Effraeti's RP

One Woman, Two Timelines, Two Destinies.

Gamer Girl Responds

I posted this as a comment to my last post, but then I realized it silly to not just post it as its own piece.  :P

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To all who have read, commented, thought about commenting, agreed, disagreed, or perhaps are even still on the fence with their thoughts:

I want to say Thank You for reading. Thank You for commenting. Thank You for posting responses elsewhere. Thank You for being inspired to think about what was said by myself, the numerous people who took the time and emotion to comment, and those who were further inspired to post a separate piece in response.

Please do not take this all-encompassing reply as a cop-out. I have read each and every reply to this post. I feel I have mostly said my mind, and it has taken me a few days to remove myself enough from my emotions and those responses of the numerous repliers to sit down and compose a final thought.

I stand by saying that I am NOT a feminist and that I prefer myself to not be associated as such. In saying this, I am not stating disrespect, but I am stating disagreement, even disappointment. I find the ideals of feminism noble and in line with what I want for EVERY person, male and female – equality. But I seek equality in all things – sex, race, religion, preference, etc. I also disagree with some of the means to an end sought by SOME (I in no way think every feminist thinks and acts in the same exact way, because that is silly). Because in no way do I ever think it right or justified to stomp on others in effort to advance my own agenda.

Whether they realize it or not, some feminists do a disservice to their fellows. Guilt by association, for lack of a better phrase.

One recurring theme in responses, one that matches my own observations in many ways, is a fear to speak up even in the vicinity of many feminists. I find this deplorable. And yet, I should be pressured to associate myself with this?

I resent being told that I am a feminist, despite stating that I am not. My opinions do not suddenly pigeonhole me.

I can have Democratic views, without declaring myself wholly a Democrat. I can believe in the sanctity of a woman’s choice to do what she wishes with her own body, yet not claim myself pro-choice. I can appreciate and love my fellows who pursue alternative lifestyles, and not be a lesbian.

And finally, I can associate myself with male friends and colleagues without labeling myself as “one of the guys.” I detest being told that I only hang out with men to deny my own sex. Why is it impossible to believe that I hang out with guys purely because we share common ideals and interests? I cannot be both a woman and a friend to men? How does that work, or not?

I imagine this response in and amongst itself may fuel more responses, of which I ensure I will read all of. But I am done talking myself in circles on this topic, and I feel I have sufficiently said my peace.

~ Effy

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14 Comments

  1. Pixelated Executioner

    Well said, Effy. I think one of the problems of activist groups is that they are constantly striving for equality for one group of people, rather than equality for all groups of people. Whether that group consists of feminists, hispanics, african-american, gamers, homosexuals, the politically affiliated, the religiously affiliated (or those non-affiliated), or the can of spam in my cupboard, many of them are only interested in attaining equality for themselves, and the rest of the world can go hang. It’s a subtle hypocrisy, but hypocrisy all the same.

    • Indeed! And thank you so much for the response!

      ~ Effy

  2. antlergirl

    I wanted to say this in your previous post, but there was so much going on I had to read it all. I am happy to see that you stick with your guns and I just want to say: you’re my hero! You should never be afraid/ashamed/feel guilty for saying things that you truly believe in.

    • I agree, there was quite the sticky web forming in my last post! Thanks so much for the response!

      ~ Effy

  3. Effy I was writing my own bit in response and went over to tell you to read that piece, and realised you had beat me to it! I wanted to say I totally agree with what you say, 100% :)

    • Thanks, Navi! But please, do not let me stop you from responding. :)

      ~ Effy

  4. I told myself repeatedly to leave this alone but hey, the watchword this week is “brave” right? :D (that by the way is totally shorthand for blame O).

    I have a bit of an issue with:

    “I stand by saying that I am NOT a feminist and that I prefer myself to not be associated as such.”

    For a couple of reasons. First of all, to me at least arguing for equality for all, automatically makes you a feminist as feminism is a subset of that. Secondly, the part I am perhaps most uncomfortable with is the fact that it sounds like you’re saying that feminism is something different to seeking equality, you’re identifying it as a negative force and that I feel does all of us a disservice.

    I also stand by the fact that by being x doesn’t mean you can’t be y, or a or m or all them if you so choose. Being a feminist doesn’t limit your options, beliefs or anything else.

    One of my Professors at University asked us all in our first tutorial (the course was called Gender, Sexuality and Feminism – studying Literature) whether we saw ourselves as feminists. Most people were a bit quiet so then she went on to ask, “do you believe you should earn the same wage as a man for doing the same job?, if you get raped do you believe the blame should 100 percent lie with the attacker not you? and so on”. When everyone said yes, she said “well you’re all feminists”. Perhaps we’re reading different things, but no one has ever told me I can’t have male friends and still be a feminist. I believe that men can be feminists too (strangely enough). I accept that there are feminists who hate men but I suspect they’re in the minority.

    Over all I feel a bit saddened by the fact that deep down I think we probably all want the same things but that we’re letting labels and the behaviour of a few stand in the way of that.

    Very definitely my last comment on the issue (honest)!

    • Definition per Google:

      Feminist /FEM-uh-nist/
      adjective
      1. Advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
      noun
      1. An advocate of such rights.

      I looked up the word in numerous places, including Wikipedia, and everywhere I see feminism/feminist it is defined as “women’s rights.” So I do not really understand where the idea came from of feminism being some all-encompassing ideology of human rights.

      And once more I must profess that I do not have any thoughts or intentions of ever labeling myself as such.

      I have very specific ideas of politics, religion, human rights, etc. Just because I believe in a handful of political ideas presented by a Republican candidate, I do not suddenly get labeled by the Republican Party. Same with abortion, I believe in a woman’s rights over her own body so I would never side with pro-lifers, but as a personal choice for myself I do not ever see me getting an abortion. But I do not expect the pro-lifers and pro-choicers to both start shouting that I am one of either of them.

      So once again, I state: I am NOT a feminist.

      I am perfectly entitled to my opinions without having labels slapped all over me like bumper stickers on a high schooler’s car. And having such labels stuffed down my throat is making me even more adamant in my position that I have no intentions of associating myself as such.

      ~ Effy

      • Quoting you:
        “I looked up the word in numerous places, including Wikipedia, and everywhere I see feminism/feminist it is defined as “women’s rights.”

        Quoting wiki:
        “Feminism is mainly focused on women’s issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men’s liberation is a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles.”

        Fact is, feminism intersects with many other areas such as race, age, class, sexuality etc. It’s difficult to strip gender away from all other areas of our lives as they transcend it.

        When you say you don’t want labels slapped all over you, I understand. But I say this with all due respect – I think you have caught some misconstrued view on feminism along the way. I really hope you’ll consider reading about f. ex Liberal feminism, as it’s the most common and mainstream version, and probably closest to what you believe based on your original post. I hope you’ll check it out.

      • I have no doubts that I have been given a negative view of feminism. A misconstrued view…? Perhaps originally. But the deluge of negativity that has been the response has in no way improved my personal image.

        The idea of feminism is a valiant one, but it seems I have been shown the true face of modern feminism, and it is not something I am proud to see.

        Originally, I was curious to see if I was looking at things from the wrong angle, but now, I just want to put this whole topic behind me… bury this in the darkest reaches of my blog… and go back to the happier place I was before this torrent of ugliness.

        I agree that I have risen to the trolls, and I have made replies that are highly out of character for me. Replies I am not proud of for my lack of tact. My more deplorable of characteristics have been brought to the surface in light of all this… By being attacked and trolled and condemned for my opinions, I have risen to the negativity, and I am disappointed in myself.

        ~ Effy

    • Töki

      Personally, I also prefer not to be called a feminist, since I very often find there to be a negative connotation to that word, and mainly because I advocate equal rights not only between genders, but also between races, socio-economic classes; those of different educational statuses, ethnicities, sexuality and age, and for people with different religious and political views. In that sense, I’d much rather be called a humanitarian, than immediately be labeled a feminist. I don’t think you can be labeled a feminist when you don’t see yourself as one – since in my eyes feminism is one of “isms” that actually needs a whole lot of activism.
      Even when I do share the same views, ultimately I think it is in my own hands to label myself instead of being judged by society through someone else telling me “you are x because you support y and z” – especially because those who think about their opinions and find grounds to base it on, have the best idea of where they stand politcally.

      Either way, this is quite the hefty topic you’ve chosen to write about in any case!

  5. I never said that feminism was “some all-encompassing ideology of human rights.” (especially since it’s perfectly clear from the name that’s not what it is). What I did say that wanting equality for all surely encompasses wanting that equality for women and that single aspect of it tends to be the very definition of feminism.

    “Advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.”

    I believe is what you quoted.

    And to quote myself:

    “First of all, to me at least arguing for equality for all, automatically makes you a feminist as feminism is a subset of that.”

    Subset is the important word there, the one which seems to have been ignored. Yes, there are probably some feminists out there who don’t give a damn about any cause but their own but the majority of people I’ve interacted with (men included) who label themselves feminists want equality for everyone regardless of their gender, race, religious believes etc. Being a feminist is just a part of who are they.

    I’m sorry that you feel that I’m attempting to stuff labels down your throat because that was not my intention.

    • JD Kenada

      “Subset is the important word there, the one which seems to have been ignored. Yes, there are probably some feminists out there who don’t give a damn about any cause but their own but the majority of people I’ve interacted with (men included) who label themselves feminists want equality for everyone regardless of their gender, race, religious believes etc. Being a feminist is just a part of who are they”

      This will be my only two cents on the issue. Biggest reason is, while I’ve my own opinion on the matter, I admit freely to not being a woman and thus my life experiences have taught me many different things that while I might understand I certainly can’t relate in a literal sense. What I can say is throughout my life the individuals I have met who have referred to themselves as feminists have done so for the cause of women, rather than equality in general which we have freely discussed. I also think that particular type of feminist tends to be the one spotlighted more even in modern society and thus overshadows the more generalized feminist movement that DOES seek equality for all.

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