It’s been well discussed that Emily Watson’s famous speech at the UN was basically a liberal attempt at appeasing men and reducing feminism to seeking the approval of men. I think this entry was an excellent take on it.
And on the heels of proclaiming the need for “gender equality,” Watson asserts, not unlike so many of her liberal feminist peers, “Men are imprisoned by gender stereotypes.”
Uh, no. That would be women. Are men impacted by gendered stereotypes? Absolutely. Do we “fix” men who stray from masculine stereotypes (as a way of upholding said stereotypes) by convincing them they are female? Yep. Are men imprisoned by gender stereotypes? That seems, how shall I say, a bit histrionic to me especially when gender itself, by design, exists to subjugate women. Even within the gender constraints, men seem, on the whole, to be enjoying a huge amount of freedom in contrast with these women or these or these — or even in contrast to Watson herself, who, for making some truly non-controversial claims about women’s equality has been threatened by men’s rights groups.
Watson also addresses the notion that people are reticent to embrace the word “feminism” in large part because the word has become synonymous with “man hating.” “Why has the word become an unpopular one?” she asks, following up with “If there is one thing I know for certain it’s that this has to stop.”
This of course is not the first time this question has been asked, and unanswered.
The word “feminism,” I would argue, has always been unpopular because it connotes a desire to free women from the prisons, literal and figurative, built by men. The unpopularity of the word “feminism,” as long as it retains its actual meaning, will never stop, because the very notion of true, unadulterated women’s liberation is deeply unattractive to men – and unattractive also to many women who have been so steeped in male bullshit they cannot fathom a life without it, or they do not know how to define themselves independent of the trappings of patriarchy.