Feminist Ninja Badass or (I’m a Feminist and I Love Men)

I practiced Kung-Fu from ages fourteen to twenty-something. At my first Dojo, we practiced a mix of Kung-Fu and Muai-Thai, which is as badass as a monkey riding a unicorn and playing the violin at the sound of “Total Eclipse of The Heart”.

Now that’s badass.

Anyway, we used to have weekly fights in that Dojo. You heard me. I would go to the center of the room along with a guy quite bulkier than I was, and we would fight. No protection, no shoes. We just put to practice everything we learned.

I tended to be much faster than the guys, but I did get the eventual punch every now and then, or the usual sweep kick. And you know what, this is a pretty good example of what feminism is all about.

You see, being there was my choice. I was being treated equally to the other guys, and to be honest, that was really important to me.

As you may know from this post, I’ve always been a Tomboy. Growing up, I loved “boy” stuff, like martial arts or anime, and I don’t mean the cute animes like Sailor Moon or Sakura; I mean the bloody badassery of Saint Seya and Ruroni Kenshin, yes?

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never seen boys as a threat or as oppressors. Maybe it’s because I punched them back when they punched me? Maybe it’s because my best friends are usually guys? I don’t know.

The fact is: I’m a feminist and I love men. There, I’ve said it.

Many men do behave badly, but that doesn’t mean all of them are sexist assholes. Many women think they are though, and that’s why there’s a bunch of ravenous bitches out there confusing a LOT of young girls on what feminism is. So this post is to rectify that.

Feminism is NOT about misandry, people.  Misandry (the hate of men by women) sucks monkey balls, even if said monkey can play the violin at the sound of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.

Feminism is NOT about shit like this:

Unbenannt

It is NOT about seeing men as inferior to our female awesomenes (though this one tempted me a bit).

It’s NOT having the right to physically, or emotionally, hurt a man because he can ‘take it’.

It’s NOT about depriving men of rights such as parental leave.

And it’s not about reducing men to Neanderthals whose brains operate solely in their penises.

Feminism is about being treated equally, you know, getting the same pay as our male counterparts, or being asked more than “Who are you wearing?” at the Oscars, or not being overwhelmed with house duties while our men sit on the couch and watch football.

I think “He for She” is a great place to start learning more about feminism and what it means.

I left that Dojo a few months later, by the way, but not because I was put to fight with others. I left because another student got higher evaluations than mine, on the sole ground that some people didn’t want a girl to become the Dojo’s star student.

Now, that’s sexist and slightly misogynist. But it will never give me the right to be a sexist asshole like they were.

Why?

Because I’m better than that.

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39 thoughts on “Feminist Ninja Badass or (I’m a Feminist and I Love Men)

  1. You need to come to the states and preach this! Gangsta fems raise a stink about a man opening a door for a lady. You know simple shit any decent parents taught their sons to do since they were old enough to walk. It was called “manners” not belittling.

  2. I’m with you, angry feminists can do more harm than good in obscuring the real issues in angry man-hating bullshit. I like the He-for-She campaign rather than the He-v-She attitude that comes from some of those angry types because feminism is about equality for everyone, it’s not solely a women’s issue.

  3. These “feminazis” give feminism a bad name. They make us women look like stupid narcissistic imbeciles. We need more women like you (and Amy Poehler) in this world ^_^

  4. You are so funny & super smart! I can hear your strength in your writing. Love it (the visual of said monkey has now been filed away in my mental Rolodex). Lol!

    e

  5. You rock! I would love to be able to do Martial Arts. It seems so empowering.

    Thanks for writing this. I think it’s so important to voice what true feminism is. It’s about equality. About eliminating sexism from all genders. I’m glad to hear you left that Dojo when they proved to be sexist assholes. I’m hoping that as long as we keep speaking up, people will listen and understand what feminism truly is. 🙂

  6. Well put and well said! Couldn’t agree with you more–feminism isn’t, and had never been, about disempowering (I think I just made up a word) men. I think the martial arts experience is a good metaphor for it. It’s the right to step up–to make the punch and take the punch, so to speak, without handicaps, extra perks, limitations, or penalties because of your sex. And I have to add: to me, the idea of hurting a man, or making fun of him or what have you, because he ‘can take it’ is just as antifeminist as doing the same thing to a girl (as well as being anti-man, obviously). I mean, if he ‘can take it’, and it’s because he’s a he, you’re implicitly implying men have some innate power to accept hurt that women don’t have.

    A man shouldn’t be any more bound by masculine stereotypes than a woman is by the feminine. The belief that a man can ‘take’, or somehow deserves, abuse more than a woman is just plain sexist bull.

    I think the number of angry feminists out there is greatly exaggerated. I know I’ve taken a lot of shit just for calling myself a feminist, and usually it’s along that same-old ‘feminists are man-hating, ugly, stupid, selfish’ line we’ve seen since the early 1900s (and it’s usually given by people who, shockingly, consider themselves for equality of the sexes). I’m certainly not man-hating. I get along great with my dad, my boyfriend, my guy friends, etc., all the men in my life who matter to me. I think it’s best to focus on the positive things feminism can do–the happiness it can bring to women AND men–and not the angry folks out there who misuse the word. There are always going to be those people, and they’re always going to be stupid. Can’t change it–best to just put the lie to it. 🙂

    Sorry if this was long, I saw your post and it brought up feelings and stuff. Thanks for such a great read, cheered me up to see somebody saying this.

  7. It’s a pity you stopped. I like it when woman take up martial arts and kick ass! We used to have a couple of very good female fighters at the dojo. They are still there … I left … to broaden my view and take up other martial arts. Why don’t you take it up again? Keep on blogging in a free world – The False Prophet

  8. Reblogged this on The Dependent Independent and commented:
    There’s no such thing as rising up by pulling others down.

    We all have our personal strengths and weaknesses, but reflecting on one thing (such as gender) by categorically demoting the other?  That sucks.  And it doesn’t fix anything attempting to force a counter-balance, especially uneducated.  In order for elements of nature to work as they would, nature has to be allowed to work with humanity in the first place.  Please don’t suck, people.

    The markdown in Dojo is absurd.  Females usually have less bulk, physically, but there’s always more to martial arts than physical strength.  The art is mostly mental.  And what does it say if you’re less able to defend yourself, leaving, since these things are learned?

    Well, now I know POMAD could kick my ass.  And that makes me smile. 🙂  What doesn’t make me smile is witnessing the title The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex (1993), when I looked up ‘misandry.’

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