What’s so funny ‘bout peace, love, and feminism?

By Lily Foss '13 Feminist Columnist

You know, readers, as I walk through this wicked world searching for light in the darkness of patriarchy, I ask myself, “Is all hope lost?  Is there only pain and hatred, and legitimate rape?”  And each time I feel like this inside, there’s one thing I wanna know: what’s so funny ‘bout peace, love, and feminism?

Okay, Elvis Costello homage over.  But that song pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling lately.  It isn’t as though this is the first time I’m realizing that sexism is, you know ... a thing.  I mean, duh.  Count the number of female presidents.  Even when I was a little kid I knew that something was askew there.

It helps that my mom told me early on that women have a sucky time in this country. I remember her telling me multiple times that the “pro-life” movement is just a bunch of men who want to control women’s bodies.  Yeah, she’s the best.  But lately the patriarchal nature of our society has just been hitting me really hard, like a rapist getting hit with jail time.  Oh, except the opposite of that, because only one out of sixteen rapists will ever spend a day in prison.

I’m the President of It Ends Here, so sexual assault in the media is something to which I pay particular attention. And there has certainly been a lot to read about. Who knew rape came in so many varieties, right? Apparently there’s legitimate rape, forcible rape, emergency rape, rape rape, easy rape, and even God-sanctioned rape.  Gee whiz, so many choices!  It’s like the friggin’ Golden Age of Rape right now!

Every time I read one of these ridiculous stories about some horrible public figure inventing a new, narrower definition of “real rape,” I get outraged.  But there’s just so many stories like this.  It’s like all these people are having some contest to see who can be the most offensive.   And there just comes a point where all my feminist fury gets too much for me.  It’s so draining to be angry all the time.

And it’s times like those when I wonder, “How did we even get here?”  “Here” not only being a point where everyone and their father apparently have the right to decide what rape means, but “here” also being just patriarchy in general.  The idea of a society where I’m automatically disadvantaged just because I have two X chromosomes is so ridiculous.  It makes zero sense.  How did this happen?  And what on Earth could I possibly do about it?  I want it to change, but sometimes it’s just so hard to try and do it myself.  I get sick of being angry all the time.

A lot of times these feelings can be momentarily put aside by curling up in my fluffy Hello Kitty pajamas with my stuffed moose and a few episodes of “Parks & Recreation.”  But that relief is only momentary.  And each time I feel it slipping away, it just makes me wanna cry.  What’s so funny ‘bout peace, love, and feminism?