You’re Not a Feminist, But…

…you probably are. Here’s why.

It’s the modern F-word, stigma and all.

When you think of feminism, if you haven’t read a lot about the topic, there’s a good chance the first images to pop into your head are hairy, angry, short-haired, man-hating women with picket signs and trash cans of bras on fire, reeking of perspiration and gasoline.

Only, that’s not what feminism is.

Feminism has been demonized since around the 1970s. Why? Media coverage deliberately spun early feminist movements to turn women against each other and away from furthering political causes that would inconvenience the rich, old, white dudes in power. What’s even more obnoxious is that this crap still happens today and unfortunately does influence the public to trivialize and discard many feminists’ voices.

So, do you agree that all sexes should have equal social, political, and economic rights?

Yes? Congratulations, you’re a feminist!

(If you said no, I’d recommend broadening your horizons and reading more femlit because you’re probably bigoted elsewhere, too.)

This is not a women’s issue. This is a people issue. I cannot emphasize this enough. Feminism is for all sexes and works for the benefit of all sexes. The status quo of the American patriarchy sucks for us all because it oppresses not just women, but also men, and especially people using other sex-identifiers.

Think about it. We have very strict sex/gender roles in America.

As a brief example, men get shit for not acting “manly”. Men aren’t allowed to be sad, or emotionally “weak”. The only “masculine” emotion is anger. Men aren’t supposed to want to touch or be touched by each other, either, unless it’s aggressive and/or athletic. Shy of what they’ve received from romantic partners, many men have been deprived of emotional intimacy through much of their lives.

Women get shit for not acting “womanly”. Women have access to more professional and economic opportunities yet too often face the same domestic expectations in their homes. Even CEOs are still expected to be “super moms” in their “off” hours. Women in positions of power are publicly viewed as cold and bitchy. No matter what a woman’s profession, not only is she supposed to look as effortlessly attractive as possible at all times, she’s supposed to want to look impossibly attractive, too.

Further, people who fall outside of the sex/gender binary get shit for their entire┬ásex/gender performance. They are especially chided for not fitting any of the roles “correctly”, and many fear for their physical safety because of the constant threat that other people could choose to attack them in a barbaric, desperate effort to ignorantly enforce toxic social norms.

I vote we change those rules and the norms they govern. Let’s cut the shit and restructure how our society functions so we all live better, happier lives.

8 comments

  1. So, The definition of Feminism in every dictionary published is incorrect? Every single dictionary I’ve ever seen defines feminism as “The Advocacy of Women’s Rights”. There is good reason to argue for women’s rights, but to say that ONLY women’s rights, ONLY feminism, is needed for gender equality is simply sexist bigotry.

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    1. Kudos on having read every dictionary ever published, but it wouldn’t surprise me if many of those sources are using somewhat of a different definition (perhaps more second wave than I consider myself) than that under which other feminists may choose to identify. I completely agree that to focus solely on women’s rights would be sexist bigotry. Constricting the goals of feminism solely to women’s rights accomplishes little in the long run, fighting more of the symptom than the disease.

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      1. This is where you’ve got your thinking backwards. Constricting goals solely to women’s rights accomplishes little in the long run. This is not a constricting on feminism. Trying to be feminist constricts the goals to solely the rights of women. Feminism is the constrictor, not the constricted.

        Many people are trying to hold onto the word Feminism like it has some sort of magical power, when it is an ideology of sexist bigotry.

        I am not a feminist because, as you agree, the very definition of feminism is sexist bigotry.

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          1. Well The definition in the dictionary is the one I accept. The dictionary definition is the very definition of definitive. This isn’t to say that dictionaries never get anything wrong, but to make the extraordinary claim that most to all dictionaries published are wrong would need truly extraordinary proof. Because you say so doesn’t even come close to extraordinary proof.

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            1. I’m hearing a grossly simplified generalization. Although a lazy Google search would tend to support rather than contradict your assertion, I will, again, argue that the definition to which you refer is of “second wave” feminism. The more modern definition I support would, instead, fall under “third wave” ideology.

              Thank you, though, for calling attention to the many flavors of feminism. In addition to the different waves, there are also different approaches, such as radical (the more stereotypical one), practical (everyday), and one whose name escapes me at the moment but follows a genuine “separate but equal” ideology.

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              1. Well if “Third Wave” is really different than “Second Wave” it should be really easy to provide the mountain of evidence that I’m asking for. You will be able to link 3 or 4 feminist groups fighting for equality in prison sentencing. You will be able to link 3 or 4 feminist groups fighting for Legal Paternal Surrender (Financial Abortion). You will be able to link me 3 or 4 feminist groups that are fighting to change the sexist and bigoted definition of “Rape” used for determining statistics. You will be able to link me 3 or 4 feminist groups that are arguing that shared custody is important because men make great fathers. You will be able to link me 3 or 4 groups fighting for equal representation of males on University Campuses. You will be able to link me 3 or 4 groups of feminist fighting to end the male only draft registration.

                The “Lazy Google Search” supports my assertion because these groups don’t exist to counter my assertion. This is far from an exhaustive list of Men’s Rights issues that we face as a society. If third wave really is different than second wave, you should have no problem linking a dozen different feminist organization fighting to break the interdependent and interconnected gender roles of both men and women, but not exclusively for the benefit of women.

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