There’s a movement around the interwebs.
I know, I know. There’s ALWAYS a movement around the interwebs.
This one has me a little bit concerned, however. And, frankly, kind of annoyed.
It’s the one where supposedly intelligent and outspoken women have taken to listing the reasons they don’t need feminism.
It started with a Tumblr that went viral and started getting hundreds, or probably thousands of contributions.
Now, when I think of the term “feminism” I tend to recoil a bit at first too. Because there is a stigma attached to it that feminists are a bunch of unshaven, man-hating radicals who only care about free birth control and abortions en masse.
Here’s the thing.
Feminism, real true feminism is a good thing. It’s important. And it should be perpetuated, not feared.
Because feminism, by definition, is all about women’s rights and supporting equality. Not superiority. Not hatred. Not even sameness. Equality.
And I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why anyone would be against equality.
Especially in a day and age when we’re supposed to be all about equality for everyone.
The problem is that too many women hear the word “feminist” and immediately want to dissociate themselves from the term because of its negative connotations and implications. This is the exact opposite of what should be happening.
It’s true, like I said a bit earlier, that modern feminism has this horribly negative image. Because, as is the norm these days, we tend to let the most radical and abstract version of a word become the one that sticks. Kind of like if I say the word “appendix.” Most likely you’re automatically thinking of ruptures and surgery. But I was talking about the kind of appendix at the back of a book, which is almost always painless unless you’re reading Tolkien.
Sorry. That example got off track somewhere.
The point is, um…
Oh, yeah. The POINT IS, you can’t let the scariest or worst or most radical definition of a word be the reason that you reject the entire concept. That would be like rejecting Christianity because of the Westboro Baptist Church. Or rejecting chocolate because it can make you fat.
Wait, it’s not like that chocolate thing. Because rejecting chocolate isn’t misguided, it’s a sign of psychosis.
Instead of running away from that image of hairy, bra-less, pitchfork-toting she-men, wouldn’t we be better served by erasing it and replacing it with something positive and uplifting and more in line with what feminism is supposed to be about?
Instead of talking about the reasons we “don’t need” feminism, shouldn’t we take back the term and restore it to its harmless and empowering definition?
Because, really, running away from and decrying feminism is basically saying that it would be okay if we went back to a time when women didn’t get to vote. Or didn’t have the freedom to post silly pictures of themselves on the internet. Or use the internet in general.
Feminism is not destroying our country. Feminism is one of the things that makes our country great. It’s one of the things that is making the world a better place. Because women are rad and feminism gave us the opportunity to have Hilary Clintons and Sarah Palins and Condeleeza Rices and Ruth Bader Ginsbergs and The Oprah.
I am a feminist.
I am a feminist because I believe that women should be treated equally under the law, in politics, and in social issues. And I recognize that equality does not necessarily mean sameness.
I am a feminist because I believe that women should have the right to have careers. Good careers making good money and supporting their families if that’s what is best for them. And only they know what is best.
I am a feminist because I believe that women should have the right to stay at home and raise their babies. If that is what they WANT to do.
I am a feminist because I believe that women have many great and amazing contributions to make to the world and they should be allowed to make them without being denigrated for being women.
So before you jump on any bandwagons, whether it is this one or another, really give some thought to what it is you’re talking about supporting or condemning. Really think about the issues and the implications. Don’t blindly follow any movement. Because that is exactly what the radicals on both ends of the spectrum are counting on.