James, after all the time we’ve spent together talking about this stuff, and you still completely misunderstand it! Feminism is not a political ideology (OK, it is, but for most women, that’s not how it lives in their life) because feminism did not teach women to run a constant threat assessment any time they leave the house. Men did that; their prior experiences with living in this society did that. Women who disdain feminism still do that (and still have to do that) — any time they walk into a parking garage, any time they get into an elevator alone with a man they don’t know; any time they are walking alone after dark…..

Feminism did not teach women to be fed up with being condescended to, treated like they don’t know what they are talking about (even when discussing their field of expertise, or their own personal experiences, or their own body). Feminism didn’t brainwash women, as if it were some cult, that it feels bad to have your body treated as both a desirable object (and not an aspect of yourself) and something to be ashamed of and hide.

I don’t know why it isn’t patently obvious that feminism did not beget these attitudes; rather it is women’s daily lived experiences that begat feminism. Rather than looking down your nose at feminism, how about looking disdainfully at all of the societal dynamics that make feminism a lifeline for so many women?

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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