Feminism is a complex and incredibly nuanced topic, one that is obviously central to most women. This isn’t meant to fly in the face of that, it’s meant to add to it. This isn’t a replacement, it’s an addendum. This is, to put it as bluntly as possible, a short piece for the men that think they have nothing to gain from female empowerment. Feminism is good for men. It’s good for all men. It’s even good for the shitty heterosexual men who hate feminists.
It’s actually really quite simple. A heterosexual male has a better chance of getting to fuck a woman the less she has to worry about her own safety, her pay, her job prospects, harassment, or any number of things. The more comfortable women are in general (and around men), the more amenable they are to being in intimate situations with those men. Think about the average woman that the average heterosexual male encounters in public. What is she thinking about? Being harassed, being leered at, being stalked, being assaulted? Where is ‘having a conversation’ on that list? Fourth? Fifth? Is it even there at all?
When you’re a heterosexual man dating women on the internet, there’s a process you need to go through. (In most cases, not all.) You need to prove yourself intelligent, prove yourself not a creep. You need to maybe Skype or talk on the phone first. You need to meet in public at least once. And granted, these are probably all sensible things to do anyway, but how many of those steps can be skipped if we don’t have vast gender inequities and a serious problem with violence against women? How much easier does online dating get for men, shitty men? Some first messages (and so many are horrible) turn from warning signs that inspire a block to legitimate, if bad, attempts at conversation.
Wouldn’t it be great if a trans woman could disclose her status without fear of violence? Wouldn’t it be great if a trans-man could live his life without being accused of taking advantage of the patriarchy? If a woman could admit to being into BDSM, into rough sex, into rape scenarios without this being read as carte blanche to do a number of other things, and without feeling guilty about what her preferences mean for women as a whole, or if she’s somehow selling her gender down the river by being who she is?
Wouldn’t it be great if language didn’t need to be so carefully chosen because of the problems we have? If you could assume every man to be a decent person with the best of intentions, even if they let something uncouth fly from their mouth or their Twitter account?
It would be. It would be better for women because their livelihood and their personal safety aren’t at stake. That’s most important, and it should never be forgotten. But it would be better for men too. Even the shitty ones.