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It’s with a heavy heart that I begin writing about Milo Yiannopoulos and his racist, misogynistic, transphobic and countless other discriminatory rhetorics. I know that there are people who would say something along the lines of “don’t give him the attention he craves,” or “he’s only being controversial for the sake of controversy.” I understand that, but to you I say shut up for a second. I need to talk.
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Male rape. It’s a surprisingly controversial subject. In a society where men are always supposed to desire sex, many people deny that it’s possible. Especially in the case of a female raping a male. We hear the rhetoric about females getting raped by males much more frequently. But why is this?
This time last week, I attended a conference hosted by Men’s Voices Ireland entitled Who Cares About Men?
I have been a feminist for a long time now and as a feminist, I am passionate about many men’s issues. However, I often find myself disagreeing with the approach by MRA’s (men’s right activists) to tackle these issues.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I spent ten years of my life, from the time that I was eight until I was 18, living in the country. Something that strikes me from those years is that rural Ireland still has so far to come in terms of diversity. I loved and continue to love the countryside, but it never really loved me. Although I always had supportive friends and family, harassment on the streets was something that I faced on a daily basis. My friends from Dublin try to understand, but I don’t really think they can. That’s why I so value being in the company of Catherine Devane. She’s a student, a blogger and one of my best friends. I first met her in college. She had lived her whole life in rural Ireland, specifically Dingle, only coming to Dublin at 18 and observing a huge difference. I was eager to pick her brain about that difference.
Recently I had the pleasure of waking up to a message from a troll. I awoke early and lay in bed for a while checking my emails before I stumbled upon a message relating to my chapter “The Reluctant Feminists.” A male had sent me the link to a video by Lauren Southern entitled “Why I am not a Feminist” which I had actually been shown before.
There are many reasons I don’t agree with this video. Firstly, she does not understand what the word feminism means. People like her are constantly trying (and failing) to define feminism when they have no idea. To me, and to other (real) feminists, it means equality for the sexes. Nothing more and nothing less. She ignores this fact and continues to attempt to disregard feminism. She also points out a number of ways that males are disadvantaged and states that feminists do not care about these. They do. I’ve seen numerous posts by feminists discussing exactly what she discusses.
The definition of feminism, according to Webster’s dictionary:
“The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”
For a long time, there has been a phenomenon that I’ve noticed amongst people that I’m friends with. I’ve spoken about how, when I was a budding teenager, I would sit in my room on my laptop and browse Tumblr for different human rights issues that I could analyse. Feminism was one that I was so certain of from the beginning. This post is not going to list the reasons that you should be a feminist. Again there are loads of sources where one can get educated on that particular topic. I suggest that everyone read a few posts by the blog “Consider The Tea Cosy.” which is very informative in a way that’s far from patronising.