Part Two, Feminists Hate Women
My Feminist Theories class was held in a conference room, where we sat in cushy chairs around a large table — there were only about ten or so students in the course. I stuck out the second I walked through that door, and while the professor didn’t say anything outright I got the distinct impression that she thought that I was lost. All of the other women in the class were that carefully manufactured, “I don’t care about my appearance,” sort of frumpy — the sort where you know that they spent quite awhile in front the mirror making sure that they looked like they had just rolled out of bed. I was wearing glittery makeup and high heels, with styled hair and colorful clothes. I probably looked like a peacock that had somehow wandered its way into the midst of a bunch of chickens.
The first thing that the professor had us do was introduce ourselves, and every single one of the other students asserted herself as “heterosexual” in her introduction. I didn’t know why it mattered so much, since this was supposedly an open minded group that didn’t care about sexuality. I stayed silent about myself, and was labeled as being a lesbian for it. I ended up carrying that label through the entire semester, and it became something of a private joke for me.
With our first essay we were to write about a woman that we admired, and I chose my sister-in-law. She had recently quit her job to raise her baby, and I thought very highly of her for it. Every day it seemed that people were increasingly negative towards motherhood, and I was becoming familiar with the stereotype that housewives were vapid — even the Mormons from my youth had started to encourage higher education and careers over raising families. I wrote about how brave my sister-in-law had been to make that decision, and I immediately became the class pariah.
I solidified my position when I wrote an essay about how the “sexual liberation” movement was taking away a girl’s right to say no to sex, and it was then that I encountered virgin-shaming for the first time. It shocked me to hear those women rant against virginity, and I knew that I could never, ever, agree with them. For a group that decried rape so much, they were doing their best to institutionalize it on a societal level.
I learned that feminists hated femininity. They weren’t trying to achieve equality through acknowledging that everyone’s role was important, but rather through trying to force everyone to be the same. Qualities like nurturing and loyalty were attacked as being “weak,” and the desire to look nice and wear pretty clothes was considered the result of brainwashing. Feminism took away the value and influence that women had in their families and communities, then told them that if they wanted to be important then they needed to be like men. Women aren’t like men, and no one can be happy trying to be something that they are not.
I learned beyond a doubt that I was not a feminist — I actually enjoyed being a woman.