Why I am a Feminist

March 04, 2016

One of the most unfortunate things in the world is the lack of understanding for the word “feminism.” Just as in religion and politics, they are extremes to every ideology. Unfortunately, feminism has somehow managed to convince half the world (I just made up this statistic, it’s fine) that all feminists care about is burning bras and being better than men.
True feminism, as I’ve come to understand it, and as taught by Chimamanda Ngozi, is “the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

A few things to take note of:
  1. No sex is more important or powerful than the other. It is about equality.
  2. It is about equality, but it is called feminism for a reason. For thousands of years, women have been mistreated because of the simple fact that they are women. I am not saying that men have never been discriminated against, but it has not been as prevalent as it has been for women. Feminism brings attention to this unfairness that females face daily – which is how the movement started in the first place. I don’t think there is anything wrong with calling it feminism, as long as…
  3. Feminists don’t just care about the treatment of women. There’s a great documentary called “The Mask You Live In.” In essence, it’s about how men are forced into extreme masculinity. This is as much as a problem for me as women that are forced into extreme femininity.

I think, cognitively and developmentally, that gender roles can be important and even useful. Now, feminists, hear me out - I am not saying that we should force everyone into these roles and to shun and outcast those who do not. To me, gender is both a social construct as well as an inherent, biological part of who we are. One does not and cannot exist without the other.
A true feminist will not care if you want to be a stay-at-home mom and get manicures weekly. A true feminist can be feminine. The best part about feminism is that it empowers people to be who and what they want.
Gender equality is everyone’s problem. It impacts all of us daily.

Did you know?
  • The FBI reports that in single-perpetrator/single-victim homicides, 89% of male victims were killed by males, and 90% of female victims were killed by males.
  • Even in what many consider to be the most enlightened societies, such as Sweden, the domestic violence rate is still calculated to be as high as 25%.
  • Women were not allowed to vote in Switzerland until 1971.
  • The United States, with about 17% female representation in Congress, is below the mean.
  • Rape in war has been considered a war crime only since July 1, 1996.
  • There are 163 million missing women that should be here: they are missing because of egregious maternal mortality rates, sex selection, abnormally high suicide rates, excess childhood mortality, and violence against women.

Now, let’s talk about the big “m word” – MICROAGGRESSIONS.
“Gendered microagression is composed of all those many choices and acts in the routine day-to-day existence that harm, subordinate, exploit, and disrespect women. These "little" things, experienced day after day, year after year, ground the society in gender inequality...what is viewed as normal is not only invisible but becomes something that is not spoken about either. Silence, often self-imposed, is the sturdy ally of gendered microaggression.” | Dr. Valerie M. Hudson, Sex and World Peace
Basically, in less fancy terms, gendered microaggressions are those little sexist “get back in the kitchen” jokes, those seemingly insignificant remarks on a woman’s body as she passes by, and even stereotypes, slut shaming, and victim blaming. To you, these vocal observations may seem harmless, but in reality, they reinforce negative gender stereotypes and sexist ideology.

Put simply, if you believe in equality and equal opportunity, YOU ARE A FEMINIST. I know, I know, it’s scandalous. I hate to be the one to break it to you but if you are a decent human being, you are probably a feminist.
I bet you’re sitting here thinking, “Well, what good is any of this information going to do me?” Friends, let me tell ya! You can make a difference. The easiest way to start? Begin calling yourself a feminist. If people gasp or fight back, educate them on what a feminist really is.
Everyone on this earth is just trying to make it by. Especially as people who believe in a God, you have a specific obligation to care for His children. Just remember that.

Want more information on the status of women? Check out The WomanStats Project, the largest database compiling info on the treatment of women worldwide.

Yours truly,

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