While a space probe landed on a comet- a difficult feat done by a team scientific geniuses- Matt Taylor, one of those geniuses, wore a shirt some argued was sexist. The criticism struck Taylor to the bone. Suddenly, people from all walks of life (mostly women) came forward, unafraid to let everyone know what they thought was “inappropriate” attire. The underlying assumption is that people can and cannot wear certain things in the workplace. This assumption originates in large part from a western corporate culture which confuses attire with productivity and talent; indeed, the notion of “dressing the part” is so ingrained in our society today that most people never stop to think whether wearing a business suit to a banking meeting is necessary. If people need to see others wearing serious clothes to do their job to the best of their ability, the problem is with the person (and possibly the company).

Overlooked by most feminists was the time-worn, oft-repeated argument around rape. The rapist, like most other human beings, externalizes his own problematic behavior by blaming it on someone, or something, else. The absurdity of such claims as “she asked for it” or “her short skirt led me on” is readily apparent. When one person decides to initiate violence, even sexual violence, against another person, the initiator of violence always bears the burden of culpability. To assume that the initiator is spurred into action by a set of external circumstances beyond his control is to assume that automobiles operate on the highway because the sun is up. Though a person may fight defend his life or his property, he nonetheless makes a choice to use violence as his means of defense.

Likewise, rapists who blame their victims ignore their own choices, one at a time. In order to see the full extent of this, it must be understood that the movement of each muscle in the human body, with the exception of the heart, occurs consciously. A thousand movements occur between the time when the rapist is far away from a woman and the time he begins his crime. Each movement of muscle could be consciously stopped: the movement of a foot on a gas pedal, the movement of a hand to open a car door, the movement of a pair of legs to get out of the car, the movement of a hand to close the car door. Victim-blaming puts an onus of guilt upon the victim of a crime for the conscious, voluntary choices a person other than the victim made.

Although Matt Taylor was by no means a rapist, it seems that feminists (or people who call themselves such) have entirely missed the point of all the lessons they themselves have given over time: a person does not deserve any treatment he or she gets based on the clothes he or she wears.

In most cases, this holds true. It should have held true for Taylor. The shirt, insofar as I am able to judge it, actually glorifies the female form. When I saw it for the first time, I thought he was making a tribute to female sexuality. After all, if his intent was what feminist say it was, then he could have worn a shirt featuring a naked woman getting whipped by a shadowy male figure. This was not the case.

Instead, the hyper-sensitivity feminists exhibit today is exemplified in focusing on a man’s t-shirt, instead of the accomplishment he made. The focus is almost always negative. Taylor, and men like him, are never given the benefit of the doubt. It is as if feminists simply do not care whom they hurt on their path to gender equality. They behave as though sexism is permissible whenever they do it but not permissible from anyone else, never realizing their own hypocrisy.

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Almost nothing is said about the practice of femdom by feminists- or of public displays of BDSM in any form- even though such practices degrade and humiliate men. The fact that those men willingly participate ought to mean nothing to today’s feminists. A man should not be led around by a chain with his hands tied behind his back. This gives images to the public of subservience and domination (forms of inequality), even if its expression comes in a voluntary, consensual form.

Whenever bondage, or prostitution, is mentioned at all, the focus is always upon women. The focus is never upon men in situations they’d like to get out of, oppressed by women to the point that they don’t know what to do about it. These issues are swept under the rug, ignored even while people suffer. The question must then become: are feminists interested in equality, or furthering their own agendas?

Unfortunately, the answer appears to be the latter, rather than the former. Woman are always put first and foremost in any feminist agenda. Men are invited to join feminist events, almost as an afterthought. It seems clear that a feminist who wanted to put men and women on equal footing would not go out of her way to point out images on a shirt, especially when there are so many other problems in the world. Only feminists who seek to create a matriarchy (as opposed to a patriarchy) would do this. It seems clear that people driven by a desire for an equitable relationship between genders would choose to the see the positive in the situation, rather than the negative.

If feminism in the 21st century has reached the point of telling a man that he deserves whatever treatment he gets because of the clothes he has chosen to wear, then 21st century feminism is a doctrine which should be discarded. No philosophy which establishes one group of people as superior while establishing another group as inferior is worth following. It does not matter if this is established as men over women, women over men, Muslims over Jews, Jews over Muslims, Christians over Atheists, Americans over Iraqis, Germans over French, Japanese over Chinese, or British over aboriginal peoples everywhere. The result will always be the same: one group drowns in misery even while it uses another group as a scapegoat for all its problems.