I used to think, personally, that I could never be a feminist. I just never identified as one. I wanted the white picket fence, to be a stay at home mom and pop out a bunch of kids while my husband supported us. I’d knit and cook and decorate the childrens’ rooms and that would be it. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I don’t necessarily need to be an icon to be a feminist- just support other women’s rights to be.
Webster’s Dictionary defines feminism as (1) the theory of the political economic, and social equality of the sexes (2) organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests. They believe that women should get paid equally, be afforded the same opportunities as men, and that the only way a woman can ‘ask for it’ when it comes to sex is by approaching a strapping young man and using the words “Will you please engage in sexual relations with me?” (Okay, maybe not those words exactly, but at least some that are synonymous.)
Do you believe that:
- the person with the uterus has the final say in what happens to it?
- if a woman doesn’t want to be a ‘Happy Housewife’ and play soccer mom for your children, then she has the right to bring home some delicious, female-empowered bacon?
- equality in general is pretty cool?
- women in power are super rad and inspiring?
- ‘your jam’ will forever be found on a Spice Girls, Indigo Girls, Le Tigre, Joan Jett, or even Cheetah Girls album!?
As much as I would hate to completely crumble everything you thought you knew about yourself- if you answered yes to most or all of those questions, you MIGHT be a feminist. Now I know what you’re thinking- ‘but I shave under my arms and don’t think all men should bow down to women!’ but there’s a weird twist- Neither do all feminists!
I mean alright, I think we all think men should bow down to women now and then, but that’s because we’re awesome (not because we’re women)! The point is, the general public is grossly misinformed about what a feminist is. Stick around and you’ll see that this is not about burning bras. We are a movement towards equality, against mistreatment and sexism, and for women to respect themselves and each other.
Now, if my saying you might be a feminist freaked you out a little bit, don’t worry. Agreeing with those things doesn’t pigeonhole you as one. All that proves is that you believe in some of the major feminist ideals. If there is anything to take from this it’s that you have the absolute right and encouragement to be whatever or whomever you want to, and that’s what it stands for.
In the words of Kate Nash “FEMINISM is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘dyke’, it means you believe in equality”, and that makes all the difference.