Gender Defender: You’ve Got Hate Mail

My favorite part of writing a feminism column is the responses. I love when people talk to me about what I write, and I love being able to start dialogue and hopefully raise some new ideas. I love being part of a staff that allows me to freely express my opinions.

Aside from the positive feedback I get from my column, I also get critiscm, which actually proves that my ideas and articles are sparking controversy and conversation. So, I decided to respond to some of the milder comments.

“Stupid feminist, everybody knows you hate men. That’s what a feminist is—when you hate yourself and men. Do you even know what feminism is?”

In previous articles, I have already established that feminism is not about man–hating. Rather, it is the opposite. Just to clarify for all those who have either not read the definition of the movement or have never heard of it, feminism is equality for everyone.

Your definition neglects important subpoints, but equality is the general idea. Furthermore, while I may not know everything about feminism, I know enough to be able to write an accurate and meaningful column.

“I know you like feminism, but why do you always have to keep talking and writing about it? It’s getting annoying.”

Just because something (i.e. feminism) can be unpleasant and “controversial” to talk about, doesn’t mean it should be ignored. We need to open up dialogue and continue discussing feminism. What about equality, justice and liberty is annoying to you? The fact that some are so desensitized to real problems in our world is disheartening, and it is one of the reasons why I will never stop speaking out about feminism.

“Why are you complaining about feminists when you are white? You should stop hating on white people because that’s just racism towards us. Anyways, nobody has racism anymore.”

First of all, yes, I am white. But just because I am a white feminist doesn’t mean I can’t criticize the feminist movement. I’m recognizing my privilege and the mistakes I and others have made.

Also, the notion we live in a post–racial society is completely ludacris. We live in a country that was built on systematic oppression.

Racism can mainly be perpetrated against minority groups, as the white race holds systemic privilege and cannot be truly oppressed on the basis of race.

Racism is oppressive not because white people are inherently prejudicial, but because it is a structure that stimulates domination and subjugation and has so for many years.

Aside from all the negative feedback I receive about my feminism column, I don’t want to understate the positive as well. In fact, I’ve received so many compliments from teachers and students alike that I can’t even list them all. Though I do get my fair share of hate mail, it’s the positive responses that really stick with me and I couldn’t be more thankful for the support I receive.