Sometimes, people are so afraid of being labelled a ‘feminist’ they will start their sentence, thought or idea by saying…
“I’m not a feminist but women should be treated equally.”Some guy at some point in time, probably.
Feminism as a movement has been and will continue to be about getting equality for women and advocate for the same rights and decency that men experience. Although some people think ‘Egalitarianism‘ is a good word to describe it, feminism focuses on gender usually (without going too deep).
“But Christoast!” I may hear you say, “I’m not a Feminazi!“
To which, I would reply with the following. You don’t need to be afraid of that term, and you should really reconsider the usage. ‘Feminazi’ is used badly as another way (well, as suggested by the oxford dictionary for political slang) of saying a ‘determined feminist’. It is actually quite a derogatory term and when someone is labelled a feminazi, it usually isn’t because of their radical ideas but rather miscommunication or vilification. There may be extreme ideologies but you will find them so few and sparse within the theory/movement.
You are a feminist if you do these things:
- Respect women (and not for your own benefit but because you genuinely respect them)
- Thats it. Thats the catch-all.
Some who may be tilting their heads may say, “But men suffer problems and don’t get attention and have higher suicide rates and not being able to express emotion… etc.”
And if you are concerned about those problems, great! You are even more of a feminist! Because those are feminist issues. Because toxic masculinity deems you cannot cry, you cannot express emotion and permits this harm. It categorises emotion and ‘girly things’ as ‘not manly’ and as such, you become a target for expressing any femininity. Yes, those issues stated may affect men, but they are rooted in assumptions of what is appropriate gender expression for a man which is often seen as not anything that woman can do.
I wrote this article/blog post in response to common people being afraid of identifying as feminist. You need to know, that being a feminist is not a bad thing! This is particularly targeted to men and women who think negatively of the term feminist to help challenge assumptions about the word and about the lens and movement.
However, I am always interested in continuing this discussion so leave a comment if you so inclined or hit me up on one of my social medias!