i’ve noticed a backlash against feminism lately, and a google image search for feminism brings up quite a few photos of women holding signs saying “i don’t need feminism because…”. many female celebrities have come out saying they aren’t feminists. for some reason, the word itself has become a dirty word. pre-conceived notions of bra burners during the 60s and women voicing ideas that put men on a lower level than women in a very public way are really all people are seeing as feminists. so women are distancing themselves.
the definition of feminism is pretty simple: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” if using this definition, then the women who want to be in a higher rights bracket than men are not really feminists; they’re pro-matriarchal society.
the first time i really really understood the concept of feminism was in college; going to a liberal arts all-women’s school that had a partnership with an all-men’s school will do that to you. i was in my first year in a 100-level english class, and the professor was a nun who wore a pin that said “women should be priests” on a daily basis. here’s what she said:
“feminism means believing women are people too.”
i think that’s something everyone can get behind. are you a feminist? here are some clues.
do you think little girls and boys can be anything they want to be in the world? yes? surprise! you’re a feminist.
if you’re a woman, do you think your ideas and thoughts are just as important as that dude’s over there? surprise! you’re a feminist.
do you think men should have an equal chance at getting child support when custody battles come up? surprise! you’re a feminist.
do you support women who want to stay at home as well as women who want to be surgeons or president? surprise! you’re a feminist.
do you support men who want to stay home as well as men who want to be surgeons or president? surprise! you’re a feminist.
do you think it’s weird that nobody questions men on whether or not their careers are affecting their family life? surprise! you’re a feminist.
are you happy women can vote? surprise! you’re a feminist.
do you like men? do you like women? do you like transgenders? surprise! you’re a feminist!
you can see where this is going.
lots of people say, well, i’m really a humanist, not a feminist. i believe in equality for everyone. here’s why feminism is a better term for this. as a man, saying you are humanist, you’re already clumped in that group and don’t have to think about changing your ways. you figure, well, i’m treated equally, so i don’t have to worry about anyone else. by using the term feminism, it forces the other gender to stop and take a moment to think about how women are being treated and hopefully try to effect change.
so here’s my pitch at getting behind the feminist term. when you think of kate, do you think feminist? probably not, but i am. feminists come in all forms. if you think both genders should be treated on an equal basis at all levels, then you’re a feminist.
are you ready to admit it?