I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll have to say it again…
The definition of ‘feminism’ is as such:
the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
And the definition of ‘feminist’ is as such:
a person who supports feminism.
Surprising, huh? Well, no, not really. It stands to reason that a feminist is someone who supports the concept of feminism, and if you support the concept of feminism then all you’re really doing is embracing the idea of gender equality. And if, by being a feminist, all you’re proclaiming is that you believe men and women are, and should be considered, equal, well then.. what’s the big deal? Answer: there isn’t one.
With all the above in mind, I’m left bamboozled by celebs and public figures who claim they don’t consider or call themselves a feminist. Most recently (today, in fact) I was reading over an interview with actress Shailene Woodley. In an interview with Time magazine last year, Woodley made the massive boo-boo of saying the following, in regards to whether she’d consider herself a feminist: “No because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance…I think that if men went down and women rose to power, that wouldn’t work either. We have to have a fine balance.”
There’s so much wrong with that answer, I can’t even DEAL. And such was the mind-set of a hella lotta others who were very quick to correct Woodley in pointing out that feminism doesn’t entail pitching women above men, it simply dictates that women should be considered equal to men. In a more recent article, Woodley – possibly now more enlightened since the backlash – took a slightly different approach when answering q’s on feminism: “The reason why I don’t like to say that I am a feminist or I am not a feminist is because to me it’s still a label. I do not want to be defined by one thing. Why do we have to have that label to divide us? We should all be able to embrace one another regardless of our belief system and regardless of the labels that we have put upon ourselves.”
… *starts pulling hair out due to frustration* It pains me. It really, legitimately pains me.
My question to you is WHY ARE WE SO AFRAID OF THE F-WORD?! Gender equality, that’s all it is! ‘Feminist’ is not a divisive label to put upon yourself; in fact, by saying you’re a feminist you’re standing for the complete opposite of that idea. You’re an advocate of equality for males and females on a societal, political, economic, cultural and personal level; that’s not divisive – it’s inclusive and it’s fan-fucking-tastic!! My years spent petitioning, ranting and raving for the feminist cause have led me to the conclusion that people are deterred by the word itself, and not necessarily by the concept. Peeps consider the word to only have poignancy for females because the word has female written all over it; it’s considered a gendered term. And, using that train of thought, if a word is all about de galdem then what use is it to the mandem? And what use is it to public figures who, having not done there research, assume they’re being exclusive of an entire gender (the male gender) by showing an allegiance with the word? Answer: it’s of no use. But that’s not the case – feminism isn’t a loaded word, nor is it a loaded gun, and no one is going to get hurt if you get behind it – so the train of thought that implies feminism is only applicable to females is damaging and needs to be derailed immediately. If you stand for what the word means, you sort of need to set aside any grievance you may have with its given name; because you must understand that the connotations aren’t half as complicated and exclusionary as you first imagined. Feminism is not a dirty word. Being a feminist is not an embarrassing thing to be. Standing up for gender equality makes you no less of a reputable or unlikeable human being; it makes you a more reputable and likeable human being. Now please, for the love of Socrates, stop brushing off any association with the f-word and open your minds to the possibility of a world where I no longer have to bark on about it; blissful, huh?
This quote sums up the whole debacle perfectly.