Those of you who know me well, know that I like to have interesting and stimulating conversations about every topic. I enjoy a good back and forth about policies and social matters. In fact, there are very few things in my repertoire of opinions and conversations that are stubborn and so passionate that I can’t even have a conversation about it. If I am having a conversation with you about it, it likely means that I am doing my best to listen to your ideas.
Except this one thing: “empowering feminism.” I am NOT going to link to any articles about this new definition of feminism because I am so adamantly outraged by it that I need to do my best to even write this post without slamming my computer down onto the ground.
In a nutshell:
Women selling out their bodies for money and actually calling it feminism. They feel “empowered” for consenting to delivering themselves to pornographic material.
Let me tell you about a friend of mine.
For her protection, I will call her Sarah.
Sarah is a young mother of two. She is not married, works odd jobs here and there, and at one point was trying to go to school to get a certification to become a nursing assistant. She is thoughtful, kind, funny, and determined.
When Sarah was 13 years old, she started her menstrual cycle for the first time. Sarah thought she could approach her mother about getting the right hygienic items to keep herself clean and free from the sicknesses that can come with this difficult process of the body. She was disappointed, as she always was, that her abusive mother refused to provide her with these necessities. Not knowing who to go to, she approached her “well off” grandfather. He agreed. But then there was a catch:
She had to let him do sexual things to her body.
Now knowing where to go or who else there was to help her, she eventually consented. For years, whenever she knew that there was no other place to turn, she approached her grandfather, asking to be provided with money just so that she could go to school without bleeding through her clothes (an often unrighteously embarrassing situation). Each time, she had to provide her body as payment.
Eventually, she dropped out of school, became pregnant with a guy that was living in her basement and moved from house to house with various men who would take her in until she was pregnant again or they were done with her.
She suffers from anorexia, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and various other symptoms that are extremely common for women who believe that their only worth is in their ability to sexually please men. Since I befriended her a few years ago, she has broken off an engagement, quickly moved in with another man, quit her job, and quit school. All of this because she simply can’t grasp her own self-worth.
When she opened up to me about her past, her feelings were very conflicted. She was never happy about it, but she was never quite sure if the situation was wrong because she believed that it was her fault that it happened. I told her over and over that it was never her fault. He was the adult, he was the one who manipulated her with resources that she desperately needed so that he could use her body.
It is because of the fact that women in pornography who appear to “consent” that there are young girls like my friend Sarah who have to suffer. Even if the “consenting” women aren’t victims (not super convinced about that argument), Sarah was one of millions of girls who become a victim because men actually believe that women want this type of treatment. After all, she kept coming back, right?
Do you see where I am going with this?
The purpose of feminism has always been and will always be to provide all people with equal opportunities. To teach us all that people are worth so much more than their bodies, consenting or not. The purpose of feminism is to prove that women bring so much more to the table than a pair of breasts, or that children deserve to grow up to believe that their personalities are beautiful and their ideas are meaningful. No man, woman, or child should ever grow up to believe that their physical appearance is the only thing they can contribute to society. Eventually there will not be much left to give in that area, because these body-thirsty people will never be satisfied.
So, no, women who “consent” to objectifying their bodies is not feminism. In fact, I am not even convinced that when there is a large amount of male money and resources involved that it is considered “consent”- but I guess that would be a debate for another time.
Call it whatever you want, create policies around whatever you want, but don’t desecrate the very definition of feminism.
If you have even started to believe this heinous lie that pornography is feminism, then please consider a few arguments:
The pornography industry has massive amounts of money and that amount grows every single day as young boys (as young as 8) are being exposed to sexual content online. This money is easily used to manipulate desperate women and children into doing things for their audience.
If they can get feminists on their side, they have much to gain in the area of policies and ability to continue their shady business practices, legal or not.
Pornography funds the human trafficking industry. That fact alone should be enough to convince you that it is the antithesis of feminism.
If you all could join me in at least this:
I will have done what I can at this exact moment to protect true feminism and teach our young generation that they are worth so much more.