I was looking for new blogs to follow, and stumbled across ‘fightingfeminism’ on WordPress. My first thought was ‘euw’, then ‘perhaps it’s a satirical blog’. But no. This man is literally fighting feminism. And it brought to my attention that as a feminist I try to avoid that kind of negativity, I avoid looking at the ‘competition’; at the opposition. You don’t really need to search it out, it surrounds us in society and the media, but even after a minute on this blog I was disgusted. It made me wonder, what is so bad about feminism?
Is it the terrifying idea of women getting equal pay? Is it the mortifying notion of women not being beaten and raped because they didn’t agree to have sex? Is it the disgusting suggestion that women should decide what happens to their own bodies? Is it the horrifying scheme that will make young girls love their bodies and not loathe them?
I’m going use a Buffy quote here, because let’s face it, she’s everyone’s feminist inspiration.
“I’ve had a lot of people talking at me the last few days. Everyone just lining up to tell me how unimportant I am. And I’ve finally figured out why. Power. I have it. ” (S05E12, ‘Checkpoint’)
Women have power. We do, and whether we use it or even acknowledge its existence within us, it is there. We have just as much power as anyone else, and Feminism is about us embracing that and sharing it. Feminism is about us realising that we have power, and not being afraid to use it to make our voices heard.
Feminism is not about hating men, or being lesbians, or burning bras or running around naked (I refer you to my Misconceptions About Feminism post here). Feminism is not anti-men. Feminism is not racist. Feminism is trans-inclusive. Feminism is LGBTQA+ friendly. Feminism is about crushing double standards. Feminism is about teaching ‘don’t rape’, instead of ‘don’t get raped’. Feminism is anti-victim-blaming. Feminism is anti-slut-shaming. Feminism is about us having a say in what happens to our bodies; it is about us being treated equally; it is about us having the freedom to choose.
And what, I ask, is wrong with that?
I acknowledge there are women out there who claim to be feminists and run around cursing men and being violent or offensive, but these women are not feminists. I refer you to the previous paragraph for a definition of feminism and feminists.
But please, if you are one of these ‘anti-feminists’, or a woman who doesn’t call herself a feminist, or a ‘not all men’ person, please read the following quotes from some famous feminists to understand what feminism really is…
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” – Rebecca West
“Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” – G.D. Anderson
“Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.” – Cheris Kramarae
“We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.” – Gloria Steinem
“Gay rights are human rights. Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” – Hilary Clinton
“We gotta start teaching our daughters to be somebodies instead of somebody’s.” – Kifah Shah
“Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity…We need equality. Kinda now.” – Joss Whedon
So tell me now. Are you a feminist?
Not convinced? Browse my Feminism category and read Why I’m A Feminist.