There has been a lot of negative press directed at feminism. Feminists have been accused of being women wanting to be like men, they have been called men haters and Feminazis. Lately, Lisa Hayden said that “in our quest for feminism, let’s stay feminine!” These statements, words and accusations are ignorant and they are dangerous.
Feminism stands for equality, it is a fight against patriarchy and therefore, it isn’t only women that are feminists, there are many male feminists. It is an ideology not a gender identity. Just as saying that we should not forget about being feminine, which assumes that feminism rejects femininity. I’m very feminine and I’ve got the pink nails and dresses to prove it, but that does NOT stop me from being a feminist.
So why is this dangerous? Well, famous people with a large fan base and social media followers have the power to influence. Somewhere out there maybe there is a girl, who thinks she is as good as her male classmates, painting her nails and thinking she couldn’t be a feminist because she likes make up and pretty things. Or a boy who believes in equality, assuming that feminism is an exclusive club for people with specific genitalia.
Feminism is as much for men as it is for women. Patriarchy affects men too. Feminism acknowledges that men can be victims of abuse, rape and physical violence by men and women. It regards fathers to be just as important to a child’s life as a mother. So when someone says that all men do is donate sperm, the rest is a woman’s job, then you’ve probably only met the “token” fathers. Yes, a women carries the baby and delivers it and yes, that certainly is a lot more than what the man did, but that doesn’t mean that the man doesn’t or perhaps shouldn’t do anything else. There are plenty of men that are very involved in their partner’s pregnancy and equally involved with the child’s upbringing. And lest we forget, yes, women create life, but they can’t without the sperm, whether that comes from a bank or a person, that sperm is vital.
Feminism has a lot of battles to win. Violence against women, sex selection, dowry, rape culture, these are just the beginning. True equality, well, I don’t expect to see it in my life time, but that doesn’t mean I stop fighting for what I know is right. And treating women as though they are property or playthings of men, that is all kinds of wrong. This struggle is for humanity, not women. Feminism is a human issue, not just a woman’s issue. And I’d like to point out that without feminism, most women would be chained either to the kitchen or the bed making babies or dinner, property of our fathers/brothers/uncles/husbands/sons, not making sweeping declarations while enjoying our freedom of speech.