Feminist – Advocating social, political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
A woman in this day and age will be mocked and judged for stating that she is a Feminist. Feminists over the years have received such a bad reputation often being called man hating lesbians who think they’re better then men.
I feel like I can openly define myself as a feminist, not a very good one, but at least I can say that I’m comfortable being one. I believe that we as women should be deemed equal to our male counterparts; we should have equal pay for the same type of work and not be viewed weaker because we’re women.
It was kind of eye opening when discussing this with my fiancé, I’ve never pegged him to be the type to bleatingly disapprove of me being Feminist. On our drive home from picking me up we had a half heated argument, he blurting out the misconceptions of what it means to be a feminist.
No am I not a man hater, no that does not mean I’m a new found lesbian, no that does not mean I will dress like a man.
It pissed me off to see him have these views, he made it seem as if wanting to be equal to him was to be undesirable.
Just recently I started reading essays on Feminism and one that really caught my attention was “Bad Feminist,” by Roxy Gay. From what I took, there is still a lot of stigma with being addressed as a Feminist. Gay wrote about that the many women who have accomplished so much don’t want to be associate with the term Feminist because they believe Feminist have radical views. It irked me, it really irked me to see that women of their position and stature not define themselves as Feminists, in fear that they will no longer be desired and liked.
I then read the speech made by Emma Watson, a woman in the public eye. Her speech was so refreshing, so honest and resonates so much into our modern day.
She started “HeForShe,” a movement for Gender Equality.
The movement invites men to lobby with women so that together we can have equality. It’s hard to describe why I feel this matters, I just know deep in my heart and soul that it does. I know that we as people should not be treated differently because of our sex. I believe that it should be okay to break free from the Gender Norms placed upon us at birth, to accept strong and independent women without calling her a butch or calling a man who is sensitive and emotional a fag.
“We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are, and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have control, women won’t have to be controlled.
Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves as who we are, we can all be freer, and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.”
Feminists want equality, not to be treated better or differently, but the same. Let’s give back a positive outlook for the future feminists of our time. Don’t let the misconstrued definitions of feminism deter you from your basic right to be treated as an equal.