What is feminism? I believe feminism is more than believing women and men are equals. It has to also deal with having an understanding that not only can women do anything that men can do, but they also have the choice to not do it as well. If a women decides that she wants to be a stay at home mom, I don’t think she needs to be scolded for her choices, she should be praised for making her own choice rather than just doing what society tells her to do. According to Webster’s dictionary, feminism “is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” That is by far my favorite definition because of the word opportunities. Feminism is about women having opportunities. I believe that everyone understands that women want equal rights but I think that opportunities implies that you have a choice. When something presents itself you have the choice to accept or decline. With that being said I feel like the feminist movement should be a little bit clearer keeping the conversation on the opportunities women deserve and steering away from the conversations that put our purpose on the back burner.
Feminist comes in all shapes and sizes. No two people are the exact same, so why would anyone including feminist themselves scold another for not being an “ideal” feminist. I am not even sure how to exactly paint a picture of the what the ideal feminist would look like nor do I even want to entertain the idea (I am pretty sure you can picture it on your own), but I do know one thing for sure, she is not real. So ladies and gentlemen (yes men can be feminist too), let’s be a little bit nicer to our fellow feminists and instead of scolding them for having a different outlook on the movement, let’s praise each other for standing united.
Feminism and “man-hater” are not interchangeable. I think that the word feminism is starting to have a bad reputation. When a woman says that she is a feminist, she may be labeled as man-hater. And to anyone who believes that, I am sorry to break it to you but that is far from the truth. I am a feminist, and I do not hate men. I believe there are people out there that truly hate men and consider themselves to be a feminist but let us put those very few aside for a second and discuss the majority. A feminist believes in women’s right– women having the same rights as men. A feminist is not limited to women, A MAN CAN CONSIDER HIMSELF TO BE A FEMINIST. Just because a feminist is trying to build up women it does not in any way mean they are also tearing men down. A feminist is really calling out the discriminations towards women in hopes that things will start to change. For all those who associate hating men with the feminist movement all you are doing is deterring the conversation from what it should be about. Your ignorance is causing feminist such as myself to take some time out to explain how the two do not correlate, when our time can be better spent elsewhere. Your ignorance, is the reason why at first I was hesitant to call myself a feminist. Although I believe in everything a feminist believed in, I was afraid of being labeled a man-hater and that is something I no longer care about because I AM A FEMINIST.
White Feminism is a thing. White feminism deals with the fact that their are some parts of the feminist movement that is geared towards white women leaving all women of color (not just black women) behind. I am pretty sure you have heard of the phrase “angry black woman” correct? Well I have been known to speak out about my feminist beliefs on social media and have been labeled as another angry black women while my white female counterparts may have the same conversation and not looked at in the same way. But it’s not just me, women of color everywhere are disregarded within the movement. Take the Queen Bey herself, a black woman nonetheless who seems to be welcomed in her own way by other cultures across the board, is scolded for referring to herself as a feminist. Personally, she is actually one of my favorite advocates for the cause because she takes a stand and calls herself a feminist. People spoke out about Bey’s recent album Lemonade stating songs like Formation was dividing the movement and true feminist would unite us all. Stating that was disregarding the black women’s walk within the movement.
I literally just finished talking to a guy on twitter who among implying that feminist are out to get black man, he stated that I am suffering from Stockholm syndrome because I do not recognize that the movement is geared towards white women. Sorry, to break it to you but I do notice. I know that when people talk about feminist the faces of the movement tend to be white women. I paid attention to how everyone turned on Nicki Minaj for speaking out about racial discrepancies in awards. I saw how Taylor Swift victimized herself and stated Nicki was trying to pin women against each other. I know that although we are told a woman makes 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, the gender pay gap for a women of color versus a white man is worse. I knew what white feminism was before it was truly coined as a term. The only thing to do here as feminist is to acknowledge racial discrepancies during our conversations and if you need a few pointers look to young feminists like Amandla Stenberg and Rowan Blanchard for examples.
Feminism is about equality. That is something that people need to remember, at the heart of it all, the whole feminist movement is about the push for equality. We are all different people who come in a variety of shapes and sizes but we all just want to give people the same opportunities to happily live their life. Feminist are just like any other activist who wants to change something that they notice is unfair in the world we live in. Any one can be a feminist. If you believe a woman deserves the same opportunities as a man, I would have to let you know in the words of Katie Goodmon “Sorry babe, You’re a feminist.” It is truly as simple as that.