Oct 12, 2015

Feminism Is Important To Me

A while back another female author chose to use “Oh right, you’re one of those feminist types” as an insult/reasoning behind my opinion that a certain work had shallow exploration of a main character and that the story fell into the all too familiar habit of portraying women as cold, bitchy and means-to-an-end.

That and a few other things got me thinking:

Why do so many women seem to think feminism is a bad word?
Why do so many people think feminism is a grab bag of castration (metaphorical or not) and a refusal to shave your legs?
How does equality for women equate to oppression for men?
Feminism is: The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

When did things get twisted to the point that some women would rather pretend to be “one of the guys” and accept that the patriarchy does not see them as equals as long as they can be “one of the good women”?

I am a feminist because I believe that my gender does not determine whether or not I’m somehow better or worse than someone else. Generic physiological differences don’t determine whether a person is going to be stronger or a better parent. It doesn't determine if you’ll be a better worker or a more creative artist. If I wanted to dedicate my life to body building, I could. If I wanted to build a business from the ground up, I could. The only thing that stands in my way is outdated prejudices that keep the world from advancing.

I am a feminist because I don’t think a man should make more money than I do simply because he is a man. When determining a person's ability to do a thing, actual skill should not come second to gender. We don’t live in a world where men are the main provider of a household anymore. We don’t live in a world where women work until they have kids and then are relegated to the home. We don’t do these things because they are wrong and thinking of them as normative is wrong. If I want to have a child and I want to stay at home and can figure that out, I will do that. If my husband wants to do that, we’d figure it out. Sexist thoughts on lifestyle only hold our society back.

How do we fix a world as broken as ours? We start by understanding what feminism is. We start by holding people accountable when they fall back into the lazy sexist ideas of our past. If we decide to get married, we marry men and women who are also feminist. If we decide to have children/adopt, we raise them in a way that creates a world of people who are aware of what feminism actually is. We challenge stereotypes every day and we don’t allow people to get away with callng us “one of the guys” or “one of the good women”.

If you think calling me a feminist is an insult, I’ve got some bad news for you: I’m a feminist and proud of it.

I am a feminist for the same reason I support gay marriage; for the same reason I support the Black Lives Matter movement; for the same reason I support the trans community. No human is inherently better than another simply because of the condition in which they were born.

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  1. Important post for all of us. Thank you for standing up and speaking out. Equality is truth revealed. I'm a woman but many of my rejections of romantic suspense include the statement that I write like a man. They can't tell from my name "Rohn", but I assure you I love my children to distraction and my grandchildren. At 75 sexual memories if not actions attest to the fact that I am a woman. I'm not as strong as some men but I have a reptilian tenacity to finish my life's work. Thank you for your encouragement.

  2. Amen! Excellent post. I didn't start embracing the word feminist until about 8 or 9 years ago. I grew up thinking it was a bad word, even though I was raised in a home with a strong woman. It's definitely time to take the word back for what it really is: advocating for equality for both sexes. The only reason it's called "feminism" instead of "equality" is because women don't have equality yet (same reason people have to keep explaining that the Black Lives Matter movement isn't about black lives mattering more - it's that they don't matter equally by the way our society treats them). The other important thing is to know it's okay to talk about these things casually. So I love that you posted this :)