Few things get my bra in a twist than articles like this one where young people – perhaps too young to have a living relative around to explain what life was like for women before they could vote, before it became somewhat more socially acceptable to work outside the home – criticize a movement they know absolutely nothing about.
I could pick apart every one of those signs and explain the fallacies behind them, but I’d be too tempted to gouge out my eyeballs before getting halfway through. So here’s the point I want to make: we continue to use labels that describe our beliefs all the time, despite the negative stigmas attached. I still call myself a Christian despite the Crusades, despite the Westboro Baptists who picket military funerals. Rational people should understand that such atrocities are not my fault, and the vast majority of well-intentioned Christians want nothing to do with them.
You would think that educated people would understand a few bad seeds don’t spoil the entire bunch. It only seems that way when the media shines a spotlight on the loudest voices that also happen to be the most ignorant.
Why is feminism any different? In college, I would have died if anyone accused me of being feminist; all I saw were the stereotypes. Eventually, I realized I already was quite feminist in my thinking. It was only the label I feared.
You know what kind of people can say they don’t need feminism? Privileged people. That’s who. But where did that privilege come from, you may wonder? Umm…
Perhaps more people would “come out” as feminists if they did a little research, and understood that patriarchal authorities never would have “given” women the right to vote if not for – you guessed it – women who decided to band together and fight for it. Male-dominated universities would never have “allowed” women to attend if not for a movement of – what you say? – women dedicated to proving themselves worthy.
If waiting on men to “come around” to handing us rights were all it took, history would not be filled with centuries of documented misogyny. Clearly, the feminist movement was necessary…and still continues to be.
Until women earn the same salary as men for doing the exact same work;
Until actresses are asked about their roles rather than where they got their gowns at the Oscars;
Until a woman can report her rape and be asked, “What did your rapist look like?” instead of, “What were you wearing?”
Until a new mom can announce she’d like to quit her job and stay at home to raise her baby and not be judged;
Until a woman can decide to keep her career and utilize daycare or a nanny and not be judged;
Until women can safely walk the streets and not be harassed by strangers;
Until women can announce they’d like to remain single and child-free and not be looked at as freaks and monsters;
Until a woman can tell her boss she’s pregnant without the risk of being fired; feminism continues to be necessary.
You don’t stop calling yourself part of a movement just because there are people within it you disagree with. That should only make you fight harder to clear its name.
Is this what you want to hear, anti-feminists? I’m sorry for the ones who hate men, who don’t want any woman in her kitchen, even if it’s her choice to be there. I am not in agreement with those people. Believe it or not, most of us just care about equality.