Image credit to bahamas.ihollaback.org
While sitting at a restaurant with my father, I was shocked to be presented with his question of whether I was a feminist, a question to which I thought there could only be one answer — okay, only one correct answer. I am, of course, a feminist — it’s a simple statement, but still it’s managed to pick up so many negative connotations over the years.
Now I’m sure that in the present day, most people are in favour of equality between men and women, but if this is true, why are they not willing to admit the simple fact that if they believe this, they ARE a feminist? That’s exactly what I asked my father.
His reply confirmed my initial suspicions that while there may be many people who believe in the ideas of feminism, there are almost as many who are unwilling to carry the title, a title for which countless people fought (and won) over the past century. But why, then, is there a stigma surrounding a word, if it’s helping pave the way to equality? Again, I confronted him with this question.
It must be mentioned that my father is a feminist; he believes in rights for women, just as he believes in rights for men. But he also believes the term feminist has been too closely linked to the radical side of the campaign for equality. A common feminist stereotype is a bra-burning, man-hating lesbian who, in fact, hinders the cause for women’s equality, a problem that did not arise from the cause, but instead from the name.
The term FEMinism can be misleading, often thought to be the campaign for women to supersede men. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Feminism is a common topic of discussion, but rarely do we get any real insight into what feminism actually is: “a range of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women” (as defined by Wikipedia).
Feminism is not the case of female domination, but instead equality for women and for men. What we are dealing with is Humanism, a title to include everyone.