“Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
- Pat Robertson (Professional Hypocrite)
Okay so this one is not a story of some bisexual adventure or how my sexuality has been a negative factor in my life, on the contrary the ramifications of this have all been tremendously positive. This one is about being an atheist feminist male in early twenty-first century America.
Now before you start asking;
“Josh, what the hell does any of this atheist feminist nonsense have to do with your desire for a three way with John Barrowman and Dame Helen Mirren?”
Trust me there is a correlation between my bisexuality and my firm atheist feminist stance. The tree things area complicated tripod that hold my beliefs aloft. If any one of them were removed from my life I would be rendered crippled and teetering in my identity.
So without further adieu let’s delve into yet another reason why segments of my family really want nothing to do with me and I conversely don’t care what they think.
First let’s tackle the subject of feminism and why I’ve never really been anything but a feminist. Yes I, like all men, went through a stage as a boy where I thought girls were icky and alien but I never thought they were less than me. Don’t believe me? Ask some of my multitude of female cousins. But this is a Josh essay and before we get to the meat of this piece how about I rock you with yet another Wikipedia definition, this one on Feminism.
Because my friends and fiends despite m level of output I tend to be a lazy… lazy man.
A feminist generally self-defines as advocating for or supporting the rights and equality of women.
Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience; it has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues such as the social construction of sex and gender. Some forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle-class, educated perspectives. This led to the creation of ethnically specific or multiculturalist forms of feminism.
Feminist movements have and continue to campaign for many women's rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to promote bodily autonomy and integrity, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.
Feminist campaigns are generally considered to be main force behind major historical societal changes, particularly in the West, where they are near-universally credited with having achieved women's suffrage, gender neutrality in English, equal pay for women, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property.
Feminist advocacy is mainly focused on women's rights, but author bell hooks, among others, argue for the necessity for it to include men's liberation, because men are also harmed by traditional gender roles.
Let me boil that all down for you before I continue. I believe women and men are intellectual and emotional equals. Are there physical differences between men and woman? Of course there are, only a myopic jackass would say that men and woman are physically the same.
Are you a myopic jackass?
That being said I’ve personally known more than a few women who can kick serious physical ass. There are also many female public figures that put 98% of men to shame. Don’t believe me? Google Female Marines, or Female Cross Fit, or my personal favorite just Google Christmas Abbot and tell me how she’s a “Weaker Cut of Meat” as a jackass North Carolina politician recently said about women.
Let me be very clear. I KNOW a woman can do any job a man can do, not every woman and not every man but women in general. If you don’t like that… stop reading and go away.
As I’ve said before I was raised by women. My mother and my maternal Grandmother did the bulk of shaping me. I am not marginalizing the roll my father and step grandfather played in my upbringing but the truth is was mostly around woman and more heavily influenced by them.
I was never told or shown that women are lesser than men. My grandmother was a once divorced strong woman who worked fulltime and never showed weakness. The first time I saw my grandmother cry, at her father’s funeral, I was gob smacked. My mother, for all of her problems, is likewise a strong independent woman who never backed down from a fight. I was always a feminist but never knew the word.
What does being a feminist mean to me in real life?
Some of you are not going to like my answer but these are the things I believe. So if you have a problem with it… well there’s a door and you’re free to use it at any time.
A woman and a man should always be judged on their merits not whether they have a wee-wee or a who-ha. A woman should NEVER be excluded from a job because they are a woman, if they can do it they can do it and everyone else should shut the fuck up. I don’t care it the job is CEO, Construction Worker, Infantry Soldier, Fire Fighter, or President of the United States of America (run Liz run!) if she’s capable that’s all that matters.
That part probably didn’t anger too many people, I sure as hell hope this one does.
The government of the United States of America has an obligation to legislate equal pay for equal work no matter sex, age, religion, or orientation. Right here is where all of the so called Men’s Rights Advocates (What fucking joke) are gonna start crying. Please allow me to tick off the list.
- The pay gap is a myth! – Complete bullshit, things are better than they used to be (especially for the millennial generation) but it’s still a major issue
- Pay equity is unfair to men – n today’s economy, most families have two wage earners, and if one of them is paid too little, the whole family suffers. Pay equity ensures that every worker in the family is earning what they should based on the requirements of their jobs. Also, men who work in jobs traditionally held by women will also receive pay equity adjustments.
- If women want to earn more, they should choose other jobs — jobs that pay more. - More women are choosing occupations held predominantly by men, and we must continue to make these jobs more accessible to women. But society still needs secretaries, nurses, librarians and the many other occupations predominantly filled by women. Women (and men) should have the right to choose any occupation and know that they will be paid fairly for the work they do. In order to entirely eliminate segregation across occupations, one study estimated that 60 percent of all women and men would have to move to occupations dominated by the opposite sex. Such a change would obviously be very disruptive to the economy.
- Women take time off from work to have children and aren’t as committed to their jobs as men so men should be paid more. - There are two things wrong with this argument. First, the vast majority of women with young children are employed. In 1996, 60 percent of women with children under the age of 5 were employed. And the average work life of women today is 30 years. Second, even if women did take more time off, pay equity looks at pay for the job, not for individual workers. Pay equity studies are based on a standard pay level, such as minimum starting pay, so that how long someone has worked does not influence the results.
- Some men get paid more because they have dangerous jobs or jobs which demand physical strength. - Working conditions and physical effort are two of the factors that are commonly looked at in a pay equity study. These factors are important and should be reflected in the pay for a job. But women also work in hazardous and physically demanding jobs such as nursing, that exposes workers to a variety of infectious diseases and requires lifting patients. All jobs, regardless of whether they are performed primarily by men or by women, should be paid based on the level of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions required by the job.
Are you still with me after reading that? If you are great, if not well… there was that door glad you took it. To put it bluntly I have a very firmly entrenched on the subject of women’s rights, but maybe not in the same direction as you might be thinking.
Just like the so called Men’s Rights Movement MRM I have no use for rabid extreme feminism. What do I mean by that? There is a small but REALLY FUCKING LOUD segment of feminists who seem to think men are the cause of every bad thing that has ever happened in the history of forever. To make it worse those few women have fed the smoldering fire of the MRM assholes and the result has been a vicious little war between them with the moderates caught in the middle.
I’m not taking sides. They’re both full of shit.
Now we move on to the Atheism in my life, or more pacifically the Agnostic Atheism. Does that term confuse you? Here are the definitions of both terms, read them and then I’ll explain how I interpret being an Agnostic Atheist.
1. A person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
1. A person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
Synonyms: disbeliever, nonbeliever, unbeliever; doubter, skeptic, secularist, empiricist; heathen, heretic, infidel, pagan.
2. A person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
3. A person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic:
Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality.
4. Of or relating to agnostics or their doctrines, attitudes, or beliefs.
5. Asserting the uncertainty of all claims to knowledge.
6. Holding neither of two opposing positions:
If you take an agnostic view of technology, then it becomes clear that your decisions to implement one solution or another should be driven by need.
Here’s what I mean when I say I’m an Agnostic Atheist in as few words as possible.
Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.
For a significant portion of my life I was a boy, and then a young man, of faith. But as the years went by and I started paying attention to the religious world things began to change. I’ve told the story of the public church slut shaming of my cousin when I was boy and how that put the first real cracks in my faith. I won’t rehash that one but it was a significant moment in my life. After that disgrace which sundered y family from the church we’d always attended, I started looking at all things religious with a different eye.
A more open and speculative eye.
You would think my sexuality would have been the straw which broke the proverbial camel’s back. But that wasn’t the case, when I made my first real break with religion I was still deep in the closet and hoping it was just a phase and I’d eventually grow out of it.
Haven’t we all been there?
No what killed my belief in Christianity was actually sitting down at the age of maybe 14 and reading the bible cover to cover. Then, confused by what I’d just read, I sought out an annotated version of the bible from the local library and my eyes were opened. The Bible is the most misogynistic hate filled tome I’ve ever read. In the end it was feminism coupled with my sexuality that birthed my atheism.
Need some examples on how the bible see’s women?
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.
1 Corinthians 11:3
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
1 Corinthians 14:34-36
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
1 Timothy 2:11-15
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing.
Teach the young women to be ... obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
1 Peter 3:1
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.
I have three daughters and this tripe makes me sick. Some Christians choose to ignore these things (and the multitude of other quotes) in the text. But it’s in the damn book, a book that is supposed to be the infallible word of god. According to the infallible word of god my daughters, my wife, my mother, and my grandmother are nothing more than property.
If you believe that then go fuck yourself.
Yes I know many more Christians who ignore this bullshit than those who embrace it but if you see the bible as metaphor, allegory, or merely as a suggested guide book then we don’t have an issue. You want to use your religion to hold, hate, or fuck with anyone and we’ll have words.
That’s it. I will brook no debate on the matter.
I am an Agnostic Atheist, Feminist, Bisexual, American Man and I am proud to say that.