So yeah, I’m not a fe­man­ist

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

Fem­i­nism – or for the men out there, fe-man-ism – is an ide­ol­ogy based on the be­lief that men and women are fun­da­men­tally equal and should have ac­cess to equal op­por­tu­ni­ties. It’s a wacky idea, but for the ma­jor­ity of my life (with the ex­cep­tion of my re­bel­lious early 20s) I’ve con­sid­ered my­self a fem­i­nist. Un­til now.

This week I came to the shock­ing re­al­i­sa­tion that I’m not. It was hard news to take, not just be­cause I was made to feel a fool, not only be­cause I’ll now have to get new bumper stick­ers, but ul­ti­mately be­cause I had re­ceived this news from Matt Da­mon (yes, the Matt Da­mon) and Dun­can Garner (yes, the Dun­can Garner).

In the past cou­ple of weeks, as more al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual abuse have sur­faced about Har­vey We­in­stein, Hol­ly­wood men have started to speak out. As part of the cho­rus, Da­mon re­leased a state­ment ad­mon­ish­ing the abuse and men­tion­ing that, since he has four daugh­ters, he was in a place to re­ally un­der­stand just how bad it was.

We have to pro­tect ‘‘…our sis­ters and our daugh­ters and our moth­ers’’, he said.

The conch call must have been heard far and wide, be­cause in our very own Land of the Long White Cloud, Garner made a sim­i­lar state­ment, declar­ing on The AM Show ‘‘I’m a fem­i­nist be­cause I have two daugh­ters’’.

And so, I learned from th­ese two A-list stars that I did not meet the fun­da­men­tal re­quire­ment for be­ing a fem­i­nist/car­ing about sex­ual as­sault – which, it would ap­pear, is hav­ing a daugh­ter.

Sure, I’m a woman, but I don’t have daugh­ters or a wife. I do have a mother, but I wouldn’t dare speak on her be­half. I’m not sure if be­ing a woman is suf­fi­cient to meet the cri­te­ria? It cer­tainly doesn’t seem to fit the rule of thumb, which I think is that that you must be the par­ent or part­ner of one. Though, in all hon­esty, once I started to ex­am­ine this logic in de­tail I be­gan to see its flaws.

Imag­ine if the re­quire­ment of fem­i­nism were hav­ing a daugh­ter. It would be the only civil rights move­ment to be ac­tively bad for the en­vi­ron­ment, as all as­pi­ra­tional fem­i­nists would be forced to bear chil­dren and add to our over­pop­u­la­tion.

MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS

Fe-man-is­tas, the cru­sad­ing Matt Da­mon and, above right, Dun­can Garner.

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