Are Western Women Still Oppressed Victims?
I've recently entered into an interesting, though charged debate over the reasons why I write about men who wear women's clothing. I've given my reasons many times, (having had boyfriends who wore lingerie, having experienced the sting of being singled out for 'wearing the wrong thing', etc) and as an intro to a much deeper point about equality and whatnot, I briefly covered them again.
Innocently I wandered into an avalanche of doubt from at least one listener, who didn't believe why I like to write about men who wear women's clothing.
The disbelief came down to this point:
“Didn't you have enough trouble growing up yourself? And once grown, your own life? Fighting for equality in the workplace? Why would you want to take on a cause for men 's liberation, if I may call it thus? Obviously, it is generally men who are the oppressors and aggressors against women.”
I realized then that because I'm a woman I'm also assumed by some people to be a poor little oppressed victim in my own life. This is an incredibly foreign concept to me. I've never felt like a victim. I've never felt as if I am fighting against some great oppression. I have never felt unequal. Perhaps this is a result of the fact that I have lived the bulk of my life in New Zealand, where women were first given the vote and where equality seems to be much more deep and widespread than other areas of the world.
Having traveled a bit, I have been in countries and regions, (Italy, for instance,) where it was quite obvious that being female was an issue, and a negative one at that. But I didn't feel like a victim there either. I didn't consider myself oppressed. I considered sexist men jerks and I dismissed them from my mind and my life.
Not being a victim or an oppressed woman is quite easy when you live in the Western world. Now, if I had been born in Iran after the revolution, or Afghanistan under the Taliban, then my experience would no doubt be very different and I would very much be a victim of oppression with very little control over my own destiny.
But, as things stand, I have the right to chose my own partner, to gain education, to pursue a career and to excel in that career. Western women are no longer oppressed victims if they don't want to be.
He then continued: “Again, you have not convinced me why you have embraced this as YOUR CAUSE.”
This is much easier to answer. Being a liberated woman, I don't have to convince anyone about why I write about these issues. I have taken the time to write about my reasons in order to satisfy natural curiosity, but I am certainly not bound to defend my position. Indeed, it would be intensely hypocritical to do so, because I can't very well say “Well, you men should go out there and wear what you want to wear and enjoy it and not worry about justifying yourself to the world,” and then spend hours of my life justifying my encouragement of men doing so.
TL, DR: Long story short, I do it because I like it.