Why I Need Feminism

For a while now, feminists have been posting pictures of themselves holding signs that explain why they’re feminists. Then the MRA’s decided to get involved. And now there are cats. So I thought I’d add my voice. As a human, not a cat…in case you were wondering. Any way, here’s my list:

I need feminism because I shouldn’t be told I’m crazy for walking alone outside after 9pm.

I need feminism because my old manager thought it was appropriate to tell me that I should smile. Seriously, this is annoying. If you don’t know why this is not okay, then it’s never happened to you.

I need feminism because, when I was selling electronics, people showed me more respect when they assumed that I was a boy than they did when they assumed that I was a girl. Even women. Though I did find it funny when they would ask me a question, not believe my answer, walk over to my male coworker and ask him, and then watch with their mouths agape when he’s inevitably walk over and ask me their question. I was pretty much the most experienced electronics employee.

I need feminism because I will be going into a male dominated field no matter what I do after university, and I shouldn’t have to be worried about that. But I am. I know I’ll likely not make as much as the men, and I likely won’t be as respected. I’ve heard enough stories from enough women, and seen enough studies, to tell me that I’m right to worry.

I need feminism because I’m the first female president of the Freethinkers Club, and one of the few female members. The freethinker, atheist, agnostic, etc movement is still very much an old boys club.

I need feminism because being a feminist within the above movement is frowned upon and can lead to harassment.

I need feminism because academia is still an old boys club, and people still question my place in it.

There are many more reasons why I need feminism, but this is what I can think of at the moment. Let me know in the comment section why you need feminism.


30 responses to “Why I Need Feminism

  • occupymelbournenet

    “So how exactly does ‘in god we trust’ (you know stamped on the penny) make the USA secular. If the coinage had ‘Allah ackbar’ stamped into it would you be saying its not a secular state?

    Furthermore if you claim to have christian beliefs, how does this reconcile with needing feminism? What does the bible say about women being equal to men? Does the bible state Eve was create to be a ‘helpmate’ for Adam and to be subservient to him?

    Am I seeing a contradiction here, or is there something i have missed?


  • john spizziri

    If you think feminism is a ” old boys club” you ought to try being a man sometime. You don’t need feminism; you ARE feminine already; militancy only leads to shutting doors. Closed forts never lead to illumination. You want feminism, try Catherine of Siena- who castigated Popes and became a Doctor of the Church- or Mother Angelica- who created a world wide media empire based on love of Christ and $50. You can be a woman like this… Come over and listen to the First Spoons.


    • hessianwithteeth

      I didn’t say feminism is an old boys club, I said atheism was. And I do need feminism. It’s not about militancy, it’s again equal rights. And no, I’m not feminine at all. I’m actually more on the masculine side of things. I just also happen to be female.


      • john spizziri

        sorry for the misunderstanding- my fault; you have every right I do in this nation- rights that were developed and drawn from Christianity. all other cultures believe in social Darwinism, if I may say so. you gender is a biological certainty– did you know that testosterone destroys brain cells?- not something I would be wishing to claim unless it was a fact, rather than desire.


        • hessianwithteeth

          “all other cultures believe in social Darwinism, if I may say so. ”

          No I think not, like obviously you can say what you want, but that statement in particular is horrendously false, having no basis in reality. Perhaps back in the early 20th century you may of had a point if you said many popular western politicians and movements where social Darwinist to some degree, however. It is would have been wrong to say most cultures followed Social Darwinism then and is now most certainly not the case now that fascism is not longer a popular form of government.

          I also have to ask do you understand what Social Darwinism is and do you know that it has nothing to do with Charles Darwin, or the theory of natural selection. (it claims to be based off the theory of natural selection, but those who came up with it clearly didn’t understand Darwin’s actual theories) If you want I will talk about with you.

          And let me cut a certain misconception off before it pops up. Fascism and Communism have nothing to do with one another they are entirely different styles of government. Neither works well, but they are not the same.

          Also do you have citations on the testosterone killing brain cells? I have never heard of this before now. I looked it up briefly and according to what I could find is that testosterone will kill braincells when testosterone levels are present at 1000’s of time higher then the physiological level found in test subjects body. So I don’t see how that’s at all relevant to this discussion in anyway let alone feminism in general. Seriously if your doping yourself with 1000’s of times more of any hormone, bad things are bound to happen.

          Withteeth (you where previously replying to Hessian)


          • john spizziri

            my aside about social darwimism has to do with the concept that the strong dominate the weak– males are stronger, hence they dominate females. all western culture have Christian foundations and so while corruptions of such, still are vestigial. non Christian based cultures are what I meant.; such as aminmist, himdu, moslem und so weite.
            I cannot come up with a cite as I am 60 miles from my desk; y\the school year has not started yet. however, being extremely involved with biological systems , breeding and development for the last 35 years, I can assure you that this is a well established phenomenon. During fetal development, all embryos start out female; the when testosterone begins to express itself, one of the first things it does along with changing the genital streak is work on the cns– by destroying certain areas of the fetal brain. this is a dirty thumbnail sketch of one small aspect of pregnancy.
            once again, where does your anger come from? it colors every statement ; I hope you can find some peace somehow.


          • hessianwithteeth

            It isn’t anger (Christians love bringing up anger) Annoyance yes, but lets adress the issues that you didn’t bring up in your reply.

            First you seem to think Christianity is free from the patriarchal social structure which you rightly say most of the world has. This is clearly not the case, women in many denomination are not allowed to teach, or preach, or join clergy (nuns are not = to priests). There is still a wage gap in most of the world including in the USA and Canada, women on average make something like 70 cents on the dollar men make in the same position. This of course is a complex issue, but a large amount of it is systemic attempt to reduce costs by lowing the wages of more oppressed exemplifies because they are less likely to fight back, however this isn’t because they are we it’s because they are already beaten down. (white) Men aren’t strictly stronger in today’s world, but we do have a head start in everything we do. There is practically nothing a white man can’t do in life, but if your a woman, or a man of colour, or a any number of minorities, people will actively try to dissuade you from doing thing. Women are told to fill certain roles like nursing, and teaching. Black men are told to avoid basically anything other than sports in school. This is in all chases, but it alarming how frequent people dream and ideas are crushed because it doesn’t fit the narrow social narrative.

            Also this isn’t “Social Dawrinism” this is happy placed inside the realm of patriarchy which has a number theories all it’s own to explain its existence. Social Darwinism was a failed social experiment where people wanted to see those “more capable” grow in wealth and their power increase while those who are “weak” would be less wealthy and their power decrease. Many also thought that the “weak” should also be punished and that’s where the concept of eugenics came from along with a heavily warped view that some how natural selection is a good process to control people. Which basically translates into, you sterilize or kill the least “fit” of your group, However! And this is important.

            Super duper important: How social drawinist defined the concept of fittest or strongest is not the same way biology defines it now or then. They tended to think along the lines that the white male majority was fittest (or what ever their primary ethnic group was) and the general oppressed minorities (like the Jewish people in Nazi Germany) who are already are major social and political disadvantage. So the basics of what I’m saying is in Social darwinism the strongest isn’t based on some objective fact or truth it’s based on the circumstances of history that one group is stronger in an area because more of that given cultural group lived there and they never lost there power, and that can be, and has been for many reason most of which are not a question of being more “fit”, but rather circumstance and chance.

            Also this need to be repeated, from your above comment you seem to be confusing the issues of patriarchy with the issues of Social Darwinism. Women tend to be oppressed in male dominated cultures (patriarchies), but there isn’t just a few simple reasons for it it’s a very complex issue containing issues of tradition, the effects of divided labor, ideas that women are property (a very biblical view) raw physical strength is a portion, but humans are social animals, and there are more way to exert force than with heavy objects, and fists. Hence while rare Matriarchal (female dominated) culture have and do exist. It could actually be a quick of history that it’s a patriarchal and not a Matriarchal system, but I’m quickly leaving the area of thing I’m comfortable talking about so I’ll leave it there.

            To your next point. Fetuses don’t start out “female” they start a blobs of cells and eventually form proto-gonads which will later form into either ovaries, testes or in rare cases ova-testis. Your right about testosterone being needed for testes to form in the vast majority of cases (human reproductive development is pretty complicated). And if testosterone isn’t present the fetus regardless of chromosomal make up will develop into a female.

            This is interesting about testosterone killing part of the brain I’m unaware of that process, so if you do have some better info or a link I would appreciate it. Also has it been strongly correlated with later developments of personality/cognitive traits, or is it just a quirk of human development?

            Though I really honestly don’t understand where your getting this Christianity doesn’t support problematic ideas like patriarchy. There is clear evidence in History, the bible, and in the modern church that Christan does in indeed support the oppression of women, and the old testament is very clear about women having positions lesser then men.


          • john spizziri

            first, let me say that it is difficult to continue a wide ranging discussion such as this in such a format. I understand your position with regards to societal structure; I merely disagree with it. if you really wish more detailed info on testosterone, you are more than welcome to query my daughter, dr beth spizziri, a phd in biomedical sciences. she can be found on facebook and if you message her, wih a coda mentioning me, I am sure she will respond. unfortunately I am a VERY slow typer; it takes me about 1/2 hour to type something like just this, and I am in the middle of a construction project, trying to get it done before classes start next week(doubtful). if you wish to get to the root of Christian relations vis a vis women, I cite the letters of st paul. I will also very clearly restate what is essential; I, as well as every follower of Christ, am a very poor weak example of Him who I wish to imitate. for this I will pay to the last penny both now and in purgatory. it is to my shame and the shame of all others of my ilk that our actions have been so remiss, others can use our lives as an example of why Christianity is a broken standard. it is far too easy for us all to peer at creation , picking out what we perceive as flaws(and as far as us, they ARE flaws), rather than the good n and the hope that is truly amidst . May I make an apology for whoever (myself included) has failed in our life, by insulting or otherwise harming you. for you see, we do not just believe that we were made in Gods image and likeness, but you as well. there are many wellmeaning but cruel sheep in the flock, just as there are far too many wolves as well. everyone must be sly as a fox when discerning truth, even in this venue.
            Now tell me, I am curious,what are you studying? I assume you are a university student.


      • hessianwithteeth

        Also I ought to mention that the USA (we are from Canada btw) was clearly founded on secular ideals not Christian. It’s freedom of religion not freedom to practice Christianity.


  • Godless Cranium

    “I need feminism because my old manager thought it was appropriate to tell me that I should smile. Seriously, this is annoying. If you don’t know why this is not okay, then it’s never happened to you.”

    I’ve had it happen to me as a male. Not sure why it’s annoying or a feminist issue?

    I’ve been told that several times by different people. It’s actually good advice for both men and women because it makes you seem more inviting. We’re social creatures and a smile goes a long way.


  • existentialone

    One of my proudest parental achievements has been realized in the fact that my 24 year old daughter is and has been since an early teen a “fearless feminist”. She developed into such she has a good heart, and a keen sense of social justice. And I believe that both those qualities are encompassed in the issue of feminism and gender equality.

    If a person has a good heart, if a person is kind and caring, then would that person not want everyone to be treated with respect and dignity. Furthermore, would that sense not somewhat evolve into a sense of social justice?

    I truly believe that gender equality is the “final frontier” of endeavors for social justice in general. I think misogyny and sexism may very well be the oldest of all social injustices.

    That said, until we face this issue openly, honestly, and sincerely, then the foundation for all social injustice will be as plain as male and female.

    When we mature to the degree that there is truly recognized gender equality, then I think all other forms of social injustice will have been resolved.

    Feminism is merely a passion for respect, fairness, and dignity.

    What more noble endeavor could one seek and support?



  • lezstylez

    Fantastic post. *thumbs up*


  • ubi dubium

    I need feminism because I have daughters. And I care how the world treats them.


  • The Scrupulous Atheist

    I’ve always thought of feminism as civil rights/equal rights movement. Nothing you’ve laid out is controversial, in my mind, in the least. Is it really bad as a female in a freethinkers group? I don’t know why, but I almost think it would go over without a hitch. Being female, gay or both wouldn’t matter to me. Maybe I’m just extrapolating, but I would imagine atheists being less convinced with either sexist or homophobic ideas. I’ve never been to a freethinkers group so I have no idea. Chalk my questions up to my naivete.


    • hessianwithteeth

      My group is amazing, but we have trouble attracting females to our group. We were hoping that the number would rise with a female president, and they kind of did. But we still have about 10 male members for every female member.
      My biggest problem is the atheist community as a whole. So many people have attacked Rebecca Watson and skepchic because she mentioned, almost as passing, being sexually harassed on an elevator once by one guy. It’s now become acceptable for atheists to publicly come out as anti-feminist, or even MRA. Even Richard Dawkins has said many stupid things as a result. The community on wordpress seems fine, and freethought blogs is great. But it’s kind of scary to hear some of the stuff being said by the biggest names in atheism.


  • jamilouise

    You had me in three sentences! Loved this! Thank you!


  • Why I Need Feminism | Versus Blurb

    […] post is inspired in part by a recent post by hessianwithteeth, who kept the topic of feminism alive in my mind while I clicked on a link Leiah from So, I read […]


  • Marigold

    Thanks for the timely post. With all this “Women Against Feminism” this topic has really been on my mind lately. I need feminism because I need the security that if I don’t conform to gender roles, I will still be accepted, and I dearly want that for my young brother and sister too. I’m fairly androgynous, and since I work in the mines I know that if I were an androgynous boy I would be given a hard time about it: I’ve seen it happen. But because I’m a girl the men are slightly more polite to me, and at the same time they’re definitely not polite to each other. You gotta give as good as you get out there, because you’re going to get it anyway. I’ve been trying to convince them that common courtesy and respect for others isn’t a sign of weakness, but it’s been an uphill battle. Honestly I think we could use some more women onsite just to settle down the testosterone bullshit – the way they carry on sometimes is… disheartening. It’s like being at an all boys school (please know that I don’t intend this to be anti-male: I’d rather be at an all boys school than all girls, but any one gender being dominant is going to cause issues in the workplace – anyone who doesn’t quite fit will be noticed).
    On another note, I visited Japan recently and saw how the men walk out in the summer heat with their ties done up tight and their work jackets still on, and the women still wear stockings and high heels everywhere. Every time I go to the bathroom there are half a dozen women touching up their makeup. Japan never had a sexual revolution, and we would still be doing the same if good women and men hadn’t worked hard to change the mind of society over the course of forty years. Men don’t need to wear ties to be ‘presentable’ and women don’t need to wear heels. And I know for a fact that if a woman in Australia is asked to wear makeup as part of her job in an office, there would be a bloody big backlash against that workplace.


  • Natasha

    Brilliant post. I need feminism because today I was accidentally punched during a game of basketball, and when I told my friend about it very nonchalantly (it honestly wasn’t that bad), he said “it’s funny that you say it so casually. Women are so delicate so they bruise more easily than men. Not saying that they shouldn’t be doing regular stuff”.

    I need feminism because I’m sick of being considered timid just because of my gender. I need feminism because I’m studying medicine and a professor told me that the field I want to work in is too male dominated for me. I need feminism because someone told me recently that I should really know how to cook because I’ll “need it for when I’m married”.

    But mostly I need feminism because it’s common sense.


    • hessianwithteeth

      I would very much confuse your friend. I fell of a low concrete wall at my cousins birthday party last month and didn’t realize I’d scraped up my leg until hours later. I don’t seem to notice injuries very often.
      People are silly. My partner and I take turns on cooking duty. It’s only fair that we both cook.
      People have silly ideas though. Good luck with your schooling. Hopefully you get better profs in the future.


      • Natasha

        Unfortunately not everyone has that thinking and I didn’t say anything to him because what good can I do in one argument when he’s grown up 24 years with that thought process? Anyway, thank you, and good luck to you too


  • Kelsey Cowie

    Cats?? Why cats? I don’t understand… You are very accomplished you should be really proud of yourself. Woman power!!! 🙂


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