Ok, so I stumbled across this old(ish) article about how a woman's photo was stolen and turned into a meme, at her expense. She is a lady of larger build and in the photo she is holding a poster that says "This is what a feminist looks like". Yeah, the arseholes had a field day - lots of fat-shaming, feminist-hating and stupid "hahahahahaha VIRGIN" lines. Classy, guys. Classy.
Anyway, this lady, Kelly Martin Broderick, decided that she wasn't going to take this lying down. She tried to have the photo taken down, but Facebook said it didn't violate her privacy, so it wouldn't remove it. So she decided to write that article & tell the whole story, showing how rude these people were being. In it, she posted up another photo from the set hers was taken from, which was actually part of a project to show how diverse feminists were, and she encouraged other feminists to share their photos too. Basically, she wanted to break the stereotype that those idiots were using her picture to try & cement (all feminists are fat women, who must also be virgins, who should be openly mocked for being feminists) and show that feminists come in all shapes, sizes, races and genders.
See? Lots of different people!
Now, I'm a sucker for going down to comment sections - having a YouTube channel, I'm so used to going down and reading through comments that it's just something I do now. I enjoy seeing good conversations, interesting questions and stories, and also pull my hair out at some of the self-righteous, ignorant drivel that people often like to spout.
There of course was an idiot in the comments section. And here he is:
Andrew Adkins: "The abused and oppressed women of the third world will rise up and thank you for your great strides and tremendous efforts to correct this atrocious injustice that will ripple through the sands of time as a momentous and paramount example of the terror that women must experience every day in the United Sates of America." - 289 upvotes, 133 downvotes as of writing.(I think there would probably be more downvotes on that one if people didn't have to create an account to do so...)
This is something that idiots have said to me when I have mentioned problems women have to deal with. On my video of street harassment, someone said I shouldn't be complaining about being leered at, groped and followed down the street, because women in other countries have it worse. Firstly, just because someone has a worse problem than you, doesn't make your problem any less legitimate - just smaller and maybe easier to deal with. To quote the beautifully eloquent Neacfy:
"Yeah, it could be worse, but this is a struggle for equality; just because there are women out there who are lower down the equality ladder, it doesn't change the fact that even in our supposedly "enlightened" culture, the scales are still unbalanced." - Neacfy (seriously go watch his videos)
The comment in question from my "Street Harassment DOES Suck" video, & my reply.
They word it as if you don't bloody realise that other people have problems, that they think anyone who complains about sexism is automatically self-centred & ignorant, only showing concern for people in the same western society as yourself. Well, newsflash - a lot of us realise that women elsewhere go through waaaaay more crap, and we try to show solidarity for them too by raising awareness of their problems. However, we try not to always speak on their behalf (like Andrew did), as to do so would be EXTREMELY patronising, especially since we could easily be ignorant of what they actually think and what they truly have to deal with.
So I was extremely happy when I saw that a woman named Sarah, actually from a "third world" (as Andrew put it) country, had decided to reply to Andrew's little "speech"...
Sarah: "@Andrew Adkins. As a third world woman, I'd like you to thank you for doing the man thing and talking on my behalf. It is extremely helpful to dismiss someone standing up for anti-feminist bullying with the "others have it worse" excuse.
You mock the ripples? Here's my third world view of this. If feminists in the first world are being bullied and shamed out of being feminists, the following will happen:
- Fewer women in the first world will dare be feminists, because they don't want to run the risk of being ridiculed.
- Therefore, fewer people will be concerned with what happens to 3rd world women like me, because they wouldn't want to be labled as "feminists" and be shamed
- Women in third world countries will hear/see this ridicule, and will feel helpless as they will feel no one will find their suffering worth fighting for. (Except now, we will see that it is)
Because believe it or not, even in third world countries, publicly shaming someone is scarier than beating them.
- To a lot of women in third world countries, what happened to Kelly is EXACTLY what their fathers and brothers tell them, to deter them from joining feminist groups. "look what happened to this woman, and she's in AMERICA. Imagine what they'll do to you here. They'll humiliate you."
So as an oppressed woman of a third world country, I would like to kindly ask you to quit the pity fest and not talk on my behalf. What Kelly did in response to stealing her picture is more helpful to me than you realize.
Bullying those who stand up for my rights is not okay no matter where it happens in the world.
@Kelly: Thank you." - 955 upvotes, 11 downvotes as of writing.
No, Sarah - thank YOU. Thank you for explaining something so simple, that these idiots don't seem to understand. There IS a ripple effect. Once there is success/progress in one place, others will follow; once there is failure/mockery in one place, others will avoid it. Also, nicely done, calling out the 21 yr old white boy from Arkansas (pro tip - if you're gonna be a judgemental, ignorant douche, don't comment via Facebook) who thought he knew how all women in countries thousands of miles away from him would feel about this.
See, this is why I risk the comment section - you just might find an absolute gem like this.
Edit: since first publication, I have added in quotation marks around "third world" in the title, because I wanted to clarify that I was quoting Sarah, who was quoting Andrew in his use of the term. I know that some dislike the term, and I was not using it from my own vocabulary. Ta!