A few words on feminism…
Yes, I am a feminist. No, I do not hate men, nor blame them for all of my problems. No, I am not a butch lesbian and no, I do not take part in continuous man bashing. The stigma attached to feminism makes me really frustrated sometimes. Like everything else, people like to put it in a box and label it insignificant, they even say that it is stereotypical within itself. All I can say is that in my opinioin and practice, feminism is not any of those things. It’s not simply about female empowerment. Feminism is about intersectionality – addressing every kind of inequality and how they connect. I’m talking about gender, race, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and pretty much anything else that you can think of. I don’t believe that women are the only oppressed group of people. Not at all. In fact, men suffer just as much as women from the gender binary. We are all put in boxes and told we must be a certain way, and in no way is this beneficial for anyone.
I’ve been told that the gender binary “works” and that it is functional in some way. Yes, to a certain extent. Even I cannot imagine a world completely devoid of gender. But this functionality must be examined more closely in order to take both positives and negatives into account. The binary may work for some people – if you are normatively gendered, then great. But what about people who don’t fit the norm? Life becomes very difficult for them in a cisgendered society. My frustration comes from trying to explain this to others. No, I do not support women taking over the world. It’s not about women dominating men. It’s about equality. Humanism? Maybe. But I feel that the feminist movement addresses many of my concerns in a successful way, and therefore I identify as a feminist.
And feminism is not just for women. I cannot stress this enough! Honestly, if change is actually going to happen, there has to be cooperation across gender lines. I deeply admire men who see these problems and recognize that they are affected as well. This is the kind of understanding that we need to change our social structure. I was greatly heartened by a website that my roommate showed me called The Good Men Project. It’s exactly what I was looking for – a feminist movement from the male perspective. It really gives me hope that we can all band together and affect change.
Check it out: http://goodmenproject.com/
Feminist and proud, ya’ll. 🙂