A feminism comic I did for my uni’s newspaper. I wish I had a bit more time to work on it, but I’m pleased with how it came out considering the tight deadline!
Love this. Very very well said and well drawn!
This is so deliberately misleading. The gender binary puts us in two camps, right? Men, who are supposed to do designated man stuff, and women, who are supposed to do designated woman stuff. Men are shamed when they don’t do the man stuff or when they do the woman stuff. Women are shamed when they do the man stuff or don’t do the woman stuff. That’s how gender roles work.
Given that the gender roles were evolved and not created, it makes sense that having lots of sex with as many women as possible is prized for men, and how only having sex with one man is prized for women. This is not the result of an evil brotherhood of patriarchs sitting down and deciding to control women. This is just a consequence of our differing biology, meaning that our survival as a social animal was maximised by these gender specific roles. Most other social animals have a system of gender roles, and those certainly weren’t created.
Panel 1 and 2 are therefore silly, because you can flip it the other way around and say that women are praised for turning down sex and staying pure, whilst men were assumed to have never been pure, because we’re just rabid sex machines. Men are shamed for turning down sex, and have their masculinity questioned. You can’t make a point by only looking at one side of the issue. In this case, as in many others, the flipside makes the opposite point.
Panel 3 and 4 are the same variety of nonsense. Again, we have to look at the other side of the issue. Consider the subject of these aggression. If a woman does what she is told, she is praised. If a man allows himself to be pushed around, he is shamed. Far from being ‘allowed’ to be assertive, men are actively pressured into it. As we saw above, this is not a system where men can do everything and women can do nothing. This is a system where men can do man things and woman can do woman things. We are both restricted, and we are both free within our respective roles.
You might think that the female role is worse. Firstly, let’s reiterate the point that it was evolved, not created. In our species, females carry children for a long time, and must rear them for a while after that. Males, on the other hand, are completely unburdened by fatherhood. This made them, not females, suitable for tasks such as fighting with rival groups. Males evolved to be bigger and stronger than females, to meet this purpose, which females evolved to become perfect at nurturing the next generation. These are the roles we’ve inherited. Secondly, the “real men are assertive” stereotype has almost certainly harmed more men than the “real women aren’t assertive” stereotype has harmed women. Men have been slaughtered in their masses because of their gender role. Don’t be so quick to envy it.
Panel 5 just describes the female gender role. This is an especially peculiar example, as it completely neglects to mention that there is an equal and opposite male gender role. We’re both restricted. Only including one side of the story seems deliberately misleading, yet again.
Panel 6 is more interesting, because rather than just missing out vital context and information it actively makes a common fallacy. It’s called the femmephobia myth. It’s pretty much just using “men are shamed for doing woman stuff” as evidence of misogyny, whilst completely ignoring that “women are shamed for doing man stuff” is also true. In fact, if you show the same feminist an example of the latter, she’ll also claim that it’s hatred towards women. This comic, for example. Panels 1 and 3 both show women being shamed for acting masculine, and presents this as exclusively anti-woman. Rather than accept that this works both ways, panel 6 interprets the exact parallel, men being shamed for acting feminine, as also exclusively anti-woman. You can’t just apply one set of rules in one case, and another in the next, solely to ensure that you reach a convenient confusion. If women are restricted, so are men. It won’t hurt you to acknowledge that.
Feminism is not about hating men. Unfortunately, as this comic illustrates rather well, it’s become a lot about ignoring men, about repainting issues as only concerning women, about villainising men and missing the bigger picture. That's why feminists are criticised. Make a straw-man of your critics if you want, but you're just proving their point. You're dogmatic, you're bigoted, and you won't accept any evidence which doesn't fit the conclusion you've already decided you want to reach. Open your mind a little, and let some of this seep in. Feminism is about equality, not just about helping women. Act like it.
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