Ever since there have been humans, the women have been having the kids.
When women first started having kids, the only way to nourish them was by breastfeeding.
By the time they were done breastfeeding one child, there was usually another, and another, and another.
Women had no choice but to feed their children, so they ended up taking care of them, too. Until they died.
This freed up men to keep on doing what they’d always done, which, initially consisted of inventing fire and hunting mastodons.
But as technology and knowledge and our understanding of the world increased, men didn’t have to spend so much time killing large animals for food, and they got better at sheltering themselves from their environment.
Which women probably could have done, had they not been so damn busy breastfeeding and taking care of the kids.
Eventually, some men had so much free time on their hands they started to think about things like gravity and calculus and philosophy. They also found time to create art and literature and music. Which, once again, women might have done, but, you know…cleaning and cooking and stuff.
Later, some women were rich enough to hire other women to do those things, but since only men had ever done science or music or writing plays, it never occurred to anyone that a woman might be able to do those things, too.
But then it occurred to women, and so they tried to do the same things, but this made men uncomfortable, because if they couldn’t have babies (not that they wanted to, mind you), then women shouldn’t be able to think about chemistry and astronomy or write sonnets. Or think, really, about anything other than girl things.
Men tried to keep women from doing man things, and women caught on. Some woman did those man things, like writing books or making art, anyway, but they used male pen names so no one would know.
Other women tried to do man things as women, and sometimes they were even successful.
Which made men even more uncomfortable, especially since some people were starting to say that you should be able to have the same opportunities even if you weren’t white. What, with that to deal with, men found themselves fighting on two fronts, and that was hard, because they weren’t used to being challenged, especially by people of color AND women – who were supposed to be docile and stupid.
Yes, by the beginning of the twentieth century, men had their hands full trying to dominate anyone who wasn’t a white male. Then the automobile was invented, and men got really distracted. Also, rich people weren’t able to stay so filthy rich because of the income tax, and so you can understand how women were able to win the right to vote.
Then there was the depression, and then there was a war, and pretty much everybody was really tired, and that’s when men said, “Hey! This is a perfect opportunity to re-subvert all non-white males!”
And it was the 1950’s, and people drank a lot of milkshakes and wore poodle skirts and went to sock hops, and everyone was just so happy to be alive and prosperous, they didn’t notice that white men had re-established themselves as boss.
Well, that didn’t last long. People of color and women said, “Uh, no, bro.” And they marched and protested and rallied, and smart people like Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsberg got involved in civil rights litigation, and things started to shift again.
Then people who were LGBTQ said, “what about us?” And straight white men, sensing yet another diminution of their power, said, “NO!” They also hoped that all gay people would die of AIDS, but instead of doing that, the LGBTQ community got smart about how they had sex and pressured government and medical research to find a cure, which, essentially, it did.
Thus, by the end of the twentieth century, lots of women, gay men, and people of color had risen to positions of power and influence. They made good money. They began to enjoy equal opportunities.
This was a problem for some white men. You see, at least since the end of World War II, pretty much all you had to do to be successful in this country, as a white man, was to have a pulse. White men began to assume that well-paying jobs, a nice home, and a few weeks’ paid vacation was their due – something they were entitled to. But, as the new millennium approached, that wasn’t the case anymore.
“They’re stealing out jobs!” some white men cried. “They’re taking what’s ours!” They didn’t realize that the people stealing their jobs might have worked harder at school, or were better and more conscientious employees, or maybe didn’t act so entitled. Still, they complained.
Some white men saw this as a wonderful opportunity to manipulate those who were no longer able to get a job simply by virtue of being white. They decided to manipulate these people, and they came up with two really, really clever ideas, and they both started with “G:”
Guns and God.
They told everyone that people should have unfettered access to any weapon they wanted AND, also, God, because THE WORLD IS FULL OF NON-WHITE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KILL YOU.
And people got scared, and when people are scared, they don’t act rationally, and so a lot of women who otherwise might NEED FEMINISM decided that what they really needed was God (and God hates feminists). They became less concerned about equal pay for equal work, or reproductive rights, because they were so afraid of being raped by men of color or getting shot up at a movie theatre by an Islamic extremist.
Then two bad things happened:
First, John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate, and men were okay with that, because she wasn’t very smart but she WAS very fuckable, which is what a lot of men want in a woman. Palin also told people that feminists abort babies with disabilities. Also, she could field dress a moose. And God.
Second, the economy did a nose dive because certain banks made bad loans to people who couldn’t afford them, then those people defaulted, and then lots of people lost their jobs, or were underwater on their homes, and their retirement savings tanked.
Now, John McCain did not win the election. Barack Obama did. That made a lot of people mad, because he was black, and everyone knows that black people aren’t smart enough to run a country. Also, his wife was very intimidating to many because she worked out and thought kids should try to eat healthy. Uppity Bitch.
Also, it took a little while for the economy to rebound, but ultimately, it did, just in time for the 2016 election.
Many, many people hated Obama, and lots of white men, like Steve Bannon and the Koch Brothers thought, “this is great!” And they started conservative websites that peddled stories like, Hillary Clinton runs a pedophile ring in the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor.
Also, her emails.
Hillary also scared people because she was a woman who acted like a man, and because she was very smart, but not very fuckable. Also, some people think she’s a lesbian, and she made men uncomfortable because she called them on their bullshit. Some women didn’t like her, I am convinced, because they resented her success. Such women are also known as “assholes.”
So you have a sluggish economy and a democratic candidate who was easy to dislike, and a lot of people said, “well, ANYTHING has to be better, even if its a self-promoting carnival barker who can’t say ‘anonymous.'”
And those people elected Donald J. Trump, who is the opposite of a feminist.
And that’s why feminism matters.