they won’t follow me home, I know that I’m too scary to fuck with. I’m enough of an unknown quantity that even – to use a Central-Beltism – a “hard-cunt” won’t fuck with me and I’m respectful enough to avoid the animosity of actually dangerous people.
I want that level of confidence for all. Yes, men get attacked and women that get attacked don’t get attacked by all men. But far more women live in fear whenever they have any kind of dealing with men.
I want my daughter to grow up to be whatever kind of person that she wants. I know that for that to happen, she will have to know that she is loved and be confident enough to take chances.
Nowhere in her future do I wan’t to see her putting headphones on without music in order to avoid harassment.
So yes, I am willing to sacrifice some of my freedoms so that she can have an equal chance with her peers of becoming the best Space Volcanologist that there ever will be. However, those are freedoms that I don’t fucking want anyway.
I can live without the freedom to be paid more than someone doing the same job. The freedom to get away with brutal, heinous crimes with a slap on my wrist because my future is considered more important than my victim. I don’t need the freedom to make demeaning comments to those that I work with based on their gender. Oh you, you don’t like what I said? Well give us a smile, sugar tits, it was only a joke.
I witness, on a regular basis, parents engage in casual sexism that they probably don’t even recognise as such. Telling their boys that “You don’t want to wear that, that’s for girls”, or asking at my work as a science communicator for “more girly” science experiments.
I know that I’ve got far to go, that I’m not yet free of patriarchal indoctrination, but at least I know it’s there. I’m sure that, as a martial artist, I’ll probably never feel as exposed as most women. I don’t get it, but at least I know that I don’t get it.
And there you have it. Proof that I am not the only foul-mouthed, opinionated feminist in my family.