I think it’s time we talk about Feminism. I was out with a group of lady friends and we were talking to another group of women who were in L.A. from out of town. We were chatting away like normal people in bars do and one of the ladies said, “but we’re not feminists.” I definitely made a face because people looked at me and then the correction was made, “Well, Bryce is!”
I was very surprised by this whole interaction because, not only were other people relieved that we weren’t “feminists,” but also because the person saying “We aren’t feminists” didn’t realize she actually is a feminist.
It’s time we discuss what Feminism actually means. There are lots of women out there saying that they aren’t feminists because they don’t want to take anything away from men or that they “aren’t feminists, they’re humanists.”
I think it’s time we talk definitions.
According to Merriam-Webster
: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
: organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests.
Full definition of FEMINISM
1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.
: a system of values and beliefs that is based on the idea that people are basically good and that problems can be solved using reason instead of religion.
So the two don’t really compare.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary
> an organized effort to give women the same economic, social, and political rights as men.
According to Dictionary.com
1. The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2. An organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. Feminine character.
So yeah. If you’re in favor of equal rights, then you are a feminist.
The Women Against Feminism movement makes very little sense to me, because it seems like most of the reasons those people choose to be against Feminism have very little to do with Feminist theory. Here’s a prime example. Lots of “I don’t need feminism because women shouldn’t be superior to men” or I don’t need feminism because “we should all be treated equal” plague the women against feminism movement.
If you’re going to take a hardline stance against something, know what it is you’re disagreeing with first.
Now, I’m not saying that all feminists are delightful people. There are some serious bitches out there. And there are women who think that men ARE inferior and those are the more radical feminists. The problem as I see it today is that the word “feminist” is now only associated with radical feminists. It’s like saying all Republicans are as zealous at the Tea Party members. It’s simply not true.
Of course there is nuance here, not all feminists agree on what feminism should stand for. Second-wave radical feminism is VERY different from third-wave lipstick feminism. What I am saying is labeling yourself a “feminist” should NOT make people recoil in fear. Feminism = Equality.
If you are for equality, then you are for Feminism. So let’s shout it loud and proud “I AM A FEMINIST!”