By Kate Harveston
Things are so much better than they used to be. A century ago, women got the right to vote, and we haven’t been the same since. You’d think we’d be happy, but we’re always complaining about silly things like wage gaps and #MeToo.
‘Tis the season for turkey, stuffing and gravy. So, fem-nazis, sit back and stuff yourselves grateful with this list of things the mansplainers in your life feel we should all be more thankful for.
- Be Grateful You Can Vote at All
It was just a century ago that women in the United States were given the right to vote — thanks so much, old white men! However, now third-wave feminists are spitting on the graves of first wave feminists by wearing pussy hats and protesting for other rights like the right to choose?! That’s downright shameful and disrespectful.
- Be Grateful There are Men in the Feminist Movement — #NotAllMen Are Evil
You know, my biggest hero is a man who has read The Bell Jar. In fact, it’s his opening line at every bar when I tell him that I’m a feminist. He says, #MeToo — because he grew up with sisters. He experienced his sisters complaining about catcalling and the various gross behaviors of other men, because remember that #NotAllMen are evil. On Twitter, he’s the kind of guy that says #NotME to the #MeToo, while gallantly tweeting, “If you’re part of the club scene I have absolutely no interest in you, dirty slut.”
When his buddy interrupts me, he speaks up for me. I’m just busy thanking the heavens that I have a man there to defend me. *Swoon.*
When the subject of sex comes up, he enjoys sharing the fact that it’s not fair that men get to sleep around — boys being boys — whereas women are called sluts if they do. Then, he turns to me and asks if I’ve ever participated in SlutWalk while staring down my shirt. Ah, boys will be boys.
- Be Grateful There Are Women in Leadership Positions at All
Women are represented in leadership positions—praise be unto the gods! That’s more than enough, and I should just accept that.
You’re right, because women comprise most of the total U.S. population at 50.8 at percent, and that’s pretty even, isn’t it? Women are earning 60 percent of undergrad degrees and almost the same amount of master’s degrees, earning 48 percent of medical degrees, 47 percent of law degrees and 37 percent of MBAs. That’s 47 percent of women at work, and many hold professional-level jobs — which is almost as good as leadership positions:
- Of Fortune 500 companies, 14.6 percent are executive officers with 8.1 percent as top earners and 4.6 percent as CEOS.
- In financial services, women are 54.2 percent of the workforce, but 12.4 percent are executive officers and 18.3 percent are board directors. No female CEOs.
- There are4 percent of women working in social assistance and health care, with 14.6 percent as executive officers and 12.4 percent serving as board directors. No female CEOs.
- In the legal field, women associates are at 45.4 percent, with 15 percent as equity partners.
- In medicine, women physicians are at 34.3 percent with 15.9 percent serving as medical school deans.
- In IT, women managers make up 9 percent of the leadership labor force.
Yes, women are at work and should be grateful to have leadership positions—it’ll only take until 2085 for women to reach the same level as men in leadership and probably wage status too, at least in the United States.
Women are used to waiting—we’ve been waiting for ages. Women take it in hundred-year strides. No need to fret.
- Be Grateful You Live in a Country Where You Even Have Rights
Women in many other countries have it worse, and that’s not dismissive at all. That’s obviously why feminism isn’t needed all around the world, especially not in my country where thousands of women have the opportunity to help women less privileged than themselves by continuing to recognize and improve upon the concept of intersectional feminism.
- Be Grateful That’s All He Did
Hey, thanks for listening — so much. I really appreciate how you laid out the truth like that for me. It could have been so much worse. The fact that he was emotionally abusive is not real abuse.
A guy constantly calling his girlfriend at work is just him being more caring than most boyfriends. And since they’re dating and having consensual sex frequently, she wasn’t raped those times that she adamantly said she didn’t want it—that’s just sex, right?
- Men Get Raped Too
That’s heavy. Women and girls get raped. Little boys get taken advantage of and raped, too. Men get raped by women and other men. Yes, men get raped, too.
Trauma is real for everyone. According to Rainn, every 98 seconds someone in America is raped. Those aged 12 to 34 are at the highest risk for sexual assault and rape; on the other hand, out of the roughly one in 10 Americans older than 60 who will be victims of elder abuse, women statistically remain the most at risk. Women of color also face a higher risk of sexual assault, and the likelihood is particularly high during the supposed “best years of their lives”—college. One in every 10 rape victims is male. Since we’re on the subject, 21 percent of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) students in college have experienced sexual assault compared to four percent of non-TGQN males and 18 percent of non-TGQN females.
Red herring is an interesting dish, isn’t it? Really effective in conversation, too.
- Sexism Is a Social Disease That Affects Men Too
Why, how very enlightened! Let me repeat that to myself in my head: “Sexism is a social disease that affects men, too.” Men, too. You know, that sounds so familiar.
Let me guess, that’s because #AllLivesMatter too? True gender equality means oppression must be shared by all, hmm? Oppression is like a lovely game of volleyball, where it bounces back and forth between teams of equal players, not from a privileged oppressor to those oppressed. If sexism exists against women, then reverse sexism must be a thing.
My horizons have been expanded. One must be grateful for inclusive mansplaining.
- Be Grateful You Have a Man Who Is Going to Keep a Roof Over Your Head
Aw, well bless my heart, why didn’t little me even think of that! I do need a big, strong, hairy man to keep a roof over my head.
Now I understand why he’s so protective. It’s essentially his home, after all, right? I should be grateful someone is there to take care of my fragile female existence. Sure, women can work, but I need to understand the natural order of things—every home needs a “man of the house.”
- Be Grateful Many Women Don’t Need Feminism
Yes, it’s important to take a step back and look at the women around me. These women obviously don’t need feminism. Sally over there is cis-straight, upper-class and white. She has handled boys being boys with dignity because that’s how she was raised—she’s a real lady. When a man interrupts her, she sits politely and waits her turn—even if it doesn’t come.
When she gets catcalled or told to smile, she passes it off, even when Bob at work — who makes more than her with less professional experience — pushes her against the copy machine and tells her what he’d do with those assets of hers.
Clearly, this article is satire, but the facts and points underneath the tip of the iceberg are very real. Feminism is absolutely about gender equality, but the very concept of oppression illustrates that it’s one-sided.
It’s a misuse of power that keeps a single group on top while others are buried underneath physical, social, and financial oppression.
I am so genuinely grateful for all the hard work done in the past and for what I have, yes, but feminism is absolutely still necessary and relevant today. As the times change, it demands more and more improvement, particularly in terms of intersectionality. There’s still a long way to go.
If you still don’t get that by now, there’s at least one of two things you can assuredly be grateful for experiencing this Thanksgiving—ignorant bliss or blessings such as privilege.