Often times when I approach the subject of feminism, particularly with male friends, I am greeted with an eye roll and the response that I’m not a real feminist. Considering these people aren’t feminists themselves, I wonder what qualifies them to judge my beliefs and what makes a ‘real feminist.’
Many people would say that to be a ‘real feminist’ you have to be hormonal, hostile toward men, and have an affinity for lighting lingerie on fire. But feminism is so much more than that. Feminism is, in the simplest of terms, equality for women. So why must there be all of these negative connotations about feminists? Do you fall prey to these stereotypes? Are your eyes rolling right now?
As a woman (girl?) who has been angry at the injustice in our society, I’ve started rolling my eyes back. If you want me to be angry, I will be. I’m angry that media showed sympathy for the rapists in the Steubenville case. I’m angry that in literature, men and boys are treated as complex and layered characters, while women are placed as pretty plot devices. I’m angry because feminists never burned their bras. This myth was compiled by chauvinists who wanted to demonize feminists to the public.
But that doesn’t mean I am hostile or man-hating. I believe that men are rational beings – they can tell the difference between yes and no, they know right from wrong, and they know the proper way to treat others. Men, as authors and artists, have enough creativity to develop characters that break the strict gender roles society has set up for women.
Obviously these examples are one out of the thousands of ways women are restricted by their gender, but I want to know what you think. So to all of you eye-rollers, I say this with no arrogance – how can you not be a feminist? If it sounds as though I am trying to start an argument, I assure you that’s not what I want. I want to provoke thought and learn more about topics I am interested in. I hope we share these common goals and I also hope that we can have a discussion about this topic. If you are a feminist: explain why you are a feminist and if you are a specific kind, please share.
Posted on November 25th, 2013 by Keila Anali
Filed under: Keila Saucedo