Feminism has ruined me. I came to this conclusion this weekend while having dinner with family and talking with them about different topics on which the gender lines were, let us say, divided – that I am very much no longer who I was, and that the things that I once enjoyed, the things that in many ways defined me, are sour as fuck to me anymore. Let me give you a sample list of the things that I can no longer enjoy because of it, so that you can understand what I mean.
Feminism has ruined me for sports radio. I cannot listen to it anymore without getting so aggravated with the sexist comments bandied about about which player’s wife is hotter, about cheerleaders, actresses, etc. that I turn the channel.
Feminism has ruined me for most television. Oh good, another exploitative family drama or some other show where the camera is fixed to male gaze and places most women in roles without agency or respect. Or reality television. Or music video—ahahahaha nevermind who watches music videos on television what.
Feminism has ruined me for politics. Between the sheer lack of control that the majority of politicians in this country seem to want women to have over their own goddamned bodies and the decimation of funding for women’s health and safety, I am unable to watch news without exploding into fountains of fire and rage. I already did that, mind you, but feminism certainly gives me gallons and gallons of additional fuel.
Feminism has ruined me for mainstream movies. See also television, except you get to pay twenty, forty dollars for the privilege. Oh boy.
Feminism has ruined me for a lot of genre art. Because even though I dearly love science fiction art, a good 60-70 percent of character art seems to be made up of what my friend calls ‘Space Titty Paintings’. Want to see women depicted in a sci-fi or fantasy setting? Hope you like barely-there armor that’s either mail or kevlar or some kind of transparent space gauze amirite?
Feminism has ruined me for science fiction and fantasy. For a great deal of the same reasons as I’ve been ruined for genre art, except in print and often creepily predatory, violent, and worse. Nevermind the fact that so much of the industry is ragingly sexist, from the publishing end down to the authors themselves. I can say this, being an author who has already experienced it a good deal in the few short years of my career. It’s absolutely fucking shameful, especially for a format that’s supposed to carry the torch of social evolution into the future.
Feminism has ruined me for a lot of anime. Because holy shit Miyazaki was right, the otaku are running the industry now. 4:20 Watch Moe Erry Day.
Feminism has ruined me for comics. Same reason, just drawn.
Feminism has ruined me for my fellow man. In that I am constantly aware of the sexist behavior of those around me, especially that which is predatory – even (and often this is the case) when those men engaging in that behavior are entirely ignorant of just what kind of a creepy bastard they’re being. I often speak up when I see it, or step in if help is needed, or pull friends aside and ask them just what the fuck when they’re acting in a sexist way. This has generally made me less popular, but that’s why we can’t have nice things in the first place.
In short, embracing feminism has ruined me for a great deal of things that I used to love without thinking or reservation when I was a younger man. While I have always believed that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men, as I’ve grown older the everyday struggle of women becomes clearer and clearer, and it makes me both thrilled that young women are making their voices heard and that more and more men – especially young men – are listening. I want to make things better every day in whatever way I can, either through my fiction, or my behavior toward women around me, or raising my own voice as a man of the past generation educating my brothers in the hope that we can make things easier for those who look up to us and to make amends for those things which in our ignorance we may have done to women in the past.
So yeah, feminism has ruined me for a lot of things…but I’m very, very okay with that.