Since a lot of people seem to be asking about this, I think I should explain why I sometimes feature my partner Heather and her videos on our channel. Many seem to think that this is just something I grudgingly indulge out of a sense of obligation. In reality, I’ve actually had to convince her to do this. She usually doesn’t want to do videos, because she thinks they aren’t good enough.
But I want her here, because she covers an area that I’ve often neglected: the explicit discussion of feminism. And quite simply, she’s better at it. To me, it’s like watching videos by QualiaSoup or AronRa – I look at her work and I think, I wish I were that insightful. Fortunately, we live together, so why shouldn’t we work together on this?
I find it really interesting that when I have featured various feminist ideas in my videos, hardly anyone has a problem with this. I suspect it’s because I’ve rarely used the word “feminism” itself – a term with an almost magical ability to turn people’s brains off. As soon as you say you’re a feminist, out come the standard array of reflex responses: “you’re ugly”, “you’re a bitch”, “you just hate men”, “why don’t you support everyone’s rights?”, “what about the men?”, “but men and women are different!”, “women are already equal!” – the sort of thing that most of us already have the good sense not to say about LGBT rights, atheist activism, and other issues I regularly discuss.
Somehow, this topic alone has managed to enrage more people than when I’ve recommended boycotting the Salvation Army, told preteens it’s okay to be gay because there is no God, suggested that transgender people shouldn’t have to tell anyone they’re trans before sleeping with them, and drawn Muhammad and then eaten the drawing. Apparently it’s much worse to call yourself a feminist and say that gender roles are mostly arbitrary, often restrictive, and usually disadvantage women. If that’s really the worst thing you’ve ever heard on this channel, then I’m pretty proud of Heather for accomplishing something that even I couldn’t do.
And as long as this is how people react to any mention of feminism, this tells me that more coverage of feminism is exactly what we need. We need more open discussion of what feminism actually is, why feminism is a necessary movement, why the issues addressed by feminism are important, and why being a feminist is nothing to be ashamed of. If this isn’t something you want to hear about, well, that’s your loss. But as always, we do hope that some people will at least make an effort to listen and understand. We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t think it mattered.