Sunday, 10 June 2012

"I'm not a Feminist, but..."

My name is Sam, and I am a Feminist. I couldn’t be happier about that too. One of my least favourite things is hearing the casual comment “I’m not a Feminist, but…” followed by a totally feminist comment. To which I think, hang on, you’re not a feminist but you just have the opinions of one? Madness. From this I have to conclude, people clearly don’t know what feminism is, and whatever they think it might be, they sure as hell don’t want to be associated with it.

Now I could write all day about what I think feminism is, but to keep it short and sweet I’ll go with: Feminism is the belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. That doesn’t sound too bad does it? Didn’t think so.

This is the point where I get all confused, I don’t understand how anyone can say “Equality?...Nah, that just isn’t for me. Sure, I’m totally cool with the fact tampons are taxed as a ‘luxury’ item, and it doesn’t bother me at all that if a woman is raped it’s her fault, not the rapists, and I think it’s great that just recently an MP tried to pass abstinence sex education,  for girls only, because all a girl needs to be taught at school about sex is not to do it, that will solve everything!”, because every time someone says I’m not a feminist, that is exactly what they are saying.

I refuse to believe that people I talk to don’t believe there should be equality, so either people simply don’t realise what feminism is, in which case maybe I should write it in big letters on one of those sandwich boards and wear it around town, or there is something else other than the definition of feminism that is turning people off. To me it feels like a growing number of young women just don’t want to be associated with feminism, which makes me sad as feminism is a constant source of joy and strength to me, and I hate the thought that others are missing out on the fun. The best people I know are feminists.  

So I’m going to take a stab at trying to tackle the myths and the realities of being a young feminist, in the hope a few more women (or men!) want to stand on their chair and proclaim to the world: “I AM a Feminist, and I’ve never felt better!”. Everything is better when you say it standing on a chair, fact.

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