Feminist entitlement. It’s real and it’s just as hypocritical as it sounds.

Posted: August 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

I’ve touched on entitlement in past blog entries and how it ties directly into feminist theories such as rape culture. I don’t normally do this, but I wanted to take a look at the dictionary definition of entitlement and apply it to everyday situations, or, more specifically, one situation created by a feminist.

I usually stay away from dictionary definitions due to the fact the dictionary is not the sole definer of a word. Yes, it holds the original, or most well-known, definition but that doesn’t mean it’s the only definition that is applicable. I don’t like using dictionary definitions because it’s a tactic used by feminists to try and defend their movement. Using a dictionary as a starting point, to see where a word originated and then track its development is fine, to use a dictionary as the sole definer of a word and then ignore the everyday practices of that word is absurd. If that makes sense?!

And before you start worrying, no I haven’t stopped thinking about rape culture, that’ll be my next blog, I just figured I’d put some kind of buffer article in. Don’t get me wrong, it still highlights the hypocrisy and entitlement (ironically) of the feminist movement, it just doesn’t have anything to do with rape or rape culture. At least, at the moment it doesn’t, let’s see where it takes us.

So, the definition of entitlement:

en•ti•tle•ment
noun \-ˈtī-təl-mənt\
: the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something
: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)
: a type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entitlement

The first two seem to be the most apt here, particularly when talking about feminism. Pretty much anything can be related back to a sense of male entitlement – street harassment, rape culture, taking up too much space on the train, etc. It runs the whole gamut of severity from simple acts of chivalry to some of the most heinous crimes. Apparently, everything a man does is because he feels entitled, whether that’s feeling so entitled to a woman’s body he rapes her, to feeling entitled to taking up as much room as he wants to on public transport. Much like ‘privilege’ it’s just a buzzword that gets trolled out to shut down an argument. Don’t like what a man’s saying? Tell him he’s blinded by his own privilege. Don’t like what a man’s saying? Say it’s his sense of entitlement that makes him think that way.

Rather than make a man re-think whatever he might have said it generally just widens the gap between the sexes. Why? Because it shows a certain unwillingness to actually listen and learn. Feminists are constantly telling men how bad it is to be a woman, yet very few (if any) are truly interested in learning about what it’s like to be a man. See, for all the lecturing feminists give about not wanting to be defined by this, or this, or that, they are experts at telling men exactly how and why they feel a certain way, they’re experts at telling men how good their lives are. Every time a feminist tries to explain away a man’s problems by using buzzwords like ‘privilege’ or ‘entitlement’ it doesn’t promote their cause, it hurts it. Men are sick of having their problems sidelined due to some invisible theory that supposedly benefits their lives.

So, what’s that got to do with this blog entry? Well, the irony is that, often, feminists exhibit a similar sense of entitlement that they claim to hate. Do men sometimes expect sex if they pay for a date? Sure, some men are arseholes. Do women expect men to pay for said date? Is that possibly a major factor in deciding whether or not to go on that date? Sure, because, just like men, some women are entitled arseholes who think they deserve special treatment simply for being women.

But that’s just ‘women’, right? Surely a feminist would never act that entitled? Well, that’s where you’d be wrong:

http://www.bustle.com/articles/22935-can-you-be-a-feminist-and-still-expect-guys-to-pay

Just one more reason why feminism’s reputation is in the toilet. Not content with blaming men for a good proportion of the world’s problems (and that’s putting it kindly), they now feel like being a feminist and expecting special treatment is, in fact, possible and not a massively hypocritical way of thinking.

This is pure entitlement. The whole basis of feminism, supposedly, is to break down the barriers that treat women as inferior, yet here we have a feminist who wants to be treated as inferior, who is actively trying to justify her desire to not be treated equal. Of course, the funny thing is that her justifications are based on feminist theory and, as such, are not good reasons at all. Far from actually convincing anyone, aside from perhaps other feminists, that her reasons are valid, she comes across as desperate. Desperately trying to find a way to reconcile the fact that she claims to be a feminist but expects special treatment at the same time. Do all feminists feel this way? I have no idea, probably not, but the fact is that, once again, the ‘nice’ feminists that would spout the ‘I’m a feminist and I’m not like that’ are not the ones writing this article.

NAFALT falls flat in situations like this. Constantly, we are told that the movement’s bad public image is built on the ‘misandrists posing as feminists’, that they ‘aren’t real feminists’, yet articles like this one keep appearing. It would appear the ‘misandrists posing as feminists’ are now the ‘actual’ feminists for it is those who are the most vocal, the most visible and, ultimately, are doing the most damage. Why feminists are the only ones who don’t see this is beyond me. You’d think for a movement so desperate to improve its public image it would be a bit vocal in its condemnation of these article but no, they stay quiet and damn themselves even more.

Anyway, the point of the article is entirely baseless. For a simple TL;DR version:
This particular feminist (who presumes, as always, to speak for everyone) wants to continue being a feminist but also expects a man to pay on the first date. She tries to justify this by blaming ‘societal norms’, ‘the wage gap’ and ‘beauty standards’. In short, she’s an entitled princess who wants to break down social norms, as long as she can still benefit from the ones that benefit her as a woman.

Ok, maybe that version was pretty long too. If I could sum this up in one word, I think I could:

Privilege.

That bastion of maleness, the one thing that every male is born with, the invisible cloak that ensures every single man walks through life without knowing pain or suffering. Yeah, well this feminist has it. As do a lot of feminists. And women for that matter. But this isn’t about privilege, it’s about entitlement. Do the two correlate? Yeah, I think they do, but for this particular entry I’m going to focus more on entitlement.

So how’s the article start? With a nice little inspiring sentence about just how staunch a feminist she is:

‘I am a feminist. I strongly believe in the social, political, legal, and economic equality of men and women.’

I do find it hilarious that when I highlighted that sentence in order to copy it the colour was pink. “Why are all girls toys decorated in pink boxes?!” “ooh, I’m going to make my website pink.” I don’t get it either!

So, we’ve established early on that she’s a feminist. Yes, sisters, she’s part of the battle. She wants equality right across the board, every facet of society needs to be broken down and then re-assembled!

Oh, until she gets asked out that is:

‘Yet, on a first date, I expect the guy to pay for me.’

See, the key word here is ‘expect’. If she’d said ‘I like the guy to pay for me’ then we’ve got an entirely different article, but this expectation fuels the idea of entitlement. She thinks that, simply because she’s a woman, the guy should pay. It’s not a simple case of liking to be treated well, it’s an expectation.

This is where feminism, again, becomes too confusing for me. Women find chivalrous acts, like opening doors and pulling out chairs, to be sexist, yet as soon as it comes to money, as soon as it comes to saving a few bob they’re more than willing to be a little oppressed, to be treated a little inferior. And this isn’t feeling lucky that a guy is willing to treat you, this is cold, hard expectation. She clarifies in her next paragraph:

‘Of course, at the end of dinner or drinks, I’ll make a very convincing slow-motion gesture towards my wallet, which gets progressively slower until he tells me that he’s got the bill.’

Whilst I’m not one to generalise an entire sex (Christ I do enough moaning when it happens to men) I’m going to guess that sentence rings true for a lot of women. Not that I’m criticising, it’s one of those situations that I’m indifferent to. I’m not ‘in favour’ of it so to speak, but if a woman can get away with a free meal simply by virtue of her sex then I say take advantage. Yeah it’s horribly sexist and it’ll probably change at some point in the future but, and this goes for both sexes, if you find someone gullible enough to fall for it, use what you’ve got. I think the old adage ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ applies here.

Of course, the point here is not that she is simply using her womanly wiles to get what she wants, it’s the fact that she a) expects it and b) is a feminist.

It’s obvious she’s feeling a little pang of guilt as the remainder of this paragraph at least broaches the compatibility of chivalry and feminism:

‘I’ve watched myself do this and wondered — Is this lame charade at odds with feminism? Does this desire undo my other feminist behavior? Do other feminists feel this way?’

‘Does this desire undo my other feminist behaviour’. Er, well, to put it nicely, yeah, kinda. What does it say about the feminist movement when an active feminist, who decided to open her article stating just how feminist she is, not only likes when societal norms benefit her but actively expects those norms to continue? This despite the fact she knows how hypocritical it is. Does it undo every other piece of feminist behaviour? I would say yes, because it means the foundations of her beliefs are shaky as fuck and she’s not fighting for ‘equality’, she’s fighting to end ‘things I don’t like’. Do other feminists feel this way? Wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

Now, in her defence (I’ve just realised I actually don’t know the name of the author of this article, a quick check tells me it’s Maria Yagoda, so I will be using her name from here on in) she does spend the rest of the article trying to justifying the reasons behind this way of thinking. Unfortunately, her reasons are utter bullshit and, quite apart from making us feel her dilemma, actually make her seem like more of an entitled princess, just one that is now too stubborn to admit she’s wrong.

I’m going to try not to do a paragraph by paragraph breakdown because there’s a lot of paragraphs and I’m well aware of the fact I ramble on most of the time.
Her first point actually makes sense, but it comes at odds with what she’s already written in the same paragraph. First she says:

‘I’ve tried to examine the why behind my expectation (and burning desire) for the guy to pay for my beer or taco’

Here, quite clearly, there is still the expectation that the man should pay. Simply put, this is something she actively hopes for in a date.

However, later in the same paragraph she says this:

I also believe that I make almost no money, which means I very much appreciate — particularly in instances where the man has initiated the date — a gesture that allows me to keep the extra (/only) cash in my pocket

I’ve been in the same situation, as I’m sure most people have, where the lack of money is probably the deciding factor when it comes to doing anything. We all have money problems (and by all I discount those filthy rich people who are set for life) yet we all deal with them. Later on she calls herself a ‘struggling artist’ which goes some way to explaining why she’s short of money.

In this case, her money problems are because she chose a low paying, perhaps not very secure, career (which will play a bigger part later). Effectively, what she’s asking men to do is subsidise her career choice so she can still benefit from female privilege. Or at least, that’s one way of looking at it.

The article then splits into 3 distinct points, justifications for her expectations. In reality there is one point that I think actually has some merit but that doesn’t mean it excuses her expecting men to pay on dates. It explains why she might like men doing it, but nothing can really excusing her ‘burning desire’ for men to pay.

1) Societal norms:
“If you were to ask a guy out to a place, you should offer to pay. If you decide together to go to a place, then you should split it.” Perhaps the real feminist problem here is that I pretty much never ask guys out, because I largely abide by the societal norm that men do the asking out and women do the accepting. Thanks for that, society.

Is this the point that I think has some merit? Nah, this is just rubbish. I’ve heard this reasoning so many times, “well, whoever does the asking should do the paying”. As a concept it works fine, in reality it doesn’t, for precisely the reason Yagoda states: women very rarely ask men out on dates. Again, to be fair to Yagoda, she does state that she would pay for a guy if she asked him: “if I were to ask a guy out to a nice dinner or for drinks, I would offer to pay for us both”

Of course, she then nullifies that point by saying she largely abides by the societal norm of men asking women out. Then, she thanks society for it. Earlier in the piece she asked if this entitled behaviour was undoing all her other feminist behaviour. Yes, yes it is, especially considering the entire point of feminism is to break down social norms that penalise one person over another.

To keep it brief, feminism wants to break down societal norms that have an adverse effect on women yet we have a feminist here actively adhering to social norms because she knows it will benefit her. If she’s such a staunch feminist she should be asking out more men than ask her out. Otherwise, she’s a hypocrite. You can’t pick and choose, especially when you’re so happy to shame other people for their sexist views. Feminists, in theory, should not be able to abide ‘societal norms’ that benefit anyone, but the lure of free stuff is too much for some. Is feminism for equality? Yes, apparently, but only if we can keep the bits that allow us to get free food.

Also, this point actually does put her at odds with other feminists. I found an interesting article in the sidebar of the very article I’m writing about:

http://mic.com/articles/96306/watch-what-happens-when-women-take-one-of-life-s-more-important-moments-into-their-own-hands?utm_source=bustle&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Aug

Here we have, on what I can only assume is a feminist site, an article by a feminist acknowledging that there are certain societal norms that benefit women, but that she doesn’t necessarily want to stop benefitting from them. Then on the very same site an article trying to convince us that women breaking societal norms is the best thing that could happen. Feminism appearing confused? Who would have guessed?

2) Wage gap:
Another friend cited the issue of the pay gap and how that might validate this expectation for the man to pay, as a sort of balancing effect. “The fact remains that women do only earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar, so economically it’s really more fair if the guy pays, amirite?” she reasoned. “Plus, if you think about all the stupid shit we spend money on to make ourselves more attractive to men (hair removal, highlights, clothing, etc.) letting the guy pick up the first few dates is no big deal.”

I knew this would make an appearance, I just knew it, because it always makes an appearance. It’s just another feminist myth that won’t die. This is the point I think has some merit. Do women earn less than men, in general? Yes. Is that because of discrimination? Probably not. How am I so sure? Well, for one Yagoda gives us one reason: she chose to become an artist, which I would imagine is pretty unstable as a career.
The simple assumption that men make more money is ridiculous. Unless you actively ask how much money he makes before the first date (which makes you appear shallow and materialistic) there’s no reason to assume you are in a position of financial inferiority. In fact, there are stats out there that show in some areas women are out-earning by considerable margins:

http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2015274,00.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/02/24/childless-women-in-their-twenties-out-earn-men-so/

Now, I would like to take a minute and examine the double standards of wages that appears in that first article. The headline mentions that ‘at last’ women earn more than men, which doesn’t sound very ‘equal’. Then, it notes that pay inequality, when men earn more than women, has been a ‘festering sore’ for decades, before saying that ‘finally’ things are changing. So, when men earn more than women: bad. When women earn more than men: well, that’s just the way it should be’.

See, the wage gap is a poor excuse. On average, the majority of women still earn less than men, that’s true, but to base it on discrimination is ludicrous, especially when stats show it’s not as simple as that.

Yagoda does have a point in all this, she does earn little money so, in theory, it makes sense for the more financially secure party to pay. However, when you take into account Yagoda’s entitlement complex and desire to be paid for, her acceptance of social norms that benefit her plus her choice to be a ‘struggling artist’ the sympathy levels drop. Should a man be expected to pay for a woman like that? I don’t think so.

3) (And this one’s a corker) women spend more on looking beautiful:
‘It’s true that societal expectations compel many women (myself included) to maintain a certain standard of beauty, which requires a huge amount of financial and emotional effort, particularly in the maintaining a façade of bodily hairlessness (the worst). And, more significantly, women typically purchase birth control, which is costly and inconvenient daily necessity. Yet, I’m not comfortable with the idea that men should cover the bill to subsidize our beauty and fertility needs, nor am I comfortable with the reality that society demands us, not our male counterparts, to maintain absurd beauty standards and ward off pregnancy.’

Does she have a point with this one? Again, probably not. While it’s true that the beauty industry is massive it’s not unlike any other sector of commercialism. There’s a radio show over here in the UK called Steve Wright In The Afternoon. It’s on BBC Radio 2 and has a section called ‘factoids’. It’s a pretty simple concept, they tell you lots of little facts you didn’t know. Yesterday they revealed that the richest model in the world (Guiselle somebody from Brazil) makes £39 million more than second place. Why’s that? Because she’s in demand, because people want her to show their stuff, because there’s a market for it.
It’s funny that the societal expectations that allow her to get free stuff are fine and acceptable, yet the societal expectations that cause her to conform to standards that she doesn’t like suddenly become problematic.

There’s also a one-eyed approach to this in that it implies that there is no similar standard of beauty expected of men. Aside from perhaps the most horrendous and brutal double standard of all, that of male circumcision still being legal, there is a definite social pressure on men to look attractive. Whether that’s a hairstyle, the type of beard, the clothes, the amount of body hair (funnily enough men often have to shave body hair to remain attractive) it’s not exactly a well kept secret that different people have different tastes. Some women like beards, some don’t. My ex flicked constantly between the two, asking me to grow a beard then asking me to shave when she decided she didn’t like it. There’s also a massive number of young boys who are pumping their bodies full of drugs to get the bodies they see on advertising signs.

To say the only societal expectation of beauty is on women is unfair and untrue. It also overlooks one important thing: the market is geared towards women. Ask a man what he prefers and you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that, actually, the average man isn’t that bothered about make up, or at least he isn’t bothered about seeing women caked in it. There’s a reason women who wear loads of make up are ridiculed – because they look ridiculous. Is that ‘makeup shaming’? Ha, maybe.

There’s a meme out there on the web that says ‘if every woman woke up one day and decided they didn’t like makeup, the industry would disappear’. It’s true, the makeup industry is targeted and maintained by women, for the large part. When women stop being bought and sold by makeup companies and start asking what the average man wants they might realise all that pampering isn’t really necessary.

Does that mean all women should stop wearing makeup? No, it just means that I see too many women who think they have to wear makeup to look pretty. That is largely placed down to men, which is untrue.

The next couple of paragraphs, to her credit, do sound like a woman struggling to figure out why this thought seems to be so pervasive. However, for all the back and forth, for all the pondering and possible explanations it all comes back to one explanation – she, and her friends, like to get free stuff, and are willing to exploit a society that allows that to happen. The justification? She doesn’t earn very much in her career. Doesn’t quite sound like a good enough reason to me.

Yagoda goes on to close by saying that perhaps, rather than focusing on gender, the focus should simply be on who earns more. It’s a rather easy way of looking at it when you consider that, on average, men do earn more than women. However, it was Yagoda’s choice to become an artist, so to use the wage gap as an excuse to justify her desires is a bit of a cheap shot.

Interestingly, and perhaps the paragraph that really damages Yagoda’s attempts to justify this entire article, this is not a thought shared solely by Yagoda. Earlier on she asked if the desire to be paid for undid other feminist behaviour and whether other feminists thought the same. The answer is yes and yes:

‘I have a friend who, like me, is currently contending with this issue. She put it quite eloquently. “I think the reality is that I am totally a feminist — I just really, really like free stuff. And if culturally accepted double standards facilitate me receiving said free stuff, I’m probably just gonna roll with it.”’

This, for me, is feminism in a nutshell. Apparently, when going on dates men used to expect sex in return for paying for dinner. Now we’re told ‘women never owe men sex’, so it only seems right that we should follow that logic and say ‘men never owe women dinner’. The expectation from women that men will pay for dinner should now be as outdated as the expectation that men paying for dinner gets them sex. Is that likely to happen? I doubt it, not while Yagoda and her friends are around anyway.

The sentence that sticks out most in that paragraph:

‘“I think the reality is that I am totally a feminist — I just really, really like free stuff. And if culturally accepted double standards facilitate me receiving said free stuff, I’m probably just gonna roll with it.”’

You’re a feminist, your entire fucking movement is dedicated to removing said double standards. Basically, you are totally a feminist, because I’m nobody to try and tell you otherwise, but your belief in your cause only extends as far as your desire to be treated like a princess. You wonder why feminism’s public image is in the shitter? Congratulations, that’s the reason.

So, in reality, you’re admitting that feminism is not about equality, it’s about hiding behind an ideology to cover for the fact you expect to not only benefit from the double standards that impact you positively but also get to shame anyone else who may benefit from double standards. I don’t blame them, I’ve already stated if you can make a double standard work for you then ‘you go girl’. But to hear it from a feminist, well, that’s perhaps as damning a statement as could be made from an ‘equality’ movement.

This whole blog entry can be summed up in one picture:

Speaks volumes I think.

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Comments
  1. alcockell says:

    Well, the bitch can go fuck herself… With a vibe made of plastic- invented by men from oil drilled for by men, charged from AC supply developed and maintained by men…

  2. […] Feminist entitlement. It’s real and it’s just as hypocritical as it sounds. August 20, 2014 […]

  3. […] Original blog entry: Feminist entitlement. It’s real and it’s just as hypocritical as it sounds. […]

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