Real feminism means not generalizing based on gender

I recently came across a social media post in which someone wrote, “Late marriage is every woman’s worst nightmare,” and another person responded by claiming, “Actually, being kidnapped and human trafficked is every woman’s worst nightmare.”

This post, to me, exemplifies the sexism of today’s society. One person makes an insulting claim about women, and another person responds with a different insulting, demeaning, and degrading claim about women, as if this is somehow a feminist rebuttal. In reality, it is anything but. 

Is it correct to claim that “late marriage is every woman’s worst nightmare”? Of course not. 

But is it right to claim, instead, that “being kidnapped and human trafficked is every woman’s worst nightmare”? Absolutely not. This claim is equally wrong, and equally anti-feminist, as the original one. 

The essence of feminism is the belief that people shouldn’t make generalizations based on gender. To claim that every woman fears being kidnapped and human trafficked is just as anti-feminist (and arguably even more so) as claiming that every woman fears getting married at a relatively old age. It’s also simply false. I am a woman, and the possibility of being kidnapped or trafficked isn’t something that I think about or take into consideration at all. It’s not something that would even occur to me to be concerned about. 

If someone was truly a feminist, they wouldn’t be making any claims about women at all; they would be making claims about individual people rather than making generalizations about an entire gender. There is no such thing as “every woman’s worst nightmare.” Each person fears different things, has different goals, and looks at the world in different ways. And these fears, goals, and ways of looking at the world have nothing to do with whether a particular person is male, female, or non-binary.

True feminism means combatting sexist stereotypes, not reinforcing them. People need to stop repeating these demeaning and degrading stereotypes about women, such as the idea that they are constantly being kidnapped or trafficked, or that they live in fear of such an outcome. Repeating and reinforcing such stereotypes is the antithesis of feminism.

As for me, my worst nightmare would probably be for my Confederate statue to be destroyed. Now that’s something you won’t see acknowledged by the anti-feminists who call themselves feminists.