What is Feminism Really?
I recently discovered that my brother thought feminism was about women wanting the power and to be better than men *gasp*
Makes me wonder how many people believe that.
The number 1 thing people say when they think of feminism is equal pay. But let me tell you, it is so much more than that.
Let’s start slowly…
The Cambridge Dictionary definition of feminism is “the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way, or the set of activities intended to achieve this state”.
In other words, feminism is for everybody. Yes, even for men, and not only because you know a woman. No, there's more ways that feminism impacts you directly!
Feminism, or at least intersectional feminism, includes:
Gender roles and gender norms
Poverty and social class
Social injustice and war
Ethnicity and nationality
Physical and mental illness/disability
Diet culture and beauty standards
Rape culture and victim-blaming
In a perfect feminist world:
A woman being an escort or a prostitute enjoys sex and what she does, and she isn't working in a male-dominating environment. This means she is in total control of her body and what she wants. The porn industry isn't made to please men.
A man showing his emotions and crying isn't labelled gay and isn't told to “man up" or “grow some balls".
A woman can work in the army, police or construction without having to work harder than her male coworkers, and she doesn't have to constantly prove herself. She isn't sexually harassed or looked down upon by her coworkers either. A man can work in a elementary school or a daycare without being called a pedophile.
A lesbian couple isn't asked “who's the man" in the relationship and a bisexual girl isn't told she’ll end up with a guy anyway because she’ll “miss the penis too much".
A gay couple is as socially accepted as a lesbian couple by guys. And no, they're not asked if guys can “watch".
There's no diet industry. Women are able to accept and love and empower each others’ bodies. There's no comparison or competition. You see every kind of body in the media. A story having a “fat girl" doesn't have as a plotline that she loses weight and suddenly becomes attractive. Companies doesn't make money advertising harmful products to lose weight and fat, and you aren't sold apps and technology to count calories and steps. There's no such thing as a ‘bikini body’ or ‘post-baby body’. Disney princesses don’t have unrealistic bodies.
Women aren't told by the beauty industry to reduce cellulite, look younger, lift up their butt and breasts, or slim down their waist. A man’s penis size doesn't matter and he aren't expected to go to the gym everyday and take proteins shake.
A woman wearing the hijab isn't told she’s less of a feminist than a white woman.
White girls wearing yoga pants and a messy bun with no makeup isn't called ‘basic’ while her sister of color is called lazy or poor.
A woman's right to abortion isn't even a question of legality. It's accepted and there's no one shaming the woman making that choice. It’s her body after all.
Sexual education and contraceptives are available everywhere to everyone, including in schools, and the idea that the only method of birth control is abstinence isn't taught.
Child marriage, genital mutilation, ‘gang bangs’, honour crimes, etc., don’t exist.
Anyone who says they have been sexually assaulted or harassed is believed. It's not because “she was asking for it for wearing something slutty" or that “what was she thinking walking alone in that part of town" or “she’s lying - she just wants his money.”
A woman who doesn't want children isn't told that she’s “too young to know” or that “every woman wants kids”, and she doesn't hear comments such as “what are you gonna do with your life then?”
Women who are not in a relationship, or who don't want to get married, aren't told to “just wait until you find the right one", and are not asked “how come such a pretty girl is still single?”
Sanitary pads and tampons are free and accessible.
A guy wearing pink and makeup isn't called gay. A girl dressed more ‘tomboy’ or wearing a suit isn't automatically a butch lesbian.
Women can drive and vote in every country. They can be CEOs and politicians, too.
Education is free and accessible. Kids don't have to walk miles to access it. Girls are not ask to stay at home while their brothers get a degree. They don't risk being kidnapped on their way home.
A woman being emotional or angry isn't told she’s just exaggerating, emotional, crazy, or on her period. Her ideas and opinions are valid.
A woman isn’t catcalled on the streets, isn't asked to send nudes for money, isn't sent unsolicited dick pics, etc. She’s not told she has nice legs by strangers, and she isn’t obligated to wear short skirts and high heels as a waitress. She isn’t groped on the dance floor.
Someone can go in any shop and find clothes in their size with lots of variety and without being shamed by the salesperson. They aren't told their size is only available online. They aren't told that they're “lucky" the guy gave them attention in the first place when they reject him.
A transgender person can use any bathroom they associate with, and a person who identifies as MTF (male to female) can go in a lingerie store without being thrown out for “being a creep". People use the correct pronoun when talking to someone who's non-binary or two-spirited.
A girl isn't told, from the time she’s born, to be pretty and to control herself. She's allowed to be loud and muscular and badass. She isn't taught that she's a damsel in distress waiting for a man to enter her life and make her happy. She is her own superhero.
A woman doesn't have to take care of anyone but herself. She can say NO to people way more often than you think!
She isn't shamed for her type of parenting (not talking about abuse or neglect here). A mother choosing not to breastfeed her child is okay too.
Her worth isn't related to her sexual experience(s) and her sexual pleasure is as important as a man’s. And a woman masturbating is not a taboo). We aren't a “lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets”. We are also more than sexual beings.
#freethenipple. A woman's body is not more sexual than a man’s. Her breasts are not inherently sensual.
“Pussy” doesn't equal “being weak". Women’s genitals are not an insult or a bad word.
White girls don't appropriate styles of other cultures as a fashion. An ethnicity isn’t a fetish. An Asian girl isn't more docile, a black girl isn't more savage and a Latin girl isn't there to give you a show. And you wouldn't hear “you're smart/pretty (etc.) for a black girl".
For now, we’ll stop here.