What feminism is:
- Feminism is a social movement that advocates for women’s rights, gender equality, and works towards trying to dismantle systems of oppression in society.
- Feminism is not the belief that one gender should be raised in power above another. The very definition of feminism shows a complete opposition to this belief. So when people comment against feminism, they are supporting sexism. There is no sitting on the fence. You are either a feminist or sexist. Unfortunately, most sexists don’t know they are sexist, and compose the majority of the population. They are unaware that sexism is something that has been forced on to them through the brainwashed media of a patriarchal society.
What feminism isn’t:
- Hating men.
That’s called misandry, and that’s definitely NOT what we’re about.
- Hating women who want to stick to traditional feminine roles.
Essentially, what we want is for women to be free to do what they like. If they want to be feminine, no problem. If they want to be involved in activities that are not usually considered feminine, no problem. This is about giving women the choice to be their true selves and not be deemed inferior to anyone else.
- Ignoring the struggles faced by men.
Hey guys, the patriarchy and toxic masculinity hurts you too.
So why is it called feminism? Why not just say you’re an equalist or a humanist?
So you think everyone should just be equal and we should not be declaring ourselves ‘feminists’. You think “we should all have equal rights and feminism is just about man hating, etc”. You think everyone should be ‘humanists’ or ‘equalists’, because feminism is just fighting to empower women alone, and that’s just not fair.
Well, your heart is in the right place, I suppose, but you’re still wrong.
Feminism acknowledges that women already hold a disadvantaged position in society. We are already less privileged than men. We don’t want to be better than men. We want to be equal. So why not be equalist? Because, in theory, that sounds great, right? Yes, let everyone be equal. We all get the same rights, the same pay, whatever, equality, great. But that’s an ideology that we can’t reach just yet. If you continue to erase women’s needs for inclusion and rights, and silence us, how will we even get to that point of equality for all? We aren’t there yet. That’s what we’re fighting for. We are feminists because we are trying to correct the imbalance that already exists. Feminism is trying to address the disadvantages that women face right now in society. So of course, we’re all about equality for everyone, but right now, we gotta focus on fixing the damage that’s already been done.
The whole essence of feminism is that it focuses on the disadvantages and inequality of one particular group: women. Which is why saying “But I believe in the equality of everybody!” is kind of missing the point.
Just because you believe everybody should have the same rights doesn’t mean they do. This is the key bit: feminism is about tackling the world as it actually is, where one particular gender group is being discriminated against. While the end result, hopefully, is equality for all, what’s happening right now is an environment of wide-ranging discrimination against women, and that needs to be addressed for equality to be created. Saying you’re an “equalist” is like saying you believe in a world of well-built houses when half the materials used to make houses are burnt or rotten. The house can’t be built unless those materials are fixed.
The women’s rights movement does not mean exclusion for everyone else. We’re not here to take anything from anyone. We’re here to add some rights for women and restore the balance that should be there. Men already have the upper hand and the power. We’re not trying to take that from them and be the privileged ones instead. We want to focus on fixing what’s wrong currently, and get to a place of equality.
If you want to claim you’re an equalist, and not a feminist, then you’re not really an equalist, are you?
Well I don’t need feminism. I already feel equal.
Well, I’m glad you don’t feel like it, and that you’re comfortable and happy, but you probably aren’t equal.
- The patriarchal system is still in place. You might not think this affects you, but it does. Yes, we can vote now, but what about the wage gap? The lack of representation of women in leading positions worldwide? Catcalling? The ridiculous gender stereotypes we still have to put up with?
- Women are still getting attacked and assaulted at an alarming rate and are then being left to feel shamed and are also victim blamed.
- FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is still happening in many countries.
- Child marriage is still legal in many countries.
- In many countries, there are still no laws against marital rape.
- Women’s bodies are still controlled and legislated by the government. We are not free to make basic choices regarding our own bodies.
- We still teach women and girls how to not get raped instead of telling men not to rape.
This is a very short list and definitely doesn’t list every reason why we still need feminism. So although you might feel like you won’t benefit from the feminist movement, there are still too many women who don’t have a voice and we need to be that voice for them.
So… remind me again, why aren’t you a feminist?