Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When someone says 'I'm not a feminist'

but ...

I want to stop them and tell them whatever they planned on saying next is unimportant.

It is of no value to me.

Because that's what women were ostensibly told before our grandmothers and great grandmothers fought for the right to vote; and before our mothers secured the ability to decide the size of their families.

But it's their choice to define feminism so narrowly.

Feminism, for some, is just a scourge of a word. But it has serious meaning for men and women who have struggled, and continue to struggle, to instill its tenants as a basic component of a free society.

Because, dear lady, like it or not, if you believe women and men are and should be treated equally under the laws of the society in which we live, you are a feminist.

Feminism has nothing to do with who opens doors for whom, or who stays home with the kids. It's not about forcing women into military service or forcing men to wear aprons. Although I'm sure our comfort with specific gender roles does blind us to the real issues of equality.

Personally speaking, people who boil feminism down to the assigning of household chores border on insulting.

Feminism isn't about obliterating feminine traits or emasculating males. It's not about the choices we make individually or for our own families. But it has everything to do with acknowledging the need for people to be able to make those choices - regardless of gender - for the betterment of society.

Feminism is about equality. Period.

It means we believe men are capable of nurturing. We believe women are capable of leadership. And everyone is uniquely important and deserving of basic rights.

It's about teaching boys they are not masters of the universe and teaching girls they are not victims of it. It's about respect for each other, and respect for our differences.

Feminists are everywhere women are respected. It doesn't matter what they wear, or what they do, or even which pair of chromosomes they posses.


*The top link is broken because BlogHer took down the post to which I was referring.


Blogger Sally said...

Well put. I could not agree more.

July 27, 2011 at 8:28 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the discomfort with the word "feminist" comes from its one-sidedness. Not in what it means, but from the fact that the word "feminine" is in there but nothing to represent the "equality" and "balance" that the meaning of the word is about. Maybe its time for a new word?

July 28, 2011 at 7:12 AM 

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