Did you ever notice how people cringe at the word feminist? Try tossing it into a casual conversation and watch people flinch back away from it like it's a verbal form of anthrax. It's almost as powerful as f**k or, God forbid, the C-word. Sometimes it's even more effective than slapping someone across the face. I've actually seen people dive under a table to take cover.
"I'm a feminist."
This statement conjures up so many images, and so many of them are negative. A bitch. A man hater. A lesbian. Someone who has short hair and wears leather bracelets. Throughout my travels I've found women balk at the term 'feminist' and 'feminism' because they feel in order to call themselves this they have to take action against any man checking out their tits and ass or they think they have to attend every take back the night rally or write horrible poetry about the oppression of women. Worse, they think they have to stop shaving their legs and trade their tampons in for a Diva cup.
Actually, feminism comes down to one simple idea: equal rights. Do you want equal political, economic, and social rights for women? Do you want the same pay as a man? Do you want the same opportunities? Do you want to be able to go where you want? Wear what you want? And not be punished for it?
Well, then you're a feminist, or, if you are male, you support feminists.
Here's where it gets tricky. The judgemental feminist.
Instead of banding together and creating an ultra She-Ra front to battle against the injustices against women there is division and unnecessary snobbery.
As a woman, you have the right to lead the life you want to lead. If that means you want to pop out babies, become a stay at home mom, be a high profile lawyer and wear your hair in a bun or be a waitress at a restaurant where the uniform is something short, black and sexy, well, that's your choice. If you believe a woman has the right to make her choices and be compensated equally in their professions while doing those things, then you're a feminist.
Except, some feminists don't share my opinion on this matter. Some feminists badger, hound, ridicule and mistreat those women who opt to choose fields of work they consider beneath them, or demeaning to women. Which really is backwards if you think about it.
"I'm a feminist, I believe women have the right to make their own decisions, as long as they don't show off too much skin, cook dinners for their men every night or wear heels over two inches tall."
As for myself, I'm a feminist. I'm a girl. And all girls should be feminists. It's simply a matter of wanting to be treated fairly and not prejudged by our boobs or what's nestled between our legs.
Ever since I was young I have been fiercely independent. I do everything for myself. But there's this part of me that just wants to feel safe and protected. Is that anti-feminism? Also, I'd be content to stay home and man the ship while my partner brings home the bacon. I'd be happy to cook and clean and keep up the house. To some, this would be extremely anti-feminist, but it isn't.
Just because it doesn't work for one feminist doesn't mean it won't work of another.
That said, I don't have anyone to take care of me, to keep me safe, to protect me. So, I'm left to do it for myself. And that's fine too.
Feminism doesn't have to be nasty. Drop the feminasty. We're all working towards the same goal, taking over the world and ruling it with a female iron first. Oh, no. Sorry, that's my world domination blog. Our goal this week is to work together and recognize that there are many different feminists, in all sorts of walks of life, and we shouldn't be so ignorant to force our own ideas on others.
I mean, I'm not going to be a stripper, but if a woman thinks it is liberating and feels powerful doing it. So be it.
And now, for an anti-feminist song...or is it?