bluebeard

Why you should identify as a feminist: Deleted scenes

Originally published at PeterCHayward.com/blog. You can comment here or there.

Here’s a section I wrote for my last post but couldn’t actually fit in anywhere:

Another way of thinking about “why do feminists spend so much time on women’s issues”:

Imagine you need to paint a wall black. There are a few navy-blue splotches around, but the vast majority of the wall is a bright, blinding white. Where do you start painting? And once you’ve started, where do you spend the majority of your time?

Women, in literally every country in the world, have a measurably worse life than men do, in almost every aspect of their existence. That’s not to say men have a perfect life or suffer injustice – off the top of my head, I know that they’re encouraged to talk about their feelings less (resulting in a higher suicide rate), they go to jail more and have a worse time when they’re there, and they are less likely to get custody of their kids.

Women, meanwhile, are more likely to be raped (and to be blamed for it when they are), they earn ~70 cents for every dollar a man earns, they are held to an extremely strict beauty standard (and suffer direct consequences when they don’t adhere to it), they make up something like 17% of speaking characters in films and 30% (or less) of lead roles, they make up such a tiny percentage of political roles in the world, they’re sold into sex slavery around the world in ridiculous numbers (80% of the 600-800 thousand people trafficked around the world each year are women), they’re hassled on the street unless they have a man present…I could go on, but I hope we can agree that I don’t need to.

Women’s rights and women’s issues are the white part of the wall. Men’s issues are the navy-blue splotches. We need to start with the overwhelming issues facing women, and we need to spend the vast, vast majority of our time there.

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