Feminists Of Reddit Explain Why These 8 Issues Are Real Problems & The Response Is Amazing
If you're anything like me, when you read that feminists of Reddit explained issues facing people in the world today, you immediately envisioned a meninist pile-on of epic proportions. The self-proclaimed "front page of the Internet" has a huge and varied user base, with hundreds of thousands of subcommunities dedicated to everything from scaring you silly to fascinating historical tidbits. Reddit is famous (or infamous) for its free speech policy; it wasn't until last year that the site began banning "questionable" communities for harassment.
Considering how often online harassment is directed at women even in moderated spaces, it's natural to be wary when you see that someone invited feminists on Ask Reddit to discuss current issues. "Feminists of Reddit; What gendered issue sounds like Tumblrism at first, but actually makes a lot of sense when explained properly?" asked Reddit user AlaskanOverlord. (The reference to Tumblr is likely due to the site's reputation, whether deserved or not, for extreme political correctness.) Then something amazing happened: Within a day, the post received more than 14,000 comments, but rather than men's right's activists drowning out feminist voices, there turned out to be a well-reasoned discussion — one that some said helped them gain a better understanding of feminism.
"Without sounding snarky, this thread has been very eye opening, thank you to everyone who took the time to post," wrote one user. If you want to see for yourself why it's so important to discuss issues without getting angry or condescending, you can check out the glorious thread for yourself over on Reddit. In the meantime, here are eight highlights so far.
1. Healthcare Disparities
For decades, men's healthcare was considered standard, while women's symptoms were dismissed as hysteria or outright ignored. Although things are slowly changing, research has shown that health practitioners still take women's pain less seriouslyy, and as Redditor Pocketfulofmumbles points out above, wwomen are under-treated for events like strokes. This may be because these events present differently in women than in men, but the male symptoms are far more well-known.
"Real issues for women like this are pushed to the side in favor of flashy things like Free The Nipple, and that sucks," continued Pocketfulofmumbles. Here is the link to the American Psychological Association article about ADHD, and here is the link to the page about strokes in women.
At this point, it's fairly well-known that women who don't want children face a significant amount of criticism and pressure, but this user points out that the double standard goes both ways. Even today, research has shown that it's expected for women to have children and bear the brunt of housework and childcare, while male partners are applauded for the bare minimum of taking part in their children's lives. Although the post saw a fair share of replies belittling the original post, other people chimed in with their own similar experiences.
"The 'babysitting' [stuff] drives me up the wall. It diminishes my role as a parent and puts the entire responsibility of raising kids on the wife," wrote user Ptylerdactyl.
3. Careers And Motherhood
Much has been written about the intersection of motherhood and careers, and for good reason. While men experience a "fatherhood bonus," as the New York Times described it, when they have children, women can expect the exact opposite. The infuriating motherhood penalty affects career prospects and perceived performance, and of course, it contributes to the wage gap.
4. Same-Sex Relationships
Same-sex relationships are consistently devalued, but when they involve two women, there's an oddly performative aspect to it — they're seen as an opportunity for a threesome, or as incomplete unless they somehow involve a man.
The author of this post brilliantly explains the double standard in perceived intelligence between genders: Men are seen as inherently brilliant, while women have to "work to overcome their handicap." This plays out particularly strongly in male-dominated fields like science and technology, where women struggle to be seen as equal to their male colleagues.
6. Literally Silencing Women's Voices
The tendency for men to interrupt women has become a topic of national discussion lately, and once you start paying attention, it quickly becomes clear how often women's voices are minimized or outright ignored.
7. Devaluation Of Femininity
If the above comment doesn't make you want to dance around with agreement in your chair, I don't know what will. Gender norms are becoming increasingly flexible, at least in the younger generations, but masculinity is still often seen as inherently superior to femininity. Other users gave their own examples: Choice in baby names, the association between femininity and weakness, and so on.
8. Pockets (Or Lack Thereof)
It may not be as pressing an issue as many of the other parts of the thread, but let's be real. Fake pockets are pointless, and everyone hates them. Fashion industry, please take note.
Images: Stokpic.com/Pexels; Reddit (8)