I figure feminism is a good topic to get my blog started again considering that I have let it languish for so long and feminism has suddenly become a major topic for whatever reason.
Recently famous women (and some men) are being asked if they are feminists. One would think the answer would be “Yes, duh” because aside from conservative extremists, who seriously does not think that women should have rights and equality now that it’s 2014? Apparently feminism has become a bad word now because people associate it with hating men and being a crazy bra burning weirdo.
I think it’s easy now to deny being a feminist or hold that image of feminists because we are a generation or two removed from the struggle. Women have been voting for almost one hundred years now. Women can enter the workforce. Women can wear pants everywhere. Sexual harassment is no longer the norm in a professional setting. Not understanding what women went through in the past can make the feminists of that time seem like fanatics in retrospect.
But the fight is not over, because discrimination against women has simply become more subtle and/or harder to prove (such as wage disparity). Sexual harassment still exists in the workplace, but it is not as blatant, so can be easier to be ignored or brushed off as just a joke. Women continue to be ogled or harassed by random men on the street and there’s little recourse because of the anonymity of the situation. There are plenty of men out there who still believe that women have a choice in whether or not they are raped and plenty of male law makers who are unfortunately successful in their endeavors to pass laws to control women’s bodies and limit women’s access to birth control.
Rape culture is somewhat of a spin off topic, but it is very real and I’m glad that it has also become a major topic of discussion and that women have been speaking out about how they’ve been treated, mostly by university bureaucrats, when they report rape and/or harassment.
Even the concept of “having it all” and “doing it all” is a form of sexism, because that notion assumes that women will have successful careers while continuing the typical domestic role at home.
True feminism means equality for all. It means men treating women like human beings and stepping up to fulfill traditionally female roles if the woman is pursuing other goals. Feminism is the total opposite of hating men and burning bras. It means embracing femininity while not feeling pressure to conform to any norm. It’s ok and totally possible to be a feminist and be a stay at home mom just as it’s ok to be a feminist woman with a career. The point is doing what one chooses and men supporting women in their chosen role, whatever it may be.
And men can be feminists too! (Thanks Joseph Gordon Levitt). He sums it up very well. Everyone should be who they want to be and screw traditional gender roles. I think the world would be a better place if we treated everyone as human beings first and were not so obsessed with gender and how it relates to what we’re “supposed” to be doing or how we’re “supposed” to act.