I have never once considered myself a feminist. Feminism to me has always been man-haters and bra-burners. That being said, I was never taught to lay down and let men walk all over me. I am fortunate enough to have had three very strong independent women guiding me throughout my childhood: both of my grandmothers and my mother. My paternal grandmother came to the United States from Ireland, leaving behind her entire family, for a small chance of a better life. My maternal grandmother was a widow my entire life and still raised eight children and nineteen grandchildren, while having time to teach piano at our middle school and be the most active member of her church. My mother is another beast entirely. While her and my grandmother share an alarming amount of characteristics, my mom is without a doubt her own person. My parents raised my siblings and me as equals, not as one man and one woman.
The incident at Ohio University this past Homecoming (http://thepost.ohiou.edu/content/onlooker-details-alleged-court-street-rape) has brought about more controversy than anything in my two and a half years at OU. On the one side are the feminists of the group “Fuck Rape Culture,” outraged that bystanders did nothing about the situation, and according to Ohio law, an inebriated party cannot give consent to sexual contact, therefore the female student was raped. On the other side are those who claim that the student only filed rape charges because it happened in public. The video, it is argued, shows that the sexual acts were consensual.
Maybe the world has always been like this and I have never realized it until college, but our culture seems to be obsessed with gender and identity. Every situation is discrimination or reverse discrimination. In my point of view there are some pretty basic facts:
1. Women and men are anatomically different
2. Women and men’s capacity to learn, function, and think are not different
3. If someone is gay, transgender, or bisexual, that does not affect you in any way
4. Rape is real and present for both men and women
5. There are literally 1,000s of things I would rather be known for than just being a woman
Therefore I ask the question “can’t we just be human?” I have boobs, yes, but I am also a writer, an avid TV-watcher, a reader, a baker, a concert attendee, a YouTube watcher, an ice cream scooper, a peer mentor, a journalist, a social media fiend, a gay rights advocate, an iPhone addict, a critic of famous people, a reality TV junkie, an email deleter, a lover of bubble letters, a Costco sample eater, a grammar Nazi, a history buff, and a Beyonce disciple.
Being a human is complex enough, why do we have to complicate it by limiting ourselves to being just a man or a woman? All this focus on gender takes away from the energy that could be spent on positively impacting the world and honestly just having fun. Don’t believe me? Take it from Beyonce herself.