Once upon a time being a feminist meant believing that men and women have the same worth. It meant wanting to vote and get a job not related to childcare/making clothes/cooking.
I can very clearly see how my life has been shaped by feminism from the earliest stages of my life. I was raised to believe that I can do anything I want with my life, that gender should play no part in deciding whether I am qualified to fulfill my dreams. I have a college education, a full time job, and no desire to get married any time soon. I am a computer/gadget geek, play Risk, understand Magic the Gathering-type games, and own as many action-adventure movies as I do chick-flicks. I have a Voice and Opinions and will tell them to anyone whether I think they’ll like it or not. I am strong, and I will not become weak to let someone else feel better about themselves. I believe there is nothing a woman cannot do if she sets her mind to it.
Feminism has made these things possible. Brave women who stood up for themselves and demanded the world listen to them.
You’d think I’m a feminist, wouldn’t you? It sure sounds like I am.
Unfortunately, the feminist movement has changed. It is no longer enough to be aim for equality; feminism now demands superiority. Feminism has tried so hard to “Right All the Wrongs!” that has created its own wrongs. Instead of women’s opinions not counting, men’s are marginalized; instead of women being passed over for jobs, men are; instead of women wanting not just the traditional lifestyle, those who choose a traditional lifestyle are shamed; instead of women wanting to be able to wear blue jeans instead of floor-length dresses, modesty is ridiculed. Sometimes it seems as if the goal of feminism is to reduce men to a state worse than women ever had it.
How is this desiring equality for all? How is this righting wrongs? How is this empowering people to achieve their potential no matter who they are?
There has recently been a lot of publicity talking about how feminism is not about all those things and is only about desiring equality and fair treatment. It’s like 2014 Feminists are trying to erase the Extreme Feminists from existence and focus only on the happy, warm fuzzy aspects of feminism. But you can’t do that. If you claim the movement, you inadvertently claim the whole movement, not just the parts you like. Yes, feminism is about those nice ideals. But there is also a very real aspect of feminism that is all about things that I cannot get behind. I cannot and will not associate with a movement that thinks it is okay to belittle, marginalize, and shame men simply for the crime of having been born male.
So am I a feminist?