In class yesterday we briefly discussed methods of argumentation. Specifically, some of the more faulty methods of argumentation. We discussed, among other things, the passion some people have for the use of a Strawman.
Strawman arguments are those where the presenter of the argument makes up a fictitious enemy. Often, that enemy is an exagerated version of those whom he/she intends to argue against. Then they go to work fighting against this fictitious enemy and when they figure they’ve won, they declare victory over the whole shebang. But really, they’re fighting no one.
I thought back to something I saw the other day. This strawman is so huge that there’s practically hippies dancing around it in the desert. My favourite part…hahaha…is the ‘take that, feminists!’ attitude that she and her buddies seem to take when what they’re saying is an absolute crock of crap mixed with nonsense. Yes…wounded to the core are all women who gladly associate themselves with the word ‘feminist’.
You want 5 things that feminism has done for me?
1- I have the right to vote and I am seen as a person in the eyes of the law.
2- I have the right to my own body. I can decide to not get pregnant, to stop a pregnancy safely, and I also have the means to fight against those who may choose to harm it. This is not a right that women around the globe have access to.
3- I have the right to pursue an education and am proud to be the student of such brilliant men and women.
4- I have the right to work without the harrassment of bosses and coworkers. I have the right to any job I am qualified for without regard to my gender (among other things).
5- I have the honour of having many male friends (and a wonderful boyfriend) who understand all these things and more besides. This, far from making them “pussies”, makes them far more manly than any mullet wearing douchebag that cheats on his wife. Wait. I know plenty of douchebags that cheat on their wives that don’t have mullets at all. Point being that men who accept a woman’s strengths and are supporting and proud be it their daughter, sister, wife, girlfriend or friend are cool.
6- Due to my geographic location, socio-economic status, and other stuff that don’t have to do with my gender anymore, I have opportunities most people in the world don’t even dream of. If I work hard enough and play my cards right (and hopefully am smart enough), what I can accomplish is nearly limitless in fields my foremothers never even thought to go near. If those millions of women in a very similar situation to mine don’t realize that someone before you paved that way, then they are being simply ungrateful and selfish.
…and no, with the possible exception of #5, I did not get all these things without someone fighting for them and I call the people who fought for these things feminists.