I think it’s time to introduce a new word.
This one’s for everyone currently calling themselves a feminist who is sick to death of people trying to put them in the girls’ club with the crazed femi-nazis and leftover bra-burners from the 60s.
This will be a thing.
I have several friends – male and female – calling themselves feminists. What they really champion, however, is social equality. To them – and to me – combating ‘womens issues’ is an important path to a better world, one in which being a man or a woman is less important than just being a person. In which people can succeed or fail based solely on their own abilities and ambition. And in which freedom of self-expression is not treated as some kind of threat to ‘normal’ society.
I have other friends who believe in the exact same thing – and yet clash with me often due to the negative stigma pasted all over the concept of feminism. No matter how many times I explain that my ideals are basically the same as theirs, as soon as I mention the word ‘feminist’, suddenly it’s as though I just said all men are arseholes and major companies should be fulfilling an enforced quota of female employees in the top job positions – just from the qualification of being female.
To be completely candid, there are times when I do get bitter about the way people treat women, just because they’re women. Walking for ten minutes along a busy road never fails to make me furious. I’m sure most women know what I’m talking about – and anyone who’s confused can check out “My Fault I’m Female”* to bring themselves up to speed. The way women are treated is a problem – but the moment a women points that out (or, gasp, gets angry about it), they’re labelled a paranoid bitch feminist. Like if someone is a feminist they must be imagining there’s a problem. Nothing wrong with our society, nuh-uh.
So it’s time for a new word, free from all the negative connotations built up after years of angry women getting angrier because they’re not being heard. It’s time to realise that women’s rights affect everyone – not just those ‘unfortunate’ enough to have been born with a vagina. The stigmatisation and disparaging of all things feminine affects men just as much as women. Human nature isn’t as black and white as we’d often like to believe – and it certainly shouldn’t be decided and assigned depending on what parts we are born with.
And if you’re calling yourself a feminist – or, alternately, refusing to call youself a feminist – because you believe that the world could be a better place if we no longer had to fight for women’s human right to be treated equal AS A PERSON… then it just might be time to consider defecting from the wounded cause with the irreperably damaged reputation and starting anew – fresh and untainted.
Feel free to air your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below