Feminism has a problem, and I say this as a feminist myself. In fact, it has many problems – sexism, misogyny, and the “male-rights” movement being part of them. But it also has an internal problem which has been growing over the years. There are extremists within the movement, of which are trying to preach either absolute dominance or absolute submission. And they’re a minority to the overall movement, to be clear, but they’re also the loudest unfortunately.
I say this after witnessing the unfortunate attack on a Dr. Matt Taylor – a scientist who works for the European Space Agency – for simply wearing a shirt which featured half-naked women* (some not even to that extent), as shown in the above image. Dr. Taylor was celebrating the recent success of the Rosetta space mission landing the Philae on Comet 67P/C-G, in which he decided to wear the shirt his female friend designed for him for his birthday.
In response, a large campaign was launched by self-proclaimed members of “feminism,” declaring that Dr. Taylor was both a “sexist” and a “misogynist.” I disagree wholeheartedly. At best, the shirt wasn’t exactly the most appropriate to wear when doing interviews about the success in the Rosetta space mission, but that’s about it. I disagree with the claims of it adhering to both sexism and misogyny, because those are very clear, very precise terms, of which attained no relevance to the shirt whatsoever.
But that didn’t stop these extremist elements within the feminist movement. In fact, Dr. Taylor is only one of many victims (male, female, and other gender identities) by these extremists. They dictate against women proudly expressing themselves sexually, and target men who enjoy women who express themselves in such ways. They’ve abandoned the cause for women to be equal to men in the workforce and in society, and instead replaced it for a cause that demonizes sexuality. As a matter of fact, these are the same extremists who attacked Kim Kardashian for her willingness, as a mother, to proudly show off her physique for Papermag. Because, you know, “feminism” apparently now means women having to toe the line of what a “real” mother should look like – clothed and obedient. (read: sarcasm)
This is why I adhere to what is called Sex-Positive Feminism, because we make it very clear that our opposition isn’t towards sex or sexuality, but against anyone who wishes to tell women, or any female-esque gender identity, what they can or cannot do. This includes what they can do in the workforce, in society, with their body, and so on. We look at sex as nothing more than a double edged sword, which can be expressed positively and negatively.
Feminists should only get involved when an issue shows up in which women are being forced to do something against their will, or being told what they can or cannot do, contrary to their wishes. Not when sexuality is being expressed in a harmless, non-threatening way. Dr. Taylor’s shirt didn’t say that women are sexual tools for men, nor did it say that women aren’t equal to men.
*As noted a few paragraphs above, this shirt was designed by a female friend of Dr. Taylor’s. In fact, for those of us who are comic book geeks, you’ll notice who exactly the design depicts: Barbarella – a French comic book heroine who was known for traveling space and liberating women.
Let’s put this in context, shall we: A female artist designs a shirt depicting a women’s liberation space traveler, and gives it to her friend for his birthday. As a scientist in the field of space travel, Dr. Taylor then wears said shirt as he celebrates another victory for his species landing a robot on a comet. And yet, we’re supposed to believe the extremists within “feminism” who claim that Dr. Taylor is both a “sexist” and “misogynist” for doing so? Yeah. Good luck with that.