“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
― Gloria Steinem
It's quite clear that i'm a Feminist. I post about it often enough and debate on the radio long enough to be classified as one. However, i think that many people have misconceptions about what feminism actually is and who feminists really are. When people post on the Internet calling feminists crazy or unnecessary, i feel deeply hurt. I don't think that society truly realizes the importance of this empowering movement and how it's beneficial.
First off, being a feminist does not make you a man hater. This is just the same as saying that being white makes you racist or being Islamic makes you a terrorist. Generalizing a group based on the behaviour of a smaller set doesn't speak to the full picture. In every group there will be a radical few who take things out of proportion, but that should not define them. I identify myself as a feminist and i don't go around scorning men and nitpicking every thing that they do crying 'sexism'. That doesn't make anything better. Feminism is about seeking equality. It is about women having the ability to live as freely as men do without restriction and without scorn. Equality is the key word, and if you are seeking equality, you cannot promote hatred.
Secondly, feminist don't all look a certain way. When persons think of a feminist, their mind usually paints up a picture of a masculine woman who doesn't wear make-up and rants all the time. Quite frankly, if this was the face of feminism, it would not fully reflect the persons the movement represented. The housewife can be a feminist, the Muslim girl with a hi-jab can be a feminist, the Caribbean girl in her mass costume can be a feminist, the model on the runway can be a feminist, the video vixen can be a feminist, the sex-worker, the girl next door, even the boy around the corner. Weaved, Natural, Bare, or made-up... any man or woman can be a feminist. Not including these persons greatly limits what the movement stands for. Wearing make-up doesn't make you less of a supporter of equality than the next person... so why does this happen. EQUAL rights for women, that is what this movement is about, and all women from every spectrum should be able to identify with it.
Thirdly, feminism is not about female domination. Whoever told you that isn't a feminist. Female domination totally negates the purpose of the movement which is equality. It will not promote any positive change as it fosters injustice on the other end of the spectrum. The vox populi of many persons when they think of feminism is female dominance... this isn't the case. We're just looking for equal rights, opportunities, and representation. Female domination would not fix the problem... Feminism is about equality for both males and females, none with more socio-political and economic influence/dominance than the other. Both sexes being able to co-exists freely without friction, hate, and submission to the other.
Persons who state that feminism has not done any good need to re-evaluate everything. Women who aren't feminists should re-evaluate themselves. The fact that I can go to school and have the education to type this post is due to feminism. The fact that my friend can be a female-pastor is due to feminism. The fact that I can give my opinion without being killed is due to feminism. My ability to chose not to be married off at 14 is due to feminism. The fact that i have the ability to vote is due to feminism. The fact that i can work to provide for myself and have the money to buy my own make-up and not depend on a man is due to feminism. The fact that my brother thinks its okay to cry without feeling 'emasculated' is due to feminism. The fact that i can see both male and female nurses is due to feminism. So much progress has been brought about by this movement and it has the capacity to do so much more.
It's quite clear that i'm a feminist and if everyone was a feminist the world would be a slightly better place.