Clinton Tyler Patterson

What Is Feminism?

7 min read

I had some conception of feminism for much of my life, and it was probably something I supported. For the first 30 years of my life, I never ran into anything like this. This year I found that there are women who embody feminism that is mean and derisive towards men. My story needs to be shared, because if men know that the women protesting are going to treat them like this, no one is going to concede to giving up any power or privilege he may have over women. Why would someone consciously do something that he knows will lead to people who will treat him like shit having potentially more power over him than they did? If you want feminism to be about equality, read on. I have advice.

This is a social media interaction. The post is a screenshot of a woman posting "Dr wouldn't tie my tubes cuz I wasn't married and maybe someday my husband might want kids. Medically, my body belongs to a man I haven't met." The first female poster responds "But most doctors have no problem with performing a vasectomy on an unmarried man." I post "This is entirely individual specific. Just see another doctor, and your results are going to change. I could have found doctors who wouldn't perform my vasectomy. So what did I do instead? I went to a urologist who said he did not like performing vasectomy in such a situation, but I'm a grown up. It's not the case that doctors don't exist who will treat women as grown ups." Is this somehow an unfair statement to say that women's healthcare is similar to men's, that you may run into individual doctors who will not perform the procedure? If you live in an area with options, you may go see another doctor.

I am told "You may want to take your man card and walk away from this issue," which means "that since you're not a woman, you might not want to pretend your experience is relevant." I point out this was after a woman before me posting about vasectomy, which she has no experience about, followed by you saying nothing. What follows isn't a fitting response or an additional comment to the original woman's post. It's a post by a female doctor of a famous black man who is captioned as "Stares muthafukily" at me. The lady who had nothing to say in response to the vasectomy posts with a heart by the doctor's name. I say "So I try to bring sexual equality to the comments section and all I get is women high-fiving each other over staring muthafukily at me?" How is this not complete cyber bullying? Why would you allow this to be part of your movement?

The doctor posts "I am a doctor. As such, I advise you to stop talking about those things of which you have no knowledge. Take two and call me in the morning," and she later advises me that it is not her responsibility to inform me. So you want to deride someone, but you don't want to educate him? You want to willfully go forward having an uneducated populace? Willful ignorance? Really?

I made another post and mention how I would like to be able to perform vasectomy on other species. In response, I get made fun of, by a medical doctor, for exhibiting a symptom of mental illness. I have that mental illness. Does this mean that the doctor is making fun of me for having mental illness? How appropriate is that? How much does that resemble Donald Trump making fun of a disabled reporter?

I make a post in response to a newly involved woman that includes "Male neutering is castration. IMO not that neat... I know men who never got their pets neutered due to the fact that it's not nice to cut a man's balls off. I have no idea how frequently the service vasectomy is offered with vets. Many farmers cut the young goats' scrotum off by administering a rubber band which restricts blood flow."

So I get a mean and useless response of "please. Don't. My female vet friends outnumber my male vet friends considerably. I'll save you the time. Good thing you seem to not want to plague the rest of us with your spawn, but probably get a professional to snip you off, Mmmm kay?" My response is "My female vet friends outnumber my male vet friends, too. What does this have to do with anything? I don't see anything helpful in your response, and it comes across as mean. A vasectomy is the simplest surgery I have ever heard of, and I'm getting shit on for wanting to learn how to do it so that I can decrease suffering in the world. What is the purpose of this kind of talk?" and gets nothing back. So I am assuming there was no purpose other than what I saw, to spew hate like Donald Trump.

The conversation is now mostly dominated by nice women, and I ask the woman who originally responded to me "Do you want the future results of feminism to be what happened on this thread, or would you rather have educated men who want to treat women equally? If it's the latter, I have advice for future action, if you want to hear it." And the response I get has nothing to do with wanting to future results of feminism to be equality or about wanting men to be involved.

I want all people to have equal rights. I also want all people to be nice. If you have a movement to pursue greater justice and civil rights but you also promise me I will be treated like shit when you get those rights and that you will have more power relative to me than you did before, I will never choose your civil rights. Some idea about civil rights is not more important than my experiential reality. I want the country to improve. 

Most men won't support you in acquiring those rights when they know the same thing. We already have a name for people who make a habit of treating others shitily. Prisoners. And we don't give them equal rights, for good reason. They abused those rights, so their rights got removed. I'm just trying to be pre-emptive here and act in everyone's best interest. So do you want to remove these mindsets from your movement, or would you prefer to have men opposed to your movement and keep these few voices? Because it won't be alternative facts when the media reports to men that this is how they are going to be treated when you movement succeeds, it will just be a subset of verifiable facts.

If you want men, who are a large part of the population and hold most of the power in the existing systems, to join your movement, you will learn to be really nice to them. I'm not suggesting that you aren't already really nice to them. I'm telling you from my evidence that your movement as a whole is not, and you want to undermine this vitriol before it becomes the voice and face of your movement. No one needs to be treating people the way I was treated. And could you help the anti-abortion ladies to feel more loved and welcomed, please?