all photos by Rebecca Claire, libfemblog.com (CANON EOS 700D) // all rights reserved
Feminism is a very simple concept and you’ll often see it described as “advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men” which if you ask me, is not too much to ask for. In fact, if you don’t believe in the social, political, legal or economic equality of the sexes then aren’t you a sexist? But with how some people talk about feminism, you’d think feminists were eating dead babies or summin’. Bloody ridiculous.
I’ve seen plenty of tweets and statuses and even blog posts where people call themselves “anti-feminists”, claiming that feminism is damaging, one sided, violent or misandristic. They say that feminism does not include men, that it is not trans inclusive, that it is hetero-normative, that it is whiny, that it is… not feminism at all.
Feminism is inclusive. Feminism is inclusive of all genders, races, sizes and sexualities, it is about equal rights for all. If a feminist is not inclusive of these things then they’re not much of a feminist at all, because the female gender includes all different types of people. And similarly, feminists who ignore the rights of trans people or men are also missing the point.
Like with any belief system, there will always be people who have a relentless hatred for that specific belief and there will always be misconceptions that cause this. Some people view their world through a pin hole; they believe either their own experiences or the media and if they don’t shift away from just looking at these two then they are likely to believe that every single person who can be categorised under one word is the same as every other. Just take a look at the hostility towards Islam and the way that in the media Muslims are often all painted with the same brush. Anybody with half a brain (or a Muslim friend) knows that it’s a load of bollocks. We are almost all aware that the mainstream media is obsessed with racial stereotyping and that actually, anybody who isn’t white/cis-gendered/straight is almost entirely misrepresented.
Why does it bother me so much when people call themselves anti-feminists? Because it’s totally counter productive. Feminism is an on going battle for women everywhere to be heard, and calling yourself an anti-feminist negates all of the hard work that has been put in to get us where we are now.
You don’t have to be an activist to be a feminist but it helps to engage with people about your beliefs instead of just sitting on them in silence. A good feminist speaks up during times of social injustice, uses their voice to try change opinions and amplifies the voices of others. But a feminist, as I said previously, is anyone who believes in gender equality.
There are probably some people out there giving feminism a bad name just as there are some people out there giving religion a bad name, but what we have to remember is that these are the extreme and not the norm. Feminism is a very simple belief, don’t allow one person’s attachment to it to ruin your view of all people with the same view.
I put it out there on social media to see who was willing to call themself a FEMINIST. These are all school/uni friends, colleagues and fellow bloggers. Do you think every one of them would give you any other definition than I have? What would differ is what issues they would see as the most pressing. But guess what, each one of their types of feminism is still feminism and isn’t negated by other people’s feminism.
Are you also fed up of anti-feminism and negative connotations behind the word feminist? Leave a comment below.
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