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JJ Barnes

JJ Barnes writes about parenting, feminism, current affairs and writing

By - JJBarnes

Men finding liberal feminism so easy to get behind is a clear sign it’s not about women.

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I’m known amongst my friends and contacts as The Feminist one. So much so that I’m regularly tagged in articles and memes about women’s rights issues, or anything connected to feminism in any way.

Recently I was tagged in a post about women’s rights to go topless. The image of a topless man and a topless woman, the man’s chest declaring that society finds his chest to be acceptable, and the woman’s chest declaring that society finds hers to be unacceptable. The campaign is along the Free The Nipple line, that women’s breasts are overly sexualised and therefore must be kept hidden, whilst men’s are fine to be exposed to the world should he so desire. It’s a popular line from Liberal Feminists, and I see it shared in various incarnations a lot.

Man topless, woman not topless

I understand where this is coming from, and I certainly do believe that women’s bodies are overly sexualised. It happens from childhood when girls in school uniforms are catcalled, into adulthood when women breastfeeding are considered to be indecent and exposing themselves inappropriately. Women’s breasts, and women’s bodies, are sexualised in an overt and inappropriate manner, and we all suffer for it.

However, I find it interesting, and noteworthy, that these campaigns to encourage women to expose their bodies, to decriminalise prostitution, to destigmatise sex work and stripping, and to encourage women to have a lot of sex, are very, very popular amongst men.

Men find it incredibly easy to get behind Liberal Feminism, to cheer women on as they pole dance for their liberation, pose naked for their liberation, and have sex on camera for liberation…because it’s not liberating. It’s a movement designed to con women into being exactly what men have always wanted them to be. And to celebrate as they do it. It’s simply a way of convincing women that doing the things men have always wanted them to do is actually all about their freedom. It just happens to look exactly the same as all the women who are doing it because they’re forced to and trafficked. Because men don’t care if you’re forced to or not, as long as you’re doing it.

With regards to the campaign for women’s right to go topless, I would buy it as more about women than men if the images used for the campaign were not of young, slim, perky breasted nineteen year olds. Young, slim, perky breasted nineteen year olds are regularly encouraged to expose their breasts. Instagram is awash with hopeful models doing exactly that without a single complaint. If the women in the campaigns were older, carried more weight, had breastfed three large babies, and didn’t shave their armpits, then maybe I’d be convinced.

Feminism is about Women.

Yes, women and men both have nipples, and they should all be equal. I absolutely agree that women should not have their bodies policed. But the people fighting for that to change never focus on the bodies of women that men don’t want to see. Encouraging pretty young women to go topless has absolutely nothing to do with feminism, and everything to do with men wanting to see boobs and convincing women that it’s a good idea to let them.

The sex positive movement carries the same weight. Making women feel like they’re not liberated if they don’t have a lot of sex. Making lesbians feel like they’re bigoted if they don’t do dick. Making stripping and prostitution seem like a job for women who are truly free of societies expectations, and willing to embrace their sexuality and bodies with confidence. Of COURSE men love it! It gives them everything they’ve ever wanted. And it does it in a way that earns them woke brownie points.

My advice is never trust a man who is balls out for feminism as long as it’s not about women. If they don’t recognise that women as a sex are oppressed, they’re full of shit. If they think threatening women with violence if they don’t agree with the latest liberal woke theory is acceptable, they’re full of shit. If they don’t throw their energy and weight behind some of the less sexy and fun issues, they’re full of shit.

If your feminism isn’t about women, it’s bullshit.

It’s estimated that internationally there are between 20 million and 40 million people in modern slavery today.

11 Facts About Human Trafficking, DoSomething.Org

Around the world, women and girls make up 71% of trafficked people. That is an overwhelming majority. That is slavery of women on an enormous scale, and it’s an international problem. If you choose to focus on the tiny percentage of prostituted women who claim they want to be there, and ignore the millions of women who definitely don’t, then your feminism is bullshit.

It is estimated that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in the countries where the practice is concentrated. Furthermore, there are an estimated 3 million girls at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation every year. The majority of girls are cut before they turn 15 years old.

Female Genital Mutilation, Who.int

When women and girls are cut, it is a life changing act of physical abuse. When it doesn’t kill the victims, it leaves them permanently damaged, unable to urinate safely or comfortably, and in pain constantly. The wound is stitched to preserve virginity, then ripped open to allow the husband to have sex with her whilst she’s in agony. It is happening around our world today, and it is hideous. If your feminism focuses on women who want to undergo labioplasty to preserve their virginal looking vulva to show it off on camera, but ignores the millions of women who are suffering in agony because of what is done to their vulvas for the sake of men, your feminism is bullshit.

2018: 145 women killed by men (or where a man is the principal suspect) in 360 days. One woman dead every 2.5 days.

Counting Dead Women, Karen Ingala Smith

Karen Ingala Smith dedicates herself to recording all the deaths of women killed by men in the UK. In 2018, 145 women were killed by men through domestic violence, sex games gone wrong, random attacks and more. One woman was killed every two and a half day by a man. Imagine, if you will, that one person of any other category of humans was killed at that rate in the UK. Imagine the absolute horror and outrage, the reports in the media, the call for an end to the violence. But women as a sex class are expected to die at this rate. So few make the news because people don’t care. If your feminism focuses on celebrating women who are into BDSM, accuses the women who express concern about the violent imagery in porn of being bigots, and ignores the scale of the war on women in our country, then your feminism is bullshit.

If you want to support women, support women. Don’t just support women who conform to men’s expectations of what women should do, don’t just support the women reporting their glee at the celebrations of their beauty and sexuality. Support women as a whole, help liberate women from the oppression they suffer internationally just for being born female, and support women who don’t look beautiful or like having sex with men.

You know Liberal Feminism isn’t about liberating women because it doesn’t require it’s supporters to actually fight for women’s liberation. If it did, men wouldn’t like it so much.

JJ Barnes Books
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1 thought on “Men finding liberal feminism so easy to get behind is a clear sign it’s not about women.

James Cates 17th September 2019 at 8:11 pm

Well done and comprehensive.
The “liberal/third wave” juggernaut is so clearly An ANTI-FEMINIST movement in full support of the abominable status QUO. it is a measure of the ubiquity and entrenchment of patriarchy that your arguments here would be thought controversial or subversive.
This blog is of great value.
Sharing.

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