Recently, I’ve been seeing many anti-feminist articles on Odyssey. Two of the most popular are "I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign" an "I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists." While the statements made in the articles definitely annoy me to no end and really have me contemplating the comprehension skills of some people, what surprises me more is how much support articles like those received. Which brings me to assert that some people don’t really know what feminism is.
A while ago I would not have considered myself a feminist. The reason being that my only image of feminism was “white feminism” and issues like “free the nipple” and the gender pay gap didn’t really concern me as much as the misrepresentation of women of color with different variations of interests, ability, and perspectives. While I am no expert and am constantly learning, relearning, and altering my viewpoints on certain topics, I feel that I have educated myself enough to know that everything these articles addressed is bogus.
Before I go any further I feel like I should start with what feminism is not. Feminism is not, I repeat, is not the belief that all men are trash. It is not the practice of wearing shirts without a bra. It is not the act of going to women’s marches and taking snaps the entire time just to prove to people that you were there. It is not only for women nor is it only for white women. Most importantly, it is not singular. Feminism is multifaceted, interconnected, and benefits everyone if it is given the chance to be used the right way. I don’t fully know what that way is, but it’s not where we’re headed.
The main arguments I’ve seen against feminism by women go something along the lines of “I like having doors opened for me by men” and “I want to build a home and take care of my children.” These statements are so frail and shallow and in turn paint feminism as something frail and shallow. The picture of feminism that some women have adopted goes back to the view of feminism in the earlier days as an “ugly” or “unwanted” woman’s backlash against men for not getting some action (if you know what I mean).
This is not a matter of pushing your beliefs onto other people. You either believe that everyone should be equal regardless of race, sex, gender, ability, color, and a plethora of other categories and labels we have made to classify ourselves and others or you don’t. Rejecting feminism on any premise that resembles these arguments is disgraceful. Not only to women but to all the other disenfranchised groups out there. These arguments trivialize everything that feminists have fought for decades ago and are still fighting for now. All we want is to be heard and listened to and it’s hard enough with so many against us. Don’t turn your back on us too because you refuse to truly listen to what’s being said.