Despite the best efforts of countless articles and blog posts to explain the actual concept of feminism and feminists, many people still believe that all feminists are man-hating lesbian ‘femi-nazis’ who never shave, spurn male interaction, are repulsed by the idea of having children and believe that all women everyone HAVE to be feminists in order to be seen as ‘real’ women.
I would like to make a few things clear. As I have stated before, a feminist is someone who believes in the social, political and economical equality of both the sexes. Feminists do not believe that women should be superior to men, nor do they believe that all men are devils and that having children with them is the ultimate crime against a woman’s freedom and sense of self-empowerment. Where did this idea come from? Probably years of reinforced media pushing the idea that a woman’s whole existence was designed to serve the needs and purposes of the man.
The first thing that I would like to highlight is just because a woman who identifies as a feminist is married to a man, or has children, it doesn’t mean she is not a ‘true’ feminist. Whether a woman is married to a man or not does not impact her ability to advocate feminism, nor demonstrate her support for feminism. Women do not need to eschew all male contact and effect in their lives to be a ‘feminist.’ The only thing that is required of a feminist, is that they believe that both sexes should be equal on all grounds. Not just in one aspect of life, but in all. This is why men can identify as feminists too. For those who believe men cannot be feminists because they are not women, what you are essentially saying is the equivalent of saying that a white person cannot be against or want to end racism because they are not a ‘person of colour.’ It is also the same as saying that a straight person cannot advocate LGBT rights, because they are not LGBT. If we put up boundaries against the people who ‘cannot’ support something because others believe that it does not affect them enough for them to feel strongly about it, there will be less and less people able to fight against the thing in question that needs to changing. I hope that makes sense.
I’m sure we all agree that change does not come about by deciding who can and cannot fight for that change. The only way change comes is through protestations against that which is wrong by those who feel that it is wrong, regardless of who ‘exactly’ those people might be.
NOTE: From the 3rd of September, I will be posting weekly on Wednesdays. My friend suggested that I post every Friday, and call them Feminist Fridays (I love that idea) but Fridays as we all know are the days everyone has things to do. So, I’m going to be posting every Wednesday instead! Thank you for reading and enjoying the blog.