Often equated with femi-nazi’s. Three waves. A loss of conviction and attack on other genders, primarily male.
So why do I consider myself a feminist? I am in a relationship with a straight, white male. Very happily, I might add. But I still consider myself a feminist. I may not outright say it, but bring it up in a conversation and I am more than happy to say loudly and proudly that I am a feminist.
Heck, I am saying it now. Last I checked I was still sane, albeit different by societies standards. So how come I can tout being a feminist, listen to Destiny’ Child and Kelly Clarkson sing about being strong, independent women, and yet remain happily attached to a wonderful, male human being?
Because I am confident in myself and I love myself and I want other women to feel the same about themselves. I want women to know, deep in their bones, that they don’t need to be loved by another to have love for themselves. Believe me, I wasn’t born with this thought. It took many long years for me to get to the point where I could truly say that I like myself, let alone love myself. I am still insecure, but because I can say that I am a feminist, I have become more confident in myself.
Feminism gave me the confidence to believe in myself that no other person or ideology has. Like many women, I struggle with body image, confidence around others, and confidence in myself. But these issues no longer rule over me or cast a long, dark shadow. Knowing that there is a group of women who feel the same as me, who have the same issues, who have gone through similar experiences as myself, has given me the confidence to speak out and speak up about my own past.
Feminism has given me a voice where I felt like I had none. Now, one can wonder how an entire movement can give a single individual a voice. I believe it must do with the fact that it is a group. Alone we are easy to break, easy to ignore, easy to forget. Together we are a rubber band, flexible yet strong. This isn’t’ to say that there aren’t extremes, because there obviously is or else the term femi-nazi wouldn’t exist. However, these extremist views shouldn’t overshadow the good that feminism has done for many women, such as myself.
What about men who claim to be feminist? Well, I say, good on ya mate. The fact that a man is willing to open his eyes and try to see things from a different point of view is helpful in any society. But don’t tout the title unless you actually feel it in your bones. If you are truly a champion for women’s rights, then sit down with your mother, sister, girlfriend, ect. and ask her how she feels when she walks outside. If she has ever been hurt bad by a man in her life or a stranger. Ask her how you can help, even if it is uncomfortable. Because I can almost guarantee you that most every woman has had some sort of traumatic experience, and no, I am not over-exaggerating.
Lastly, feminism is about support. It is about standing up for others. It’s about compassion. Whether that person be female, male, LGBTQIA, or whatever, it’s about having compassion for your fellow human being. We all have a short time here on this planet, so let’s try to make it as pleasant for ourselves and others as possible.