Wednesday, 28 January 2015

STWW: The F Word

I am a Feminist. I am not a lesbian, I do not hate men or marriage and I do not burn bras (here). By definition, I want to "to define, establish, and defend equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women". I am a feminist because I believe that all humans, men and women, deserve equal rights. 

I became a feminist when I learnt about and began recognizing the blatant biases that women face at school, work and in life. I was blissfully ignorant and accepting of the way women were (and are) being treated and oppressed. I thought it was just the way things were and that was that. I even once stupidly told my male friend (a feminist too) that women shouldn't dress provocatively and then get offended when men leer and hit on them. 

Before I get into why the world needs feminists, I want to dispel some stereotypes about feminism and help clear this unfair and bad rap the word seems to have:

  • Feminists are man-haters and/or think that women are better than men: feminists are against the gender discrimination that women face, which has been taught to and easily accepted by both men and women. They don't think women are better than men, they think women are just as good as men which, unfortunately, is a concept that not everyone has grasped. Giving rights to women doesn't take away the rights of men.
  • Only women can be feminists: this would mean that only women can and should care about equal rights. This is entirely wrong, the feminist that introduced me to feminism is a man (a 23 year old, 6'1" football playing engineer).  
  • There is no sexism and so there is no need for feminism: if this were true, why are women that have the same jobs as men paid less? Why are female victims of sexual assault so afraid to report the perpetrators? Why are women who are raped blamed for the clothes they wore? Why are women judged for how they look rather than what they say? These things still occur so that must mean that feminism is still needed.
For more stereotypes on feminism, see here.

What are your opinions on feminists and feminism? Are you a feminist? Why/why not?

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