Let’s take feminism and strip it down to as basic a definition as we can get — Wikipedia.
Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes. [emphasis mine]
And that is exactly what we’re fighting for. In a serious conversation with most feminists, you won’t find us talking about world domination and fighting for the matriarchy. All you’ll hear is equality. We want equal pay, an equal shot at being hired for that pay, and equal opportunity to qualify for the job.
We ultimately aren’t interested in replacing our male-dominated reality with a female-dominated one because we know that is equally unfair to men as it has been for us since humans first became a thing.
So why, on the surface are all of our rallying cries and feminist jokes about women achieving world domination and eradicating men because we only need their sperm to continue the human race anyways? Why is the surface language for feminism so damn unequal?
Why are all the signs we look for in other feminists so disappointingly meaningless to our actual goals? Somehow our initiation into feminism is resting in the very female arms of God and a goodie bag with “The future is female” pasted all over it.
God isn’t a she
We know this. Most religions don’t have an explicit gender for their God, but guess what? English doesn’t have a non-gendered pronoun, and most of the people writing holy works were surrounded by a much more patriarchal society in the first place. God was powerful, intelligent, and a provider and in their time those were exclusively male traits.
So, yeah, We can refer to god as a woman — it's our choice, just as it was the choice of the people way back then to refer to him more often as a man. But acting as if God is any more female than male is equally as wrong as acting as if God is more male than female. Either way, we are assigning gender to someone that doesn’t have one.
The female god doesn’t push our agenda forward in any way, instead, it just gives us one more thing to be angry about when someone refers to God as he. And heaven knows we don’t need one more thing to be angry about.
The Goal isn’t to Turn the Tables
Female feminists are already an angry group of people — and for good reason. We have been systematically repressed for nearly our entire existence on the earth, and we’re rightly sick of it.
We’re sick of being treated as less than, being told we can’t, and forced to leave our passions to be pursued by men. We’re pissed that as hard as we fight right now to get the qualifications for our dream job, we are less likely to be hired for it. We want to erupt when we finally get hired and find that despite the amount of effort, love, and dedication we show in our work, we’re paid less than the guy a door down doing the same damn thing.
So hell yeah, we’re angry. But, we have to be careful with anger. We can’t go throwing around our anger at things like a male-gendered God, because then that anger gets mixed up in the wash with the things that actually matter.
Even justified anger has to be carefully managed. Anger scares people, it makes them feel threatened and unwanted. And threatened is not the feeling that makes someone join a movement.
We feel threatened by lions. When is the last time you saw someone just up and decide to join a pride of lions for the hell of it?
Over-compensating doesn’t help
We have this idea that if you fight for more than you need you’ll end up with what you need. Or, in our context, if you fight for the matriarchy, you’ll get equality. And yeah, that may work some places but when dealing with moral issues that people stand so strongly on, by fighting for more than the real goal we turn ourselves into a pride of lions.
When we over-compensate and get angry about someone’s male-gendered god, or when they don’t laugh at our joke about eliminating men from the world, we distance them from our message. Instead of convincing them that equality is the right way, all they can see is that we want to dominate them. And our anger gives them the perfect justification for feeling this way — it proves we are as emotional and unfit for power as they thought we were.
Call it the patriarchy if you will, but we can’t afford to be the repressive people men were — and sometimes still are — throughout history. We don’t have the luxury of eliminating the vote of the opposing side.
And securing a bare majority of the votes doesn’t work either. Women and minorities know better than most, that legislation doesn’t change bias.
Everyone is already equal to US law. But just because you make a law that says don’t discriminate doesn’t mean you can enforce that law or even pinpoint exactly when it is being breached.
We need the votes of men from every age, race, and way of life because as many strong independent women we recruit, the world is still unequally tipped so the power lands with the men. Repulsing men in power with our angry rants about bringing the matriarchy to pass is probably one of the slowest ways we can achieve equality.
And the clincher is, that we’re not even interested in ruling the world. Once again, our goal was never to bring the matriarchy crashing down on the head of the patriarchy with a powerful vengeance. Our goal is equality.
Why do we keep acting as if it’s some obnoxious and dramatic Adele song where we finally get to win?
The Future isn’t female
The future is human. The future is free from gender-based discrimination — meaning if the future is okay, men, women, and those in the non-binary trans population will all hold jobs in proportion to their percentage of the population. But more importantly, it will be free from the systems that convince women their dreams aren’t viable. It will be free from all the little offenses that push us down and keep us out of the places we have a right to be.
And we all believe this basic truth. The truth that all we want is equality, but we’ve also gotten so caught up in the fight that message is being obscured by the angry clutter we have taken on as an integral part of the movement.
Way back when society formed, the patriarchy was almost a given, and the ensuing centuries-long battle for equality has been and will continue to be a hell of a fight.
We don’t need to stab ourselves in the foot by acting as if we will settle for nothing less than the utter destruction of the other side and turning that side into rabid animals scared for their freedom.
It all comes down to this, God isn’t he and God isn’t a she. The future isn’t female, it’s human. We aren’t here to rule the world, we just want to have an equal say.
So why can’t we just say that?
Edit: I made a quick edit to my wording thanks to Masen Everson’s post.