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The Female Perspective: August 26, 1920

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


I wanted to chat today about Women’s Equality Day, which was actually yesterday,  August 26th. Women’s Equality Day is the anniversary of the 19th Amendment going into effect.

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Some of you may be asking, what is the 19th Amendment and why is Jessica talking about it? As a feminist, the 26th of August is a rather important date, the 19th Amendment is what granted women the right to vote. Ninety-Five years ago women were finally allowed to vote, to make their voices heard. It’s important because had those women not fought for this amendment, we ladies wouldn’t be able to voice our opinions at the voter booths! Let’s take a moment to think about what kind of world that  would be … Scary isn’t it?

In July 1848, 200 woman suffragists, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, met in Seneca Falls, New York, to discuss women’s rights. After approving measures asserting the right of women to educational and employment opportunities, they passed a resolution that declared “it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” For proclaiming a women’s right to vote, the Seneca Falls Convention was subjected to public ridicule, and some backers of women’s rights withdrew their support. However, the resolution marked the beginning of the woman suffrage movement in America. ~History. com

I have written before about women today making a big deal about saying that they don’t need feminism because they are this or they are that. It makes me angry because they seem to be purposely forgetting about this huge part of the history of women. That before August 26th, 1920, women couldn’t cast a vote in an election, it was all men deciding what was best for the country. The country that women also happen to live in.

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The current state of Feminism has it’s pocket of man-hating, extremists, as any social movement has it’s share of extremists. That does not mean that all feminism is bad. There are women (and men) like me who see feminism as a fight for equality, a way for all creatures on Earth to be equal to one another. A place where women can breast-feed in public if they want to without fear of being shamed or judged. A place where a woman who is raped isn’t called a slut or shamed because she was clearly “Asking for it.” If you’re wondering how such issues connect to feminism might I remind you of this;

Feminism (as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

  • the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities

  • organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests

Men aren’t shamed into thinking they “asked” to be raped or beaten. Men aren’t asked to keep their shirts on in public because their breasts are seen as “indecent”. At this moment in time, the fact is that women are not treated equally and it saddens me. We have taken such strides and yet, this imbalance remains. To the point that even when I post this blog I get comments about how I am some kind of angry feminist or I get trolls that want to talk about breasts or how naughty they (the commentator) is, in the hopes of getting me to either yell at them or flirt back.  Now, some of that is the weird society that is the internet but some of that is about a lack of respect for my ideas because I am female.

Suffrage

I sometimes wonder, with all that is going on in the country, if the equality fight is the most important issue and the answer to that, if I am being honest with myself, is an uncertain no. Other movements require attention right away, what with the onslaught of gun violence in our country and the deaths of too many at the hands of the police. Our country is in a state of turmoil and feminism often gets kicked to the bottom of the pile, but that’s also exactly what makes it so important. Feminists cannot become complacent or our rights can easily be stripped away from us (especially if Donald Trump wins election, or even the nomination is too close for comfort for me). The fight for equality, for all of us humans to become the united, is a fight that, while subtle in may respects, deserves as much attention as we can give to it.

What do you think? Did you celebrate Women’s Equality Day yesterday? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Mark Ruffalo and Feminism – Joy!

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


I’ve been a fan of Ruffalo’s since “The Kids Are Alright,” it’s a good movie and he’s fun to watch in it. Then he played the Hulk in “The Avengers” movies and I liked him even more.  Yesterday was the day that my casual like of the actor turned to adoration.

All because of a simple Tumblr post.

Ruffalo is no stranger to standing up to feminism, he’s made comments here and there about the fact that girls need superhero toys too (having daughters, this is of particular interest to him) but just lately, it’s come to light that he is more than annoyed at the lack of equality, he’s downright pissed off.

Why is he pissed off you ask? Because of the “I’m not a feminist,” movement that has swept the nation. The way that the word feminist seems to evoke feelings of  ridicule, division and anger in both men and women. What makes me mad about the “I don’t need feminism…” movement? The fact that 98% of the reasoning is coming from an uneducated source. From people who only see the bad side of the movement and who do not see all the good it has done and nothing pisses me off more than an uneducated argument.

Sigh.
Sigh.
This is also known as being uneducated about what feminism really is.
This is also known as being uneducated about what feminism really is.

My voice does not carry as far as Ruffalo’s, so today, I want to thank him for his words:

My response to the ‘I am not a feminist’ internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, ‘I’m not the feminist babysitter.’ But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

Oh yes, thank you for that…hey, all those women (yes, I am targeting women) who think being a feminist is a bad thing, LISTEN UP.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis centre, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks. ~ News.com.au.

Thank you Mark for saying exactly what I have been saying for years. What I continue to say on a regular basis and for what I continue to hear on a regular basis.

There is no shame in being a feminist. There is, however, shame in not knowing what was done FOR you to be in the position to complain about the word feminist. Learn your history ladies and stop stepping on feminism as if it’s a bad thing. Look back and see what women were force-fed in jails, women were raped and beaten and no one was held accountable.

UNTIL FEMINISM.

Instead of being spoiled little brats that whine about the feminists who go too far (and please, every movement has extremists, get over it), how about YOU stand up and YOU remind the world what feminism really is.

It’s the fight for equality.

BuzzFeed/ India/ Feminism/ Actress Kalki Koechlin
BuzzFeed/ India/ Feminism/ Actress Kalki Koechlin

I am a proud feminist who stands up for herself and what she believes in and it makes me frustrated and a little bit angry when people CHOOSE to be uneducated about what the movement means. Don’t choose ignorance, choose knowledge, choose education and realize that feminism has saved women, millions of women, from death, from abuse, from inequality.

So for all of this I thank someone like Ruffalo (and not just Ruffalo, there are MANY that fight the good fight for feminism and their words are heard loud and clear and I am grateful for them beyond words) for being able to articulate just what feminism should mean to so many people.

Amy Poehler on Feminism.
Amy Poehler on Feminism.

Don’t be afraid of feminism ladies and gents, be proud of its long and powerful history and be proud to call yourself a feminist because we are lucky to be here today. We are lucky to be following in the footsteps of men and women who are full of strength, integrity and a bravery I cannot even fully comprehend.

Remember, feminism is equality and equality is a great thing.

What do YOU think about feminism? Are you afraid of it? Do you want to know more about it? Tell me in the comments!