On this fine Wednesday morning, conservative blogger Erick Erickson took to Twitter to say something both sexist and moronic.
In the wake of the Congressional victory of Republican Karen Handel (who is a woman, yes, but also a woman who wants to criminalize abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, and deny lesbian women the ability to adopt children), Erickson hit feminist author Jill Filipovic with a tweet saying, “Feminists tend to be angry women jealous at other women’s successes.”
Another reminder that feminists tend to be angry women jealous at other women’s successes. https://t.co/zcXUfSRHTR
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 21, 2017
I wish I could say Erickson is wrong, but I’m not going to lie — this tweet actually nailed a couple of biting, frustrating truths. We are angry. I am angry, and for a lot of reasons — reasons Erickson and his cohort of conservative bros have dedicated their careers to ignoring.
It’s absolutely a fact that tons of women not only actively root for but are also empowered by the successes of other women — that’s the culture today’s feminism is ultimately fighting for. But in a patriarchal society where the paltry roles, platforms and opportunities open to women to represent themselves are so few, we’ve largely been conditioned since birth to believe we’re in competition with each other.
Erickson might be right about the existence of this unfortunate reality, but he fails to note this is a reality feminists everywhere are fighting to dismantle.
Writer and comedienne Lane Moore put it best with this 2016 tweet:
man where did women get this idea that they're all competing for one slot lol women are so random pic.twitter.com/zrTE2qQehy
— Lane Moore (@hellolanemoore) May 18, 2016
Women — we’re just so random, aren’t we?
History is paved with reasons why we, feminists, are angry. But contrary to what Erickson and the rest of the conservative “women can vote so that’s all, right, feminism’s over?” cult believe, today is paved with reasons, too.
We’re angry that 13 men hunched over in some remote, hidden away closet on Capitol Hill are writing a bill that could deny millions of us access to the resources we need to have autonomy over our bodies, to compete on an equal ground with men.
We’re angry that your fellow conservatives would rather call us “hosts” of fetuses than recognize us as human beings with rights.
We’re angry that dozens of us can come forward with the bravery to open up about traumatic experiences with sexual assault, can accuse a man who, in so many words, has confessed to assaulting us, and still face disbelief and injustice.
We’re angry that you continue to write us off in workplaces with your gendered assumptions about our family situations, how these assumptions are constantly denying us equal pay and opportunity.
We’re angry about our paltry roles in media, about a culture of puritanical sexual double standards that not only shame and confine us, but dictate the laws we live under.
We’re angry that you, a man, are telling us who we are, are telling us what our movement is. You — who have and never will know or experiences our struggles — mock our justified anger, push narratives that ours is a movement of hatred. But that’s always how it’s been, isn’t that right? Men telling women’s stories, men assigning the roles?
And ultimately, specific to your tweet, we’re angry that you’re trying to obligate us to support and celebrate women who don’t support and celebrate other women. We’re angry that you’re trying to hijack the definition of representation to satisfy your oppressive agenda.
A woman who tells other women they don’t have the right to control their bodies, that women who aren’t heterosexual or cisgender don’t have the right to be mothers — is not a woman feminists are going to support and celebrate. Period. How dare you guilt, shame, bully and misrepresent us for that decision?
News flash, Erick: Yes, we can vote. But that fact alone doesn’t mean we’re going to stop being angry and loud. It doesn’t mean we’re done fighting, and it certainly doesn’t mean we’re going to vote for women who want to hurt other women just to satisfy your expectations of us.
[image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.