50 – Home-Ec Class
When I was in school there was a movement among feminists to change the spelling of “woman” to “womyn” so that it didn’t have the word “man” in it. I have never met such a person but the fact that there are people that barking mad has stayed with me forever. And yes, that is where the spelling of her last name is coming from; she’s of German heritage, and had her last name legally changed.
Wha? A depiction of mis-gendered stereotypes? Who would have expected such a thing from a story involving gender-swapping!
Actually I’ve been apprehensive about featuring Coach Mynn in the comic at all; worried about how people would receive the inevitable arguments about feminism that would come.
I actually spent a lot of time researching facts and opinions trying to come to a better understanding on the subject and how to portray it, and I’ve finally figured out the key piece of information that people really need to understand:
Feminism is actually not about gender equality; in fact, there is already a term used to describe gender equality: it’s called “gender equality.” Feminism is about promoting women, and there is no stipulation about where women already stand. Naturally, a few generations back (and in countries like India) that promotion would bring about gender equality. But today in the US (and many countries) that promotion is largely striving to surpass and even demean men. So with that in mind, to any who might be offended by a negative portrayal of feminism I may put into my comic, I will simply ask this:
Is it feminism that you want to support, or gender equality? Because those two terms are not pushing toward the same goal.
Now I know that there are also people moving to portray the idea of feminism not as a political movement toward “equality,” but rather as a social effort toward things like respect and freedom of choice. But even so, it still fails this basic litmus test: Does it not also apply to men? Don’t men deserve respect, and the right to chose who they will be, and to not be constrained to labels?
These are things that should pertain to all people, regardless of their gender. Demanding them only for one group only clouds the real issue.