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Part 1 – The redefinition of words to create something else to control and be offended by.

Feminist. You probably have strong feelings when you hear/read this word. What image comes to mind when you think about a feminist? Chances are, this word conjures up either the image of a social justice warrior, fighting to defend the rights of the oppressed women of America, or a fat and ugly free-bleeder who eats men for breakfast. Whatever your opinion in this, I want you to know two things:

  1. I support women’s rights to equality (not that women are the same as men, but should have equal opportunities.)
  2. I do not call myself a feminist.

feminazis

The Redefining of Words

There are many reasons why I do not call myself a feminist, but one that has been on my mind recently (and is fairly easy to address) is that modern feminism relies strongly on the redefining of words and manipulation to encourage young women to view all their problems as a result of oppression and misogyny and not due to any other factors.

Some words that have been modified recently:

  • Friendzoned – I do not know who decided that this word was somehow an attack on women, but it is not. The word itself simply describes when a person (typically a man) has invested time/money/emotion into a girl and has discovered that the girl is only interested in friendship. It is my personal opinion that women tend to invest more in relationships with men that they do not intend to become romantic (“just friends”) than men tend to. A girl might simply think that the guy who stays up late texting her, goes to the mall with her, listens to her cry, and buys her snacks, is just doing what any other friend would do. In my experience, guys do not tend to do things like this for a girl unless they are at least mildly interested in her, and if they start out that way, they will at some time be interested in a relationship, even if he never admits it. Girls, on the other hand, tend to like to talk and can be very comfortable investing time and energy into a friendship with a boy they have no intention of having a romantic relationship with. There is nothing wrong with these tendencies. Girls should try to be more considerate and realize that they may, in fact, be unintentionally signaling to a guy that they are interested when thay are not.

  Somehow, modern feminists have come to the conclusion that a guy saying he was “freindzoned” means that somehow the woman owes him something. What? No. Just no. The concept of wooing a woman may be foreign to Americans, but the idea is that you spend time with someone and do nice things for them in an attempt to get them to like you, not to say that they owe you anything! If you are reading this and thinking “Well, I had this one guy who was like, you need to sleep with me because I was there for you when you were sad!” etc. then that speaks VOLUMES to the type of man that YOU choose to spend time with. I have placed several interested men in the friend category (some without realizing they were interested) and not once have I had someone act as though they owed me anything. Could it be that they were upstanding and respectable guys? No! Never! Men are pigs! But really, if this happens to you, it might be that you lead them on (perhaps unintentionally) or that you make terrible friendship choices.

  • Slut – I saw this one described the other day as “attacking a woman for her right to say yes.” *blinkblink* Just because you have a right to say yes does not mean you aren’t a terrible person for saying yes to every guy who asks. Generally the term is used to describe women (and sometimes men) who are easy (as in, have had sexual interactions with multiple non-serious partners, willing to kiss any guy, etc.) OR who dress to show off far more skin on a regular basis than is generally considered socially acceptable. We live in a society where telling someone that they are wrong is taboo, and heaven forbid a young person ever have to feel shame for their actions.

    It’s like that Kaepernick guy; he has a right to sit for the anthem, but I also have a right to say he’s a dingbat for doing so.

  • Bossy – There is actually a campaign to ban the word bossy. Really. The website for this campaign says “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.” Bull. Crap. I taught middle school and I have not experienced this phenomenon, it is quite the opposite, in reality. When leaving notes to substitutes, or appointing leaders in my classroom, I usually have to make sure that I have at least one boy on the list, because there is an abundance of girls who are able and willing to lead. I can think of maybe 7 or 8 boys (our of 180 students) who would volunteer to lead or do something. Usually only one in each class.

 The word bossy is defined as: “inclined to domineer (dictatorial), liking to order people around.” A LEADER does not simply tell people what to do; a leader leads by example, encourages and inspires those around them to follow their example, and generally takes the initiative to do something about a problem. A bossy person simply tells people what they should do, “We should play THIS game!” or “No, no, no! When I make my doll say this, you’re supposed to say…” or “Give me some of your candy.” Now, I know that this word is most often applied to girls and I am not entirely sure why, but here are some similar words boys get called: insolent, pushy, arrogant, domineering, aggressive, controlling, cocky, cocksure, high-and-mighty, patronizing, pretentious, pompous, and pig-headed. The connotation of the word bossy indicates that the person thinks they are smarter or they know better than others, and want everyone to do as they say. For a boy, in a world where girls tend to outshine them in the classroom from an early age, putting forth the effort to speak up and risk embarrassment takes a lot of courage. A student who leads and says, “I think this would be a good way to do X” is using their skills and trying to do the best they can, whereas a kid saying “No, we have to do it this way!” is bossy. There is a distinction. Banning the word “bossy” is not going to help a little girl’s self-esteem.

Do you know what would help women boost their self-esteem? If girls’ magazines were not strictly geared to looks, getting boyfriends, and being sexy/sexual. Instead, why not fill magazines with things like: how to be a good friend, how to dress in ways that flatter your body type, how to succeed in male-dominated careers (or tips on careers that might be difficult for women due to physical limitations), health care tips, what colors complement your skin tone, manners, easy and healthy recipes, tips on job interviews, crafts, tips for young mothers, how to be a good wife, how to spot a man who might not be good for you, quick/easy household organization tips, etc. As a youngun, I LOVED the American Girl magazine. It was great! There were stories, crafts, paper dolls, tips on manners and advice on how to handle tough situations. It was a wonderful resource; they also published tip books, stories about courageous girls (Felicity was my favorite), and had dolls for sale. Unfortunately, few magazines these days are like this.

Instead of redefining words, why not redefine our culture? How about we teach women to respect themselves; that they don’t have to wear five pounds of makeup, have sex, or show off their bodies to be beautiful. Or that it’s ok to say NO to a guy who is interested, and that not having a boyfriend at age 13 does not mean that there is something wrong with you. Or that just because you are waiting for marriage to have sex it does not make you a prude. Maybe we should honor those women who choose to be a stay-at-home-mom or housewife as much as we honor and respect those who choose to pursue a career. Perhaps we should stop insulting women who actually enjoy domestic activities like cooking, and at the same time encourage/empower those who are not great at those domestic activities so that they know they don’t have to be, and know that they have help if they want to learn.

When I was in middle school I was bullied badly. I was chubby, I was (and am) a Christian and did not do some of the things other kids did, I liked reading and nerdy things like Star Trek, and I did not dress like everyone else (partly because I could not afford it, partly because I was modest and not so interested in what was fashionable). I was made fun of for not having a boyfriend; kids would tease me and try to ask me who I liked, or who I would go out with. If my response was “I don’t know him” I was told “You get to know him, that’s what having a boyfriend is for.” I was called fat and ugly, and lost “friends” because I didn’t dress popularly. I even lost friends because I chose not to lie to my parents: I went to a friend’s house and she wanted to watch the movie Stigmata, something I knew I would not have been allowed to watch, but I also did not want to watch it anyway (still don’t). “Your parents won’t know” was the only response my friend gave to my objections. Our friendship pretty much ended that day. In college I was occasionally called a prude, mostly by guys who I was friends with where there was mutual interest, but not the compatibility necessary to justify starting a relationship. Just because two people are attracted to each other does not mean you MUST date, or that you would be good long-term, or that you need to make out. In the long run, I think I have gained respect because I did not have dozens of boyfriends (went on a few dates, though only one lead to a relationship), did not dress immodestly, and held to my standards. Have I made mistakes? You betcha. Many things I wish that I had not done, or had done differently. Did I sometimes compromise? A few times, and I regret it completely.

Changing the mindset of Americans will do far more for young girls than it will to change the words that we use to describe the mindset. The Bible definitely got it right: Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Changing the words we use will not change the hearts of the people that use them.

Check out this article on 8 Ways Fascist Feminists are Ruining America’s Women.

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Men are the stronger sex; they work, build, and provide for their families. They don’t cry. They don’t get overrun by “feelings” like women do. Men are tough; they are not sensitive and do not get emotionally hurt easily.

Or do they?

Something that I have observed over the years is that there is a little boy inside every grown man. I see it in my husband, I see it in my father, and I see it in many of my friends. The same things that delighted them as a boy, the same things that made them sad, still affect them on the inside, thought they may not show it. My husband delights in fixing things, taking things apart and seeing how they work and then putting them back together (he recently built a computer). From the stories I’ve heard of his childhood, this is something that he has always enjoyed. My father has always loved story-telling: the adventure, the struggle between good and evil, the hero persevering, etc. This shows even now in the things that he writes, and the stories that touch him.

My little brother (now a teenager) was always a very sensitive little boy. He would cry when characters on TV got hurt, and he didn’t like scary movies. He never tortured earthworms, or pulled the wings off of flies, or any of that. He was always considerate of other people and animal’s feelings. One year when he was 8, I had a bad birthday and I cried because no one in my family cared (it was a special birthday too), and I was going to have to make my own cake etc. all by myself. My brother made a card in the shape of an alien (complete with antennae) and wrote inside “greetings earthling, our leader wishes you a happy birthday” and stuck a dollar inside. That card was so very precious to me. I still have it, and the dollar he gave me, as a reminder of the sweet sensitivity of my eight-year-old brother.

The little boys I teach piano to also exhibit some sensitive traits. Very often, if they have a choice between Thomas the Tank engine and Littlest Petshop stickers, they’ll choose the pets! Between Buzz Lightyear and animals, they’ll go with the animals most of the time. Even when they pick the Toy Story stickers they want Ham or Rex or Bullseye more than the others. The sad thing is that many older men (and women) will tell these boys: don’t you want the rocket ship? Or will reprimand them for crying, or for enjoying something that might be a little “girly”.

This is important: the sensitivity of the little boy that you raise will dictate the kindness and courteousness of the man he will become.  That gentle little boy that you treat to respect others, to value life (even the life of a worm), to love his family, and to cry when he sees injustice and suffering will grow into a man who respects everyone, who fights to protect life, and will not stand for injustice. That little boy needs to be loved and nurtured so that he can grow into the type of man our society needs today. There is still a little boy inside of every man. If you look carefully, you may see him. But be careful not to frighten him away.

Here is what the Bible says about living peaceful lives:

1 Corinthians 13:11 – “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

1 Thesselonians 5:12-18 – “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.Rejoice always;pray without ceasing;in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Proverbs 15:1 – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

For more on this concept read John Eldredge’s “Wild at Heart”.

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