Why Third Wave Feminism is the Worst Idea since the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy

It all started like every other classic tale usually starts. With the lead protagonist on the back of a ride-on lawn mower, listening to Fleetwood Mac. You know. That old trope.

Now, I have a decently sized property out in the countryside where I live, or I should say, where my wonderful in-laws do. Last August was the driest summer that I can remember in my lifetime.
It was hot and sticky with weekly fire-bans, and it hadn’t rained for over a month.
As a result of barely getting any rain, the grass had shrivelled and peeled back in many areas, revealing the uneven turf beneath. The tractor had no padding against the bumps, and dips that it plowed across.
It was a rough ride. There wasn’t an inch of body fat I had on me that wasn’t jiggling and I was forced to realize that I had jowls.

I was wearing shorts and a bikini top while all of this was happening, and since I already knew who the next casualties were, I threw on the sweater I’d brought with me and zipped myself up. We live quite a ways outside of city limits, but not far out enough to excuse the sight of boobs popping out of swimsuits like Mexican jumping beans.
I mean…not even I wanted to see that.

Do you ever do this thing where you laugh at something simply because you can picture someone else’s reaction to it? Usually someone you’re close enough with to know what makes them smile, what scares them or what pisses them off.
I found myself doing that…but instead of picturing a person that I knew, I found myself picturing people I wish I didn’t know.

The North American, Third-Wave feminist.

I pictured a small legion of these angry little creatures swarming my tractor and forming an aggressive support group, informing me that my decision to stash my breasts was a result of some body-shaming PTSD brought about by the Patriarchy. That I must take my sweater back off, or else risk undoing a century’s worth of female empowerment.

I had a laugh at the thought.
Could you just imagine a universe where a group of people hid behind dumpsters or artificial shrubbery in lobby rooms…creeping around and eavesdropping for things they can take offense to so they can make a huge scene-

Oh. Wait.

I laugh at funny things, I laugh at unfunny things, and sometimes I laugh at sad things. I find myself laughing more and more at the latter it seems, as time progresses.

Sometimes I imagine myself hopping into a DeLorean, and travelling back in time, Marty McFly style. Back to my ‘super rebellious’ teenage years, to be specific, that consisted of heavy eyeliner, ripped panty hose and smuggling NOFX CD’s into my room, when I was supposed to be listening to Christian contemporary.
I think of myself travelling back to a time where 14 year old me could not fathom the existence of an ugly, duplicitous face beneath the mask of the deliciously, nonconformist counter-culture that I had so adored.
It was a slow burn. A long, drawn-out death if there ever was one.
Or at least, that was how it seemed to me as I watched the crowd that I fantasized as bold, unique, Guy Fawkes mask-wearing revolutionaries devolve into mindless cry-bullies.

Now, don’t read me wrong. I don’t consider myself a right-winger…and I sure as hell don’t align with the left. The only way I could ever give myself a concrete identity, is if South Park somehow became an established political persuasion.
To paraphrase, I do my very best to stay as centred as possible.
I am, however, finding this balance increasingly hard to maintain in such an imbalanced society.

I have to stop myself from rabbit-trailing too much, as I have the tendency to be scatter-brained.
There is no way I could begin to perform such a tedious autopsy on the death of so many things that I hold dear, such as:
Free speech, Anti-censorship, Diversity of opinion, Intellectual discourse of opposing viewpoints, Individual justice …just to name a few.

There are countless reasons for the draining of the Free World’s life blood, and countless people behind those reasons. I could never hope to cover them all in one article. So I’ll just stick with one.
A glittering example of how a once courageous and desperately needed movement has managed to make itself useless.
Spoilers out. I’m talking about feminism.

First wave feminism is obviously exempt from this.
I’m not a total ingrate and yes, despite the title of this piece, I am still a woman.
I hold nothing but the highest regard for the original suffragettes. I owe them a great deal.
The rights that we have in the Western World today because of the bravery of these social innovators are to be cherished.

But then of course, riding on the coat tails of a once great campaign is its low quality sequel. Tired, poorly written and starring characters who make you realize that Jar-Jar Binks might not have been so bad after all.

Let’s set up some perimeters before we try and unclog this toilet. I am referring specifically to Western third-wave feminists.
You know who I’m talking about, even if you don’t want to admit that you do.
They’re not hard to miss, language policing on university campuses…
Fashionably pairing Birkenstocks with toplessness before taking to the streets in a courageous stand against male subjugation…
Spreading awareness in popular media about real global scourges like period shaming. (Just as a footnote, I cannot wait until fart-shaming becomes an actual thing. But thank goodness our society hasn’t reached such a level of oppression that we need to start a dialogue about that yet.)

These fakes, unlike their predecessors, are not warriors for equality. Their breed of bastardized feminism runs on self-victimization, mass-presumption, and antagonism. Equality be damned, they won’t stop until they have total dominion…and then some.

It’s a crude, despotic offshoot of the borderline Machiavellian empire of identity politics. Which has become less funny and more frightening with each passing day, as these frothing harpies are being allowed to muddy the waters of due process, in order to nurture their victim status.

Now, I would never deny the existence of true female victims.
Your neighbour down the street who is routinely battered by her drunken partner.
The woman on the headlines who was assaulted in an alleyway.
The college freshman who was coerced into sex after her drink had been tampered with.

The examples, even if they are a bit cliche, are but a few of the many ways women can  and have become targets of heinous atrocities.
There are women who have been violated, humiliated and abused by depraved and evil monsters. They need to be upheld and defended, like any other human being who has been harmed by a criminal.
Notice, criminal.
Criminal.
A word that, to my knowledge, is not synonymous with ‘male’ or the ever-elusive patriarchy.
In Western civilization, criminals are punished. Today especially, the consequences of sexual assault, for example have reached a dire level of severity, and rightfully so.
Are there cases of justice miscarriages where a criminal who has abused a woman evades consequences? Certainly.
But to take these instances of corruption and claim that this is the rule of the Western World and not the exception is completely inane.

Yet these particular strain of feminists enjoy routinely vilifying all men. And what’s worse…they can never give a straight answer when asked exactly why men are to blame. It’s like watching a Creationist and an Evolutionist being thrown in a room together to back up their theories, with the Creationist yelling, ‘God!’ and the Evolutionist yelling ‘Yeah? Well, Science!’ and leaving it at that.
Broad answers with vague wording have never been conducive to problem solving.
In fact, the beverage of choice for these third-wavers and Social Justice turds is usually a cocktail of willful ambiguity and crippling emotion.
It’s hard enough to have an intelligent conversation with groundless generalizations. It’s even harder when said conversation is either shouted, sworn or relayed to you on your laptop screen in ALL CAPS.

These brush-stroke arguments create an environment where actual victims are undermined, and truly dangerous offenders are lumped into the same category as catcalling construction workers and man-spreaders.

This makes the radical American feminist something to be both laughed at and feared in turns.

On the topic of victimization, I don’t think anyone with a basic education would deny that there are parts of our world that are still ruled by gross inequality.
Where the misplaced modern feminist siren call of male oppression would ring clear and true.
I often wonder why these passionate women’s advocates usually have no desire to find useful employment in places like these.

I’m not even half as well traveled as I wish to be someday, but I’ve been to enough places where I’ve seen it first hand.
Places where women are bartered like property into marriages they did not choose. Places where women are ostracized as whores or even punished if they don’t have certain parts of their bodies covered at all times.
Places where if a man commits a crime, he has the legal right to send his wife to jail in his stead.

I once spent an afternoon playing with a daycare of beautiful children in South America who would return at the end of the day to the prison that they were forced to call home. Why? Because there is a day once a year where male prisoners are allowed access to female prisoners, uninhibited to do what they will.
So. That will mean that a majority of these women will not only be raped, but in many cases, impregnated by their rapists. Since there are essentially no child-care systems in place, these women are forced to raise their children in prison.
Both mother and child incarcerated for crimes that are overlooked because they are considered sub-human.
Let’s not even get into genital mutilation and honour killings.
Let’s you know…just overlook all of the parts of our world that are still bleeding so that we can focus our attentions on more important things.
Like slut walks and knitting pussy hats.

To all the bloodthirsty ‘human rights crusaders’ who are most likely not reading this…We, in the Western world live under a banner of complete freedom.
This is something that you loathe hearing, because it reminds you that your anger is disproportionate to the actual liberties that you hold.
No one is going around trying to get your evening menstrual blood art class shut down. No one is going to silence you. That’s not how things work in the free world that you despise so much.

The only thing that is oppressing you are viewpoints that are not your own, and I know that there’s nothing more terrifying to people like you.

But regardless, here are some of mine. It’s more advice. Take it, leave it or be triggered by it. Your choice.

Stop doing shit that’s going to get you slot #5 on an SJW cringe compilation.

Learn how to debate without throwing a tantrum when someone disagrees with you.

Being loud doesn’t make you smart.

Independence does not involve depending on all men to fix every problem that you blame them for.

Start considering your individual identity, as opposed to your group identity. Stop sacrificing your ability to think for yourself at the altar of the mob.
Focus on building your own character and integrity, not subscribing to a hive mentality.

You’re a person before you’re a woman.

Learn the Oxford definition of equality.

Practice the Oxford definition of equality

Criminals are not men. Abusers are not men. Criminals are criminals and abusers are abusers.

Get out of your comfort zone. Stop fighting easy causes with no stakes.
Stop embarrassing your foremothers.

Seek out individual cases of real abused women or go to places in the world where women are not equal and channel your rage there.

Then again, I suppose if you’re already doing these things you wouldn’t be a feminist.
Ah well.
Now back to the kitchen with you.

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My Gingerbread Nuthouse

So this year I decided, for basically my own entertainment to build a cheap-ass Sobeys-bought gingerbread house…with the only deviation from tradition being my plan to swap the decorative candy with all of the Bipolar, anxiety, and insomnia medications I’m currently taking.

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I was planning to join Snapchat for the sole purpose of sending pics of my masterpiece to a handful of my friends who enjoy more tasteless humour.
But halfway through building my little holiday asylum, I thought that maybe a little more could come of it.

 

As I was lining the house with the prescription anti-depressants and mood stabilizers that I’d swapped with Skittles and Sweet Tarts, I couldn’t help but remember where I was this time three years ago.

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I’m not going to launch into an autobiography. And I don’t have the patience (or the talent really) to bend my experience with mental illness into some cute, whimsical, Buzzfeed-friendly anecdote.
So I’ll just say this.

Three Christmases ago, I was fresh out of a psych ward-landing, mental breakdown.
I had to drop out of school, I had to withdraw from the people that I loved…I had to basically put my life on hold because of an all-out Battle Royale that was happening inside of my own head.

I was hopeful though, and had resolved to kick up my efforts in the New Year by getting physically healthier, giving myself a solid date for when I would return to school, and just generally trying to not be a giant wimp.
I had a plan. I would be free of the mental duress and mind-monsters that had derailed me before the next fall rolled around.
I would be able to continue my education and leave this whole fiasco behind for what it was…a simple glitch in the matrix.
A mistake that had only happened because I wasn’t strong enough.
Because that’s what it was.
A product of my own weakness.
My inability to deal with life the way that stronger people did.

Three Christmas later, I have been fortunate enough to conclude that the only ‘mistake’ I made was in choosing to feed that idea.

Here’s the problem though, there are far, far too many people who have not come to that same realization.

Over the past few years, grappling with my own illness has forced me to slow down and see these people who I’d never seen before.
I watched as they either snapped or wasted away, and in some tragic cases…I had to watch as some of them chose to leave this world behind.
All because of a poisonous little thought that stopped them from getting the help that they needed.

Traditionally, when you’re being attacked, you need to see some kind of opponent before you can take a swing.
When a mind is being constantly battered by some invisible enemy, what else is there to do but eventually turn the blame inward?
And when you’re stuck in a mire of humiliation from what you perceive to be your own inadequacy, the most natural thing to do is to hide it or pretend that it doesn’t exist.
You *cannot* identify something that doesn’t exist. And leaving this particular enemy unidentified is the only ammo it needs to destroy you.

For some ironic reason, Christmastime is notorious for throwing these feelings into sharp focus. Whether they be products of mental illness, trauma or neglected grief.
If you find yourself in a dark place, please…don’t ignore it.

You may think that it makes you stronger, but it doesn’t.
Genuine strength, -the type you are going to need to start fighting back- cannot be attained until you can name your enemy.
So go and seek help. Whether it’s from family, friends, doctors or all three, don’t hold yourself back from reaching out.
Reach out for help so that you can call this thing out for what it really is.

This is probably where I’m supposed to bring this post full circle by saying something like, ‘Don’t *you* end up in the gingerbread nuthouse Hurr hurr!’
But…I’m not……going to do that…
Merry Christmas to everyone regardless of where you find yourself this year.
Stay safe, stay sane and take care of yourself.

Just realized a bit late that this icing has basically hardened into sugary cement and that I’m going to have no choice but to eat my pills off of a gingerbread house every day well into January.
So if you see me anywhere public at 11:30 (AM or PM) and I’m toting around a gingerbread house…you’ll know why.

 

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Literary Blue-Balls

I am too cynical to write.

I am so cynical, that the only topic I can think of to write about is how I can’t write.          

Not exactly a subject I would have chosen to throw away my blogging purity ring for, but hey. Not everyone’s first time is the kind of special that involves champagne and Barry White. 

You might have found yourself in the same position. You’re definitely not someone who doesn’t give a shit. You give many shits. So many shits, in fact, that your brain is churning and heaving with unwritten thoughts and ideas that cannot and should not be caged. They simply must be transferred from brain to paper. You go to do just that, when out of nowhere, you just…can’t. You’ve lost your mojo. You’ve hit a brick wall. You have very suddenly and very coincidentally run out of opinions. I could probably give a WebMD list of reasons as to why this happens. But no matter the cause, it’s indescribably frustrating and as disappointing as the third season of Heroes.                                                                       

I remember being nineteen, fifteen, even thirteen, and writing a story solely for my own enjoyment. I would be in such a hurry to be awed by my own handiwork, that I would blaze through piles of loose leaf like a maniac, so that I could salivate onto my Spongebob pillowcase as I read pandering, self-insert fanfic of me as a vampire slayer in an alternate dimension where Sarah Michelle Gellar didn’t exist. I would be in such a rush to delve into the fantasies I’d crafted, that I didn’t care how imperfect, unrefined or straight up awful my actual writing was. It didn’t matter. I was too excited for it to matter.                      

So what, besides tits and a (hopefully) thoroughly developed frontal lobe, was the difference between thirteen year old me, and twenty-six year old me?

I could sit here, surly and badass like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino and mumble between swigs of whisky (straight whiskey) about how jaded and world-weary I am. Which is partially true. Human beings only have so much of a capacity for bullshit, and there’s no shortage of it on our planet. However true this may be, it’s still only an excuse.                      

The one thing that stands out, that has made the most notable difference between thirteen and twenty six is the need for an audience. When I was young, I wrote things for myself. It didn’t matter if my scribbled misadventures ever saw the light of day. In fact, apart from mandatory in-class readings, none of them ever did. The opinions of others mattered less. Impressing them didn’t matter at all.

It’s the hardest lesson I’ve ever had to learn as a writer. One that I still haven’t finished learning. The second that you start writing for anyone else other than yourself, is the second that the floodlights switch on and all the magic evaporates. You stop feeling like an author, and start feeling like one of those monkeys chained to a typewriter, smoking a cigarette.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to write for someone or something. By posting this internal rant online, I’m technically ‘writing for something.’ I’m not here to deliver a warning for all the writers out there to horde their haikus or bubble wrap their six-part sci-fi sagas.

Put your work out there, sure. Put it on display and let people love, hate or be on the fence about it.  But never allow your identity as a Bic-brand pen wielding visionary to become entangled by the perceptions and opinions of anyone outside of your own mind.
You will start to become dependent on others to be the vehicle for your creativity, and that will usher in a godless, joyless, decade-long writing cock block. 
When you start writing for one person, you start writing for everyone. Since it’s impossible to appeal to the entire populace, the mission feels like a failure before it’s even an embryo. An insidious type of perfection sets in like a disease and begins to spread its poison until it’s infected your mind with discouragement.

Even the world’s most gifted artists produce work that isn’t for everyone. If you’re three words in and already consumed with your audience’s reaction, then you will not produce at all. I’ve been actively writing for over half of my life and this cautionary blurb is the first thing in, I’m not sure how long, that I’ve prompted myself to write for me. I’m going to give props to my sleeping pills and the fact that it’s 5 am, but I have finally done it.

And glory be, it is a magnificent, structureless, rambling pile of garbage.

But if you sift through the mess, I promise you’ll find a point, and an avid one at that.

Don’t let this happen to you.