Feminism as defined by Merriam Webster is:
(noun): the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.
I used to think feminist was a dirty word, mainly because it’s use around me had always been accompanied with negative connotations, hurled around by those who latched onto the “man-hating” feminist ideology as an insult.
Now, this is not what Feminism is about and for most Feminists it’s about many different things, whilst that causes nightmares in defining the ideology as a whole, sometimes we just can’t give a singular definition to an expansive group of people. There are principles though and if you support one or more, you’re a feminist and I ask you to embrace it. What’s so bad about wanting to be treated as an equal?
Feminism to me, means many different things, and I’d like to share them with you, if you’ll let me.
Feminism to me includes:
- Equal treatment of men and women in the workplace, with equal entitlements and equal pay for equal work.
- Eradicating violence against humans.
- Shifting the balance in a court room to not favour any one side in an argument. This includes parental alienation.
- Not hearing the words “what were you wearing?”, “how much had you had to drink?”, or “what did you do to upset him?” when talking to victims of physical or sexual abuse.
- Marriage equality.
- For news articles solely focused on a woman’s looks instead of her achievement to disappear from the world.
- Supporting the Women Leaders of the world.
- The practice of hiring the best person for the job regardless of gender associations.
- Not having to shout to be heard, just because I am female.
- Being able to celebrate my gender exclusively one day a year without hearing “but what about international men’s day”.
- Not being robbed of medical choices by persons whom the conditions we experience would never affect. (Read: Rights to safe and legal reproductive health care)
This list is not exhaustive, but it’s a start.
For me, Feminism is not exclusive of anyone. It includes everyone, from all walks of life, regardless of gender identity.
It means for me that my place is not in the kitchen, or the simply at home looking after children. It means independence and freedom to do me. Freedom to wear what I choose, work in the field I want, freedom to be the best version of me, without leaving me in the shadow of my male counterparts. I also don’t believe that equality takes away from men’s rights. I still believe they have all of these rights and more and it’s about time they were afforded to the creators of the world.
My dream job is as a Project Manager in Construction. A severely male dominated industry. I will push my way into it, and I will get there, but I hate that my gender is what will ultimately determine my success, how long it takes and how much more work I have to put in to get there.
That’s why I identify as a feminist.
Can we stop looking at Feminism as a whole like we do any other ideology? Can we stop judging the whole group on the actions of the small minority of fundamentalists?
Yes, there are those that identify as feminists, but to the absolute extreme where men are not equal. That’s not what Feminism is about. Its not about a superior gender, its about bringing the binary genders together to be equal. Actually, no its about bringing humans together to be equal. Regardless of Race, Identified Gender, Religion, Sexuality, Ability or Political views.
I mean, we cannot even have one day that celebrates all women, without the men being up in arms about not having an International Men’s Day. Its November 19 for anyone playing along. Mark it in your calendar and get the hell over it.
So this is a snapshot of what Feminism means to me. What does it mean to you?