Feminism

A couple of months ago, I was writing a storyline for my fake wrestling company.  I may finish it and post it here but I hit a major snag with it.  The gist of the storyline was that a male performer was stalking a female performer and her boyfriend kept defending her.  At a key point, the woman betrays her boyfriend and sides with her stalker.  Finally the two guys have a blowoff match in which the boyfriend gets his revenge on both of them.

The snag I hit was that I was suddenly very uncomfortable with the woman (Courtney Valentine as names are important) just being a macguffin in the story.  When I saw and heard the character in my head, she was way more dynamic than that.  I could feel her frustration at not getting to fight for herself, her voice falling on deaf ears.  I also felt really weird about her falling for her stalker even though the stalker (Seth Aron) had no actual designs on her.  He just wanted the boyfriend’s (Mikey Collins) title.  It just felt wrong.

Now that I have had time to think about it more, I think it reflects some measure of growth that I’ve experienced in the past few years.  I have been exposed to feminist artists and figures through my travels through the internet for quite some time.  It has really had an effect on me and it took a while to realize how deep the roots had gone.  I have always respected women but my eyes have been opened to just how different a woman experiences the world.   Everybody should take a few moments to look around and realize the way the world works and how it needs to change.

I am proud to call myself a feminist.  You do not need to be a woman to be a feminist.  You don’t have to be any specific thing to be a feminist.  All you have to do is believe that all people should have equal rights and equal respect.  It is not about putting men down, it’s about raising everybody to the same level.  We are all human beings and we should all be treated as such.

Now, I am not saying all of this for my benefit.  I am not a White Knight, riding to the rescue of Women’s Rights.  They don’t need my help.  I am not a “nice guy” who is only being nice and saying the right things for some girl to reward me with her favor.  I am an asshole who has realized that while I’ve never disrespected women, I was not part of the solution.  If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

So that’s pretty much it.  I’m a feminist and women, men and everybody in between deserves to be treated with the respect they deserve.  I could go on and on about all sorts of sexist things that grind my gears but I’ll just throw down some links to people I respect.  These are the people who opened my eyes.  I urge you to seek out more of the same. Thank you for reading this.  It may not have been perfect but it was honest.

Links:

Jessica Williams setting us straight

She does it again

A story from Starline Hodges, an artist I admire

Imran Siddiquee

Cracked sets the record straight

Beyonce on feminism

Kate Leth on sexism in geek culture

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One Response to “Feminism”

  1. Lise Mendel Says:

    This happens, especially when we first try to rewrite ‘standard’ stories with our own characters. Discovering how these stories perpetuate stereotypes and cliches can be a political awakening as well as a deepening of our skills as a writer.

    An interesting sequel might be to rewrite the story from her point of view. Explore her reasons (as you see her now) for NOT fighting on her own behalf. As you say, the fight isn’t really about her, in the stalker’s mind. What’s it really about in her mind? Maybe she did take some steps to defend herself, but they weren’t in the first story because it was from the boyfriend’s POV. You might play around with seeing how little of the dialogue you have to change to bring her across.

    Like

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