I am a Feminist.
Now before you recoil back in disgust and scurry to hide your daughters under your bed, let me explain myself.
First of all, let me say, you have nothing to fear. As a matter of fact, I think it’s time someone put a stop to the anti-feminist propaganda disguised as education that has alienated a generation of women from the only movement that can truly liberate them from the grips of patriarchy.
It is a dreadful thing how misrepresented the movement is in our generation of women. It’s actually gotten to the point where ÔÇôI promiseÔÇöevery time someone brings up feminism with me, it is only to complain about how ‘women take this equality thing too far.’
And this is always from women!
I cannot describe how saddened I am by the realisation that so many intelligent, powerful women have fallen victim to patriarchy and because of their inability to understand the nature of oppression are going to inadvertently take women’s liberation decades back and destroy all the progress that the preceding generation of feminists fought hard to achieve.
But it is no fault of their own that many women find themselves in this situation. In fact, we feminists are, to some extent, to blame. There are far too many definitions of feminism ÔÇô many of them incorrect. Many of the different notions of feminism isolate women from this movement by turning the movement into an anti-male, anti-family, anti-cultural, anti-etc campaign.
And in order for women to move forward as a unit, we need, like any oppressed group, an understanding of our core principle and eventual goal.
So I’m going to ask you to forget what you’ve heard about feminism. Just for one moment allow your mind to let go of all the notions of shoulder-pads, man-bashing, child-abandoning, ‘liberal’ sex, ‘westernization’ and all the trimmings that have attached themselves to feminism in the average person’s mind. Those things give an entirely over-simplified and therefore often inaccurate picture of feminism. So let me quickly tell you what the mother of all women’s liberation philosophies is about.
Feminism, brothers and sisters, is about freedom of choice. That is it.
Seriously. There’s nothing complicated about it.
Feminism is simply the notion that women should have the freedom to have a say in the direction their own lives go in. A woman (like all human beings) should have the right to make a decision and not worry about anyone feeling entitled to challenge her authority over her own life simply because she is a woman.
The point of feminism becoming a movement was to liberate people (men and women, alike) from the notion that a woman must be guided through decision-making processes. The movement sought to shift the thinking of people in society so that the desires and dreams of the average woman would be allowed to grow in a positive environment.
In an ideal feminist world, a woman that chooses to become a housewife should be treated with the same respect as a woman that chooses to be a CEO; that woman should be treated with the same respect as a woman that decides to become a mechanic and that woman treated with the same respect as a woman that is a nurse and the woman that chooses to be a prostitute treated with the same respect as a woman that chooses to be a teacher.
Obviously, this rule takes for granted that these women have done a great deal of thinking, self-examination and soul-searching to come to these decisions.
That is my feminism. And I’m sure that any woman that can understand where I am coming from can understand that this movement means no harm. Rejecting the concepts of uniting as women and nurturing each other’s decision-making skills cannot be of any harm.
Feminism is not the enemy.