Feminism is defined as the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. What does that mean in lame man's term? It simply means that women should have the same rights as men. But being a feminist, as I understand it, is not simply wanting equal rights for all on paper, but also put into practice.
I want to clear a few misconceptions about feminists and feminism. First, a man can absolutely be a feminist, so please don't dismiss my views simply because of my anatomy.
Next, is the idea that if you are a feminist then you must hate men. Sorry everyone, but that is false. While some so-called feminists do indeed hate men with every fiber in their bones, not all feminists are like that.
Feminism is not the idea that women want to rule over men, that is called misandry.
Another key misconception is that feminist only deal with women's rights. Once again, some feminists only focus on women's rights, but many cover LGBTQ rights and tackle discriminatory laws. With a few of the misconceptions cleared up, let's dive into why I choose to identify as a feminist.
The history of America is no secret. Even the most basic history textbooks have covered slavery, not to the extent it should, but nevertheless, they were covered. With my ancestors being slaves and previous generations before me fighting for Civil Rights, I believe I have no right to discriminate anyone.
Honestly, no one has the right to discriminate anyone, but blacks have been through so much that willingly hating a group is just horrible. I am not just a feminist because I feel that I have to be. Rather my views on different subjects around the nation and the world just make sense for me not to denounce feminism as a whole.
My purpose for being someone who fights for racial, gender and social equality is because I refuse to sit down and watch my world go to hell. If you want to make this nation better for EVERYONE, then being proactive is a must. I capitalized everyone because wanting to exclude certain individuals is not what I'm about. I am friends with whites, blacks, Hispanics, people who identify as homosexuals, drag queens and I have even befriended someone who is asexual.
This is not to boast about the friends I have.
Believe me, if you knew them then you wouldn't want to boast about them. I tell you this because to understand someone's struggle you have to go out and find out their stories. Remember, I never said you had to become friends, but at least try and understand where they come from.
There are obvious problems that a young, black male in Charleston, South Carolina may face when proclaiming to be a feminist. One is testing my authenticity towards the cause. Some would say that, "Of course it makes sense that you are apart of the Black Lives Matter," but being a feminist is somehow a no-no for a male. Don't worry I can understand how some women may be suspicious of me.
It is the same as a black person being skeptical of a white person wanting to join a BLM protest rally. But, I am proud that my generation is starting to worry least of who helps out to make a change now. To truly bring change in any facet of life, there has to an inclusion of individuals working together.
Being a young, black male is hard enough in our country, but wanting to be outspoken on injustices is an even more dangerous game. That is why I use to be shy about proclaiming to be apart of the BLM movement or being a feminist. Many can attest to the fear of how some may judge you or the repercussions may ensue. It is important to understand that some will disagree, but you cannot worry about those people. If you have a passion for something then you have to follow it.
To end, I am proud of being a supporter in some of the various movements that are taking place in our country. Being a feminist is more than just wanting equal rights for women. It entails LGBTQ rights, the stoppage of discrimination towards people of color and many other important ideals.
I do not want to be in a world, in a country, where I cannot express my beliefs even if they oppose family or friends way of thinking. That is why people who want to stay on the sideline should try and vocalize their opinions. This fight for equality for ALL will not end without the help from people who all have different experiences. I understand some truly cannot express their feelings and I will not condemn for that. So, no need to worry. Millions of others and I will help to be your unheard voice.