Why I Call Myself A Feminist
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Why I Call Myself A Feminist

Why I identify as a member of what has recently been called "fourth-wave feminism."

Why I Call Myself A Feminist
The Washington Post

I recently read an article by a fellow creator called "I Am Not A Feminist, And That Is Okay." Within the article, she mentioned not wanting to be a part of "fourth-wave feminism." To be completely honest, I was not sure what she meant by that. I was under the impression that we were still in the third wave. But upon further research, I have found that while feminism has definitely changed within the fourth wave, the definition of the word remains the same. If anything, feminists have become more accepting of the definition of feminism, which is, essentially, equality for all.

The things that have come with the fourth wave have been the overwhelming use of technology and social media, leading to a "call-out" culture, in which people are able to call attention to misogyny or misandry immediately. Fourth-wave feminists are more accepting of transgender women, women of color, and women who identify themselves as members of the LGBTQ+ Community. They are also more accepting of male feminists and individuals who identify as genderqueer or genderfluid.

Because of the fourth-wave, women who were previously ignored or talked over due to their social or economic statuses are making themselves heard. People are no longer afraid to call themselves feminists. Feminism is no longer a word that is mainly associated with misogyny. Feminists are now showing support for other groups who face oppression, they are standing with members of the LGBTQ+ Community, they are marching in protests against police brutality, they are speaking up about child labor. No longer is feminism ruled by "White feminists." While these women still exist, they are not the ones in charge.

I think that everyone has a right to the life they choose. Whether they want to be a housewife, a leader in their community, or a CEO. None of these things should bring anyone shame. You want to take your husband's last name? Do it, show the world that you are not afraid to show off that you are his and he is yours. You want to raise your children rather than work full time? Do it. Do what you want to do, the whole point of equality is to make sure that people have equal opportunities. That doesn't mean that you HAVE to take these opportunities. The fact that they are there is enough, not every woman has to become a leader if they do not wish to. It's their choice.

What my fellow creator seemed to focus on within her article are the negative statements that people have made that are NOT what feminism means. She assumed that the goal of feminism is to integrate every woman into places that were once dominated by men. While it is encouraged that women take the chance to be who they want to be, the goal is not to force anyone to be what they are not.

But, she is allowed to believe what she believes in. She should not be punished or berated for that. Is equality even real equality if one is forced to go against their opinion for the sake of someone else? As long as they're not hurting or oppressing anyone, I don't see any problem with letting people believe what they want to believe. Because if we live in a society that forces us to believe in one thing, are we really free?

I identify as a feminist because I believe in equality for all. No matter the race, gender, sex, or religion. Fourth-wave feminism has managed to take a stand for not only those who are oppressed because of their gender or sex, but it has also stood for those who are oppressed due to other reasons. While the deep definition of Feminism remains the same, how people have interpreted it has changed. Thanks to technology and social media, I am more informed, I am able to be heard, and I am able to lend my own voice to those who are shouting for justice.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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