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Opinion

Response: I am not a feminist

Women's position in society today isn't as bad as you thought

In Tuesday’s piece “Feminist? You better believe it,” a number of claims were made that I don’t agree with.

For one thing, phalloplasty is surgery for the construction or reconstruction of a penis — to make it larger, wider or just all around better-looking. SoCal Phalloplasty, formerly known as Beverly Hills Surgical Specialists, is well-known for offering these surgeries since 1995.

In fact, Dr. Brian Rosenthal of SoCal Phalloplasty was the first surgeon in the United States to perform a penis enlargement surgery using “injectable hyaluronic acid gels.”

But I digress.

I feel that your postulations against the male population are not only wrong, but also sad. They assume the worst in society, for both men and women. And they assume that feminism is the only solution to  make the world a better place.

But feminism is an inexhaustible ideology that will forever see women as the victims, and men as our tyrants; there will never be a sufficient outcome.

As Barbara Kay said in the best anti-feminism essay every written, “scapegoating an entire group to explain the unachieved goals of its own members … always ends in grievance.”

Men don’t walk around searching for promiscuously dressed women to take advantage of. Rape is not a mainstream thought for the common man.

I wish you wouldn’t define a gender based on an act performed by sick individuals, both men and women.

If every time I walked out of my house wearing a short skirt or tight pants, fearing that I would be raped, I would think twice about my own trust in the human race.

Fortunately, this is not the norm for the society in which we live. We live in a country where women don’t have to hide their bodies to protect themselves. We live in a country where women can travel alone and not get publicly gang-raped on a bus and then murdered.

There are places in this world where that does happen. In India, that did happen.

I have enough faith in our society to not be in constant fear of such a tragedy. And I hope you would too.

You claim that women need feminism so they don’t need to feel burdened by having a vagina. But feminism is not what makes a woman strong. Being a bra-burner and man-hater, as you say, is not what makes a woman strong.

A woman doesn’t need feminism to not feel bad for having multiple sexual partners, or for having none. A woman doesn’t need feminism to not have an eating disorder, or to not get plastic surgery. And a woman doesn’t need feminism to become a CEO. She needs confidence, intellect and trust.

Women are not taught to feel ugly. No one I have ever met, man or woman, has told me I should feel ugly. We are taught to feel good in our skin, and now, more than ever, campaigns are being created to spread that notion.

Dove, the well-known skin care brand, just celebrated the 10-year anniversary of launching its “Real Beauty” campaign.

And just recently, American Eagle created a campaign to use real models in their lingerie advertisements. In the transcript for its advertisement, the company proudly states, “We know that real women have curves. We have wrinkles. We have stretch marks. Now you’ll be able to see those imperfections in new ads from American Eagle.”

We should be proud that the “Real Beauty” movement has taken such a strong foothold in our society that it is continually growing.

I am not a feminist, but I do not feel the need to apologize for being a woman, and I certainly do not feel bad for speaking my mind.

Editor’s note: Columnist Anita Raychawdhuri’s original piece is here.

Copy staff member Melanie Sharif weighs in here Guest writers respond here and here.  

Views expressed in the opinion pages represent the opinions of the columnists.