You are such an f-word!
February 11, 2009 § 7 Comments
I consider myself a feminist because I believe that women should be given equal opportunities, not because of how active of a feminist I am, or how much I do or don’t do for the feminist cause. Although I do promote this, and think well of people who devote themselves to this, I don’t believe it is the only thing that grants someone the worthy title of a feminist. If I have never been to a pro-choice rally or written for a feminist magazine, can I still be a feminist? OF COURSE YOU CAN. The notion that you have to earn this title only creates conflict within the feminist movement. Not only do people fear the f-word, they also fear that they are not doing enough to receive the (fantastic) label of a feminist.
I think that some people do use this as an excuse for not calling themselves what they are. A feminist is someone who believes, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone who constantly acts on their beliefs. If all the people who believe in feminism stood up and called themselves what they are, half the problems women face today would be solved instantly. It is another excuse not to align themselves with the feminist cause, mostly out of fear. But sometimes I fear that I do not deserve the title of feminist that so many great women before me have been given. But then I realize that by simply being a strong person who is not willing to take any shit from anyone, I am already helping the cause.
I also think that there are a variety of ways to be involved in fighting the feminist cause. Everyday women who fight stereotypes by pursuing science or engineering are being active feminists. Busy parents who teach their sons and daughters to be respectful of women are feminists; teenagers who are willing to fight stereotypical depictions of women are feminists. Anyone who believes in equality for women is a feminist, and there is no hierarchy to deciding who is granted this name. This is an f-word that anyone and everyone can say, and I encourage everyone to use it.