“Misogynist: A man that hates women, as much as women hate one another.”
Henry Louis Mencken. American Journalist
“She’s such a bitch, she changes boyfriends like she changes underwear.”, “What red dye is that, “Red Whore”?, “Girl, What’s your major? ‘Hoe-ology’?” Do any of those sound familiar, or can you at least relate one of those? It seems as though being a feminist is the new requirement to be accepted in the contemporary female society. The first question I ask any newly self proclaimed-feminist member is “What does feminism stand for?” the answer I hear is: “Equality.” It then raises the question: “Why aren’t men and women equal?” The second answer I hear, has something to do with “Equality of Opportunity.” Well, Question: Are dogs and cats equal? Are stallions and butterflies the same? How about sharks and lions? Can they do the same things? Did nature endow each one of them with the same abilities as the other? Can dogs fall from incredible heights and walk perfectly fine as if nothing happened like cats can? Probably not. If you were to judge how superior is the stallion to the butterfly in it’s ability to fly, what would your ultimate verdict be? Likewise, If you judged the superiority of the butterfly over the stallions’s ability to pull heavy carriages, what would your final verdict be? What does this teach us about nature and the world, in general, for that matter? That there is no such thing as “Equality of opportunity”, as nature does not grant equal beauty, intelligence, nor strength to living organisms. If this is true for nature, and arguing that human beings are part of nature, why would men and women be an exception?
The idea of Le Femme Fatale, was born in Paris during the 19th century amongst philosophers and artists, and based on the unjustified belief of Eve’s ( and women in general) responsibility on the fall of mankind from the Garden of Eden. It was then argued that women were nothing mere seductresses that distracted men from their daily duties and responsibilities. We must remember that during this time women were barely educated and high employment positions were almost strictly reserved for men. Women dedicated themselves mostly to prostitution, housewives, entertainment, or in restaurants as waitresses or bartenders, as we see in Edgar Degas’ “A bar at the folies-Bergere” (1882) or Claude Manet’s “Olympia” (1863) . Two hundred years later, in the 21st century, I argue that despite the significant improvements in employment opportunities, and that despite that women have even acquired positions of presidency as Angela Merkel has in Germany, Le femme are still Fatale.
The question is: “‘Fatale’, fatal, to who?” I would argue that in the 21st century, women have become distractions to themselves and competitors amongst each other, not for employment or in academia, but for men’s attention. In other words, women have become “Fatale” to themselves, the capital sin of Envy at it’s finest. I once had the privilege and honor to speak to Dr. Germaine Greer, leading feminist figure of the 20th century and author of The Female Eunuch, at the Hay Festival 2010 and asked her on her thoughts on The Barbie Phenomena to which she brilliantly responded, “Barbie is more about racism than it is about sexism. But Sexism, on the other hand, has less to do with what men think of women, and more of what women think of themselves.” To any woman, or young college girl, with the intention of defending her rights of equality before the world, my best advice in where to begin, would be to change and help yourself first, before attempting to change the world. Instead of belittling, empower other women. Instead of hiding and taking shame in your sexuality, proudly embrace it. As I responded one morning to some nosey, rude girl neighbor as I was proudly strutting through the parking lot during what I love to call My Shameless Walk-Of-Shame – “There’s no shame in the game. Don’t hate the player, Girl. Hate the game.”