Feminism can be seen as a really negative thing to somepeople and then a really positive thing to others. I always tended to besomewhat opinionated to the fact that feminists are negative after hearing somestories of them saying, “The white male is the root of all evil,” as well asother opinionated things.
When I was asked to read the article America Made Me a Feminist, I was reallyskeptical going in. After reading it over twice, my opinion on feminism hasn’tchanged, while my view on the whole topic culturally has. Something I found fairly interesting was when Paulinagave her cultural background of Sweden and Czechoslovakia. Here in America,women have always been seen as really emotional, sweet, and harmless. However,in Sweden, she states a girl had punched a boy straight in the face. I believePaulina is trying to claim women back in Sweden must be given a more masculinecultural view, and they aren’t so “defenseless and powerless” as people inAmerica believe. However, while women may be trademarked as being sweet, weak,and innocent, in actuality it’s a weak argument for feminists.
I believe thisbecause I know tom boys, I know really masculine girls, and I know women thatare in politics, and the number of those women versus “a typical American woman”isn’t an outlier, but instead is a pretty even ratio. From my experience, thesewomen are treated just the same as a typical feminine girl. The quote, “They men opened doors for me, they wantedto pay for my dinner. They seemed to think I was too delicate, or too stupid,to take care of myself,” was a really bold statement made by Pauline while inParis. Her article is about how women can be just as strong as a man. Thisstatement, however, is a really dumb statement to a guy like me who still opensdoors for people. When a guy holds open a door or pays for dinner, he isn’ttrying to show power over a woman; quite the opposite, as he shows respect forher by being a gentleman.
I even did a bit of research and found an articletitled “Gentlemen Misrepresented (thoughts on some of the origins of Chivalry)” by Max Nomad, and found that originally thereason men opened doors for women had to do with the length of the dresses.They actually needed a guy to open the door, as most women dressed like thisback then. It wasn’t until the 19th century that these acts ofchivalry were seen as being a gentleman, so it never in the past had to do withmen empowering and belittling women.
In Paulina’s conclusion, aftercomparing different countries’ view on women, she states, “But the Americanwoman is told she can do anything and then is knocked down the moment sheproves it.” Her claim makes no sense, as women nowadays seem to be respectedmore than ever. Yes, while there are some individuals that stir up trouble withwomen, there are also individuals that stir up trouble with race, religion, andother touchy subjects. Our culture has a way better view on women then it hasin a long time, but there is no way to make every individual person agree onsomething. Women make up a huge percent of the workforce here in America, aswell as in politics compared to the past. Many women go out every day and provethemselves, without getting knocked down. Getting technical, there are evensome men that try to protest or make a claim that gets shot down, so statingthat a woman cannot do anything in America is a demeaning statement.
To wrap it all up, I can admire thatPauline wrote this article to stand up for what she believes in. Feminism is agreat cause too, as there are some things our country could fix in terms ofsexuality equality. However Pauline makes really weak claims, and she doesn’tcall herself a feminist for the cause as much as (I get the picture) shedoesn’t like the way America deals with women. Growing up in a differentculture gave her a different experience, but her culture is different thanAmerican culture, and with her really weak claims I believe this article isvery poorly written. If she could have gone into some of the American sexualityproblems in a bit more depth, I feel like I could have gotten something moreout of it.