Why Feminism is Saving Marriage in the US

vday_crop1by Erin Bagwell, 26 Brooklyn, NY

One of my favorite myths about feminism is that feminists hate men. In fact, I was just in a bar last Friday and I told a guy I met that I ran a feminist storytelling blog. It was amazing to see his eye balls grow three times in size as he took a step back in shock. Amazing! It was like I had just announced I was a man eating vampire and I was going to/had the power to murder him on the spot. My male friends are so supportive and excited about Feminist Wednesday that I almost forgot there are guys and girls out there who see the Feminist label as something to fear.

The origin of this myth is essentially rooted in years and years of smear campaigns and fear mongering from the mainstream media. I was going to site the church's uncomfortable relationship with feminism, or pull a quote from Freud (lots of issues with women there) however the internet is the gift that keeps on giving, and I was able to find a much more recent sighting of feminist 'mental illness' from our dear friends at Renew America from 2006: "Peer into the dark heart of radical feminism, and you'll get a glimpse of a seething caldron of delusion, phobia, and paranoia."

LOLZ. Dark hearted? Caldron of delusion? Those sound like Katy Perry lyrics! I can tell you firsthand that the feminists I know (and I know a lot!) don't hate men, and have no interest murdering them like vampires or putting their hearts into magical caldrons. Feminism is about women creating energy and momentum for equal rights for women. It has nothing to do with stripping away any power men in society have. We just want a piece of the pie! And the rights we are fighting for don't just affect women. I can list about 20 reasons men should support feminism: birth control, equal pay, not having your female friends harassed on the street, and my new favorite statistic: marriages in the US are seeing lower divorce rates than ever. The reason? More and more relationships are built on equal partnerships. Feminism is saving marriage in the US! I'm just going to say it again because its fucking brilliant - FEMINISM IS SAVING MARRIAGE IN THE US! According to Helen E. Fisher, anthropologist and human behavior researcher:

"Demographers and historians say that women in the western world are experiencing happier marriages today than at any time in history probably for two reasons. Foremost, many women (and men) can afford to walk out of bad marriages to make better ones. Second, with the current emphasis on companionship within marriage, people today expect more from their partnerships...what sociologists call the symmetrical, companionate or peer marriage: marriage between equals."

Way to go feminism! It benefits everybody- and it most certainly doesn't mean women hate men.  In fact I'm sure feminist girlfriends and wives all over the US are celebrating their relationships this Valentines Day with their partners. I also participated in this holiday of love by making my boyfriend an oreo cheesecake. Radical feminist? Yes. Dark hearted demon-lady? Maybe on Halloween.

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Your StoriesErin Bagwell