People are imperfect. We misunderstand. We get confused. We lose our way. And that’s what makes us human. Sometimes someone has a bad day and let’s something slip that they shouldn’t have. Sometimes people haven’t been exposed, educated, or just don’t know any better.
But that doesn’t make me feel any better when I scroll through hundreds, thousands, millions of soulless, hate-fueled comments beneath a YouTube video about feminism or gender equality.
It’s enough to make me want to give up my citizenship for the human race.
Godwin’s Law states:
“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches—that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.”
Essentially, when people want to prove a point, they only know how to resort to accusations and finger-pointing. A childish game of “I’m right! No, I’m right!”, except in the real world about real problems that need real solutions.
Why is it that men and women only know how to jockey for power over each other? Why is control more appealing than understanding? Why do we one-up each other rather than try to be as one?
There has to be a better way.
“‘We’ve got to beat them down,’ whispered Daisy, winking ferociously toward the fervent sun.”
– “The Great Gatsby”
For millennia all that anyone has ever known is to fight to get what we want. We fight wars, start riots, throw bricks through windows, and beat our enemies senseless. We can wage psychological wars too. A man can have an affair to break down his wife’s self-esteem and she can strike back by having an affair of her own. Each is trying to prove that they’re stronger, that they’re the alpha.
But this endless cycle of retaliation does absolutely nothing.
“I would rather label the whole enterprise of setting a biological value upon groups for what it is: irrelevant and highly injurious.”
– “Women’s Brains” by Stephen Jay Gould
Those who have participated in this centuries-long fight to prove who’s better, men or women, have lost sight of the reason this whole thing started: to achieve equality.
There is no point in placing values upon different groups because every individual is different. There are exceptions to every generalization. So why even argue? Trying to prove that any kind of person is inherently better than another works against the pursuit of equality.
The most important thing is to achieve equal opportunity for all. Not every person is the same, but accepting that other people are different is the very definition of equality.
But extremists from every part of the spectrum will not have it. Feminism, meninism, and so many other isms are becoming so susceptible to becoming reminiscent of the worst ism of all: fascism, and why? Because extremists have become so militant about the pursuit of equality that they have completely forgotten what equality actually is.
And the only way to rediscover what equality actually means is through education.
“The transformation, as I see it, has to occur at a much more individual level.”
– “The Myth of the Latin Woman”, by Judith Ortiz Cofer
The only way that generalizations can be overcome is if people actually take the time to learn about each other, rather than assume based on pre-existing stereotypes. Not all men are domineering pigs who want to spike the drinks of unassuming girls and make excuses for rape. Not all feminists are man-haters who hope to establish a matriarchy in which man-slaves are subservient to their female overlords. When people meet those who may have different origins or backgrounds or live under different circumstances in order to realize that at the deepest level, it becomes apparent that we’re really not different at all. All of the stereotypes about gender, race, sexuality, economic status, age, religion, and anything else is just a shell. M&M’s may come in different colors they’re all chocolate on the inside. We’re not all the same, but we are all still part of the human race.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
– Jimi Hendrix
There is more than one way to make a change in the world. Instead of trying to assert dominance over those who disagree with you, try to engage in a civil debate and come to an understanding. We don’t have to be Nazis to prove that women have equal potential as men intellectually, ethically, spiritually, emotionally, and in any other way that matters. We don’t have to brainwash the masses and kill off those who disagree with us to gain women’s rights. That would be killing off any chance of achieving real equality.
We don’t need more Nazis, we need more Ghandi’s.
We need more people who want to love and understand each other. People who are willing to arm themselves with knowledge and compassion, rather than threats, hate, and abuse. People who are willing to join the fight, but not the war.
So to all of you militant extremists and Internet trolls, I say this to you not as a feminist, not as a girl, but as a fellow human: everyone deserves equal opportunity, whether socially, economically, or politically, regardless of their gender. Or their, race, religion, economic status, sexuality, and age for that matter. And I’m going to say it again and again, no matter how many times you threaten me with your hatred, and do you no what? I will never even think about threatening you back because solutions aren’t found by accusing, they are found by understanding.