Feminism – ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’ But do people see feminism this way?
“I’m a feminist” doesn’t tend to have good connotations. It isn’t a particularly good conversation starter and you definitely wouldn’t say it on a first date. But why is that? Well, ‘feminazi’ has become a popular term, and most people who claim that they’re feminists would have this label placed upon them. If you claimed you were a feminist as a conversation starter, it may appear you’re saying to the other person “Hi, I’m Jenny and I hate men. How are you?” If you said this on a first date, well, it may look like you don’t even want to be there.
Recently, there have been surges of feminist movements due to the political avalanche in the USA. When ‘President’ Trump was inaugurated, the ‘Women’s march’ took over cities in the USA, along with the UK and Australia. So what’s the meaning behind it all? In the early weeks of Trump’s first term, it became clear that his policies did not address the needs of every demographic group, women and minorities in particular. Not only have women been the target through abortion and contraception limitations, but Muslims, African-Americans, the LGBTQ+ community and immigrants have been victimised in the USA, and life isn’t easy. These marches were attempts to give these people a voice which had been taken away from them.
Feminism isn’t just about identifying the general gap between men and women. It’s about deeply analysing this gap and who falls where in society. There is a gap between white men and black men, a gap between white western men and Muslim men, a gap between a straight male and a homosexual male. There is a gap between white women and black women, a gap between white western women and Muslim women, a gap between straight women and homosexual women. As a feminist, intersectional divisions must be recognised. Feminism isn’t hating men, it’s about recognising the need for social justice for the sexes, genders, races and religions. Misandry is hating men, and that’s not what feminism is.
As a feminist, I’m passionate about having the right to control my own body so require abortion access and contraception. As a feminist, I’m passionate about giving transgender individuals the right to use the bathroom they identify with. As a feminist, I’m passionate about Muslims being given the right to travel without being questioned. As a feminist, I’m passionate about giving refugees the right to a good life. As a feminist, I’m passionate about the Black Lives Matter movement and stopping police brutality. As a feminist, I’m passionate about the LGBTQ+ community receiving the same marriage rights as a straight couple. If all this makes me a ‘feminazi,’ then I’m more than happy to be one.
As a conversation starter, telling someone you’re a feminist actually, shows you’re a believer in social justice. People want to be friends with someone who believes in social justice. Friends buy friends food, you know. On a first date, telling your date you’re a feminist truly shows you’re powerful individual who strongly cares about the one sitting opposite you. You never know, it could get you an extra drink or a second date. We like an extra drink, and we like second dates.
Feminazi? I don’t think expecting social equality is at all like genocide. Do you?