When you hear the word “feminist” I would wager that at least 50 percent of the population cringes. It carries such negative connotations that a lot of women will brush off the word even though they do believe in feminist ideals. Even I, at one time, felt that way.
“I think that women should have the same rights as men, but I’m not a feminist.”
Why? Because when we identify as feminists we are relegated as irrational man-haters with hairy legs. Unattractive women who hate sex and are perpetually angry.
I am a feminist because I am a humanist. I believe in equal rights for all HUMANS, not one gender over another. There are so many ways that women and men are both subjected to prejudices. It’s not a one way street.
As a society we discourage men from wearing certain colors, sitting a certain way, liking certain music. If I sat with my legs crossed at the thigh no one would question how I sit or if I’m gay because I choose to sit that way. But if I were a man…
As a woman, I should be allowed to be attractive and wear what I choose without being touched by people without my expressed consent. How often are men groped in a bar or on the street? If I am deemed pretty by society, it’s generally assumed that I am also not smart. Why is my intelligence questioned because I wear makeup?
Feminism says that I, as a woman, am equal to a man. That’s all. It doesn’t say you should give me extra privileges or take rights away from me. If I choose to have children and it ends in divorce, I stand at a greater advantage of getting custody of my children, regardless of how wonderful my ex-husband was as a father. That’s not right either, and that’s not what feminism stands for.
I find it totally unfair that my medical decisions are questioned by lawmakers and groups like the Westboro Baptist Church. My brother isn’t subjected to that. Neither was my father. Why should I be?
Feminist is not a dirty word. Next time you hear someone say that it is, ask them why they feel that way. You might completely change someone’s mind; I know it worked for me.