On Being A Feminist

I’ve ranted about feminism before and I’m going to do it again. It really gets me mad when women sit there and say, “I think women should be equal, I think women should be recognized for their accomplishments, but I am definitely not a feminist.” Well, actually, yes you are. Militant feminist, maybe not, but feminist yes.

The dictionary defines feminism as, “a movement or theory that supports the rights of women.” I have yet to read a definition that requires you to shave your head, wear camo, and suddenly begin desiring naked females in order to be considered a feminist. Honey, that’s a stereotype. Do you not see that? You can be a married housewife and still be a part of the movement because feminism is not about molding every woman into a childless, career-oriented machine. It’s about making sure that women are able to be treated with respect in whatever path they choose.

When are we going to learn to be proud of a movement that empowers women? I’m not asking that women become more powerful than men- that defeats the purpose of the movement, does it not? Why are women so ashamed of proclaiming themselves to be feminist?

I long for a day when a woman has as good a chance of becoming the president as a man does. I long for the day when two employees of equal standing are paid the same regardless of their sex. I want a woman to walk at night without fear of being raped and then, as if rape isn’t bad enough, to be told that she was asking for it. I want a female lawyer to be able to dress feminine and still be taken as seriously as if she was covered from head to toe in drab black cloth.

Being a feminist is so much more than supporting a woman in going back out into the workplace after having children. It is supporting her when she chooses to stay home. It is recognizing that a woman’s body is her temple and she needs to be able to make her own choices when those choices impact her place of worship. It means working harder to stand next to your sisters instead of competing against them.

Is that a bad thing? Don’t claim to be for furthering the women’s rights movements (one that is still going on today despite radical progress already made) and decry yourself as a feminist. Be proud to be a strong, modern woman.


16 thoughts on “On Being A Feminist

  1. Toni- Thanks. Heh. I was annoyed.

    Ellen- Ellen!! So glad you came by! Find it- the bonfire’s waiting!

    Caryn- Thank you! I just get so annoyed with people sometimes. I mean seriously, since when does wanting to get married and have kids disqualify you from thinking women should stand on even ground with men?

    Katrina- Send ’em on over. The post will be here. 🙂

  2. I hear ya, sister. I think that you are echoing the words and expressing the feelings of so many women who struggle with the same frustration. Of course, nothing of this is wrong. It is human nature that people pick the weak link to try to destroy a group or dispell a movement. I’m not referring to radical feminists as a weak link, but I do sometimes question the influence they’ve had on my life. I just don’t agree with it all, but I accept it as the reality that you’re never going to agree with every single thing that a person or group does.

    I remember a few years back, my boyfriend at the time and I were book shopping. I’d bought a couple of feminist books and we’d left to go to Starbuck’s for a coffee. There, we ran into his best friend, a guy who I was less than fond of. We sat down with him and his date and chatted a little. He grabbed my bag and looked at the books I’d bought. He said to me “Women’s Lib books? Are you a feminist?” I nodded. Then Rob said to him “Ryan, I am a feminist.” I loved it and I doubt I will ever forget that exchange. He made me so proud!

  3. Carly- That’s so true. Being an American living in Canada, I get a lot of crap for being a “stupid American.” Really? Not all Americans are stupid- unfortunately the ones that are, in fact, stupid are also very loud. Gives the rest of us a bad rap. I love the story of the ex! What a great guy!

  4. Carly – Hi, I don’t know you but send your ex some flowers!! What a guy.

    I hate to make a broad generalization, but this is one of the things that makes me embassed for the people in our country. We tend to take a really good idea (sexual harrasment laws, gender and race equality laws, etc.) and a handful of people screw it up for the rest of us.

    When do we start making anti-stupid laws?

  5. Marie- Thanks!

    Ellen- Anti-stupid laws should have been put to use years ago. Unfortunately a stupid president is not likely to pass anti-stupid laws. Heh.

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