John Salmon: Feminism and me, the whole story.

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Let me let you in to a little secret; I don’t like feminism. There, I said it. That is not a surprise to anybody who has been reading this blog since I started it over the summer. The thing is, the way this blog has turned out is a million miles away from where I envisioned it when the idea first popped in to my head. Of the 25 entries on John Salmon’s World, 23 are about feminism, or, more accurately, how I think feminism is bullshit. Of the remaining 2 articles, one is about my views on the evolution of language (which kind of includes some feminism moaning, but is about language in general) and the other is all about my cock (yep, I really have written an entry about my cock, read it before you judge). Of course, that was back when I saw John Salmon’s World as more than what it’s become. You only to look at the ‘welcome’ page to see what the original plan was. I mean, I even mention TV, films and video games! What on earth was I thinking?!

Truth is, this blog was always going to be about my frustrations with feminism, I set it up because I was tired of reading an online article and feeling absolutely trapped that I had nowhere to vent steam. I knew I couldn’t do it on my actual Facebook page as I’ve posted stuff of an anti-feminist nature before and got the typical, ignorant, anti-feminist-equals-anti-woman rhetoric from the braindead morons I went to school with.  The original plan was to post other stuff I’m interested in, but somehow I got sidetracked and, before I knew it, the blog was all about feminism.

I’ve touched upon my relationship in previous blogs (most notably in the one titled ‘confession time…), but I’ve never really explained the full story, why I came to hold the views I do and why I felt the need to create a completely new identity with which to share those views (which, as I state in ‘who am I’, is currently pulling me in two distinct directions). I’ve put it off and put it off, only because I honestly couldn’t tell you when it started, just that there’s always been something there, something deep inside my subconscious, that constantly gnawed away. Every time I saw a news report on TV, or read a newspaper article that was feminist-heavy I could only think “that can’t be right.” Call it not accepting my privilege or whatever, but it was always there.

I was born in 1986, even as far back as I can remember there were certain things that bugged me. Episodes of sitcoms that embarrassed men for laughs, TV soaps that constantly portrayed men as the rapists, abusers, paedophiles, episodes of CSI that, on the rare occasion a woman was the criminal, would explain away the crime by giving her some sort of sob story, while not giving any of the men the same reasoning, episodes of TV dramas that would have the man off having an affair while the wife suffered alone at home trying to raise the kids, cartoons where the male characters would be scruffy, socially awkward, bumbling oafs while the females would be street-wise, smart and successful. I’m not saying there weren’t women that were portrayed stereotypically, there probably were, but for a 16 year old boy who was constantly being reminded of how bad it was to hit a woman, or how we needed to empower women and free them from ‘oppression’, how the Spice Girls were showing that girls were every bit as good as boys, if not better it became a little depressing to see that no-one seemed to care about what I was going through.

“Yes, boys have body issues too, but they aren’t as important as girl’s issues.” That’s the impression I got growing up. Boys have it bad, girls have it worse. Every news article would focus on the things that affected more girls – anorexia, bulimia, body image, rape, etc, while completely ignoring things that affected more boys. That was my teenage life, feeling like I was some kind of sick arsehole because I was beginning to feel bitter at the fact girls problems seemed to be promoted more than mine. I was suffering too, I didn’t know it at the time, but I suffered. I suffered the debilitating social stigma of being ginger, of being fat, of being short and, perhaps worst of all, having, shock horror, an average sized penis. Let’s just say in the whirlwind of hormones and emotions that being 16 brings, I was alone and isolated.

Girls had the feminists to fight their corner, I had nothing, nobody. I was, and still am, tee-total, I listened to a lot of European metal music at the time when American nu-metal was dominating the airwaves over here, I played rugby and had a shit-ton of friends, but never went into town with them because I didn’t enjoy it. I needed somebody to tell me I wasn’t alone, somebody to tell me I was the same as them, that I wasn’t an anomaly, an outcast, a mistake. I had nobody.

As I got older, I began to realise who I was, what I was, a little bit more. I have the internet to thank for that. I have the internet to thank for a lot of things. Because none of my close friends listened to the same music as me, I found solace in online forums of the bands I liked. That saved me, I could talk to like-minded people about the music I listened to, people who were from all walks of life, all countries, all races and ethnicities. Whatever darkness was swirling in my life disappeared as soon as I found that release. That same darkness wouldn’t reappear until the months before I started this blog, but more on that later.

When I was 18 I went to University, and that’s where I got I really understood the feminised education system. Most of the female lecturers were open feminists, staunch supporters of their cause, to the point that, within the first couple of weeks, one had publicly berated a girl in one of my seminars because she came from a traditional, Christian background and she wanted to stay home and raise children while her husband went to work. In front of the entire seminar, in front of people she barely knew, she lambasted her as if she were a child. A university lecturer shouting down an 18 year old girl for expressing an opinion, the very thing that Universities are supposed to encourage. I was shocked, I couldn’t get my head around it, utter disbelief. I don’t remember much about my first year at University, it was a pretty rotten time due to the house I lived in and the people I shared with, but I’ll never forget that particular incident. That was perhaps the first time I realised I wasn’t a massive fan of feminism. Again, I still didn’t fully know why, but that perhaps was the first spark that not all was well.

Aside from the open feminist lecturers, I did a module about gender and America. I can’t remember the exact title, but we had to study Falling Down, Glengarry Glenross, Thelma and Louise and A Streetcar Named Desire. Needless to say, every single week we would learn about how masculinity was dangerous, about how the women had to try and break free of the oppressive chains of men and get out on their own, how Falling Down was a prime example of how patriarchy hurt men too, how the only way Thelma and Louise could escape their oppression was to take their own lives, how Blanche’s rape by Stanley was just another example of man imposing his sexual will on whoever he wants. Whenever someone tried to come up with an opposing view, that perhaps Blanche wasn’t raped by Stanley and the ending was left to interpretation for a reason, they were shot down, told they were wrong, told that it was pretty obvious that that’s what was happening, that Blanche was a victim of male oppression and not just an alcoholic paedophile who had to run away because she was despised.

Funnily enough, at that time, the girl who had been berated in that first couple of weeks was now my girlfriend and we spent a lot of time talking about how one-sided and one-dimensional that entire module was. She agreed, but didn’t feel as passionately about it as I did. I got that a lot, people’s responses were “yeah it’s a bit of man bashing but oh well.” I don’t think I did very well on that module to be honest.

It was while I Was at university (and I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs) that I saw the infamous “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” ring binder in Woolworths. That was the first time I can remember thinking “you know what, if that was a girl there’s no way this would be allowed.” Something clicked that day and I can look back now and see that was the turning point. Before, all the feminist dogma that had been slowly seeping into my life, from TV to film, radio to newspaper and the education system that was guiding me down the feminists path without me even realising it would have just seeped into my brain, now I was beginning to see it for what it was. After seeing the ‘boys are stupid…’ binder I did do a little research on the internet, but all I found was Masculinist stuff, which, having read through some of it, didn’t seem like what I was after. Back to the drawing board.

But then I left University, worked through a couple of menial jobs and then got my teaching degree. Again I’d gone back to that semi-asleep state, the one where I was constantly feeling the gnawing sensation in my mind somewhere, something telling me that all was not as it seemed. I think I went through that fog for the next few years as it’s only really as we got into 2012 that I can remember seeing through the feminist bullshit again, only this time there was no ‘click’ moment, no sudden epiphany where all the memories of University came flooding back, just a slow awakening, almost as if waking up from anaesthetic with my conscious mind playing the part of the doctor trying to rouse me – “ah yes, he’s coming round, come on, wake up, there we go, open your eyes, slowly, slowly, don’t rush it, yes, there we go. Welcome back.”

And the darkness was back, the absolute frustration at seeing people buy into whatever was being spoon-fed to them by the media, that men were rapists, abusers, paedophiles, molesters, harassers, thugs, devils, demons, anything other adjective you could think of. Men were scum, apologise for being a man, apologise for being a white man, apologise for being a white man who lets other white men beat and rape women. The hypocrisy of feminism was perplexing me again, how could women be strong and independent and yet rely on feminism to fight their battles for them? How could a movement who claimed to be for equality be so demonising to the sex that they also claimed to help. It didn’t inspire me to join their cause, it bred hatred and contempt. The problem was, the hatred and contempt that I harboured for feminism bred hatred and contempt within me. I was 16 again, confused, alone, not knowing where I stood or who I was. Was I evil? Was I the problem? If I disliked feminism did that make me a woman-hater? I’d had a girlfriend, I couldn’t be a woman-hater if I’d had a girlfriend. Then I began to think about our relationship, 3 years we’d been together and I had to consider that I’d unknowingly used my privilege to manipulate her throughout those 3 years. I kept telling myself it was stupid, but I couldn’t get away from the ‘facts’ of life, 1-in-4 women would be raped in their lifetime, every 9 seconds a woman is beaten by her husband, etc, etc.

Then, the epiphany I was waiting for arrived. I saw the 1-in-4 statistic on Facebook and knew I had to research it. I was worried, typing 1-in-4 into Google was either going to validate my feelings of discomfort, prove that the stat was false and the misgivings that had eaten away at me for nearly 9 years was something positive, or it was going to prove the stat was true, and I had to accept I was a monster simply for being born male.

I can’t tell you the flicker of joy that went through my whole body when the first result that came up was titled “the 1-in-4 rape myth”. Even if it did turn out that the stat wasn’t false and that site was just by some nutjob misogynist at least it would prove someone had taken the time to do some research. As it turns out I got exactly what I was looking for, what I always knew was true – the feminism was manipulating everything, manipulating it right in front of our eyes.

The internet had saved me when I was 16, removed the fog, the darkness that was threatening to engulf me and, would you believe it, it had done it again nearly 11 years later. The internet can be a dark place at times, but for me it has proven itself more than I can ever repay it. I wasn’t afraid of my views any more, I was still apprehensive about fully embracing them as I needed to do more research, but the gnawing was gone, the discomfort that had weighed on me for years pretty much evaporated there and then.

And then I made the best decision I’ve made for years, I typed in ‘feminism’ on the Facebook search bar. One of the first sites to come up was Exposing Feminism (I’ve mentioned them before, a lot). I gave it a click and haven’t looked back. That’s the site I’d been after for years, logical, well thought out, respectful refutations of feminist clap-trap. Everything I’d thought over the previous few years, every time I’d rolled my eyes at a news report that victimised women, every time I’d seethed in isolation because I was talking to brainwashed white knights was being laid bare on a page on Facebook. If the fog was lifted before, it was completely dispersed now. I had what I’d spent so long looking for – confirmation. Confirmation that I wasn’t a woman-hater, that I wasn’t an arsehole who used my privilege as an excuse to blind myself to what was going on in the world. I could finally see I wasn’t alone, other people, a lot of people, thought the same as me. It was liberating.

It was a long time, perhaps another year, before the idea of this blog came to me. While I was a fan of Exposing Feminism, I still had to deal with my life, going through the motions, seeing people blindly believing the feminists whenever the cropped up on TV spouting off the same old nonsense time and time again. Despite the fact I’d found like-minded people I still had to accept that they were a minority. One thing that did keep me going was the fact that there are so many women on my Facebook friends list, and even who aren’t, that contribute to anti-feminist stuff. If I’d been surrounded by men the questions might not have completely gone away, knowing that women are anti-feminist too just shows that the ludicrousness of feminism as a movement is not lost on those people that it claims to help.

Since starting this blog, and the Facebook page connected to it, I’ve met some brilliant people that I suppose, in some weird, online-community-thats-not-weird-at-all way I could call them friends, if you can class someone you’re probably never going to meet and who has never seen your face aside from a cropped photo of your Lemmy-inspired chin beard as a friend.

Point is, it took me a long time, and a lot of searching, to understand my feelings towards feminism. Too long I think. I needed the internet when I was 16, I needed it again when I was 26. I’m 27 now and I finally think I understand my own feelings, my own beliefs and why I hold them. I could have done with that knowledge when I was 18 and I watched in shock as that University lecturer victimised an 18 year old girl simply for not sharing her opinion. But then, when has feminism been about anything other than shouting down those that don’t agree with you, when has it been about anything other than pushing their own agenda on the unsuspecting public, marginalising anything that doesn’t compute with them? I can now see feminism for what I’ve always, subconsciously, known it to be – a sham of a movement that is only concerned with getting its own way and to hell with anything else. The internet can be a dark place, full of scummy people doing scummy things. For me, I owe it everything. Twice.

So there you have it, my life and feminism. The blog I started to be about the things I enjoy in life has turned into a rather narrow-focused look at the hypocrisies and downright misinformation that modern feminism gives us. I’m thankful for the attention it’s received, and I’m thankful for the people on Facebook who are constantly giving me the platform to get this blog out there. Without them, I’d struggle to make any impact at all.

The blog will carry on for the foreseeable future, at least for as long as feminist keeps spouting its bullshit rhetoric, as long as it keeps serving up the juiciest of hypocrisies for me to have a look at. As long as feminism keeps breathing, so will John Salmon’s World. Promise.

  1. ayamsirias says:

    Ever thought about teaching over seas?

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