In response to the worrying trend “Women against Feminism” I thought I would let you all have a peek at My Feminist Life to get an idea of what it is like on the dark side . . .
I too was once an ignorant woman who thought Feminism was an outmoded, outdated movement, but when I was researching for an essay at university I discovered a history of deep and unmoving hatred towards women. I was angry for a year. I kid you not. I felt like someone had pulled the carpet from underneath me, the wool from my eyes, whatever cliché you prefer – I saw the truth for the first time and I did not like it.
After my Year of Anger (as I like to refer to it) I calmed down a little realising that despite our past we have come a long way. However I continued to proclaim myself as a Big Feminist. A Big Fat Feminist. I was not afraid what people would think because I knew what I was and I knew I was right.
There will always be zealots in every movement who scare off the hesitant and unsure and I feel almost certain that “Women Against Feminism” simply do not really understand what Feminism is (and as a friend pointed out, perhaps one or two self-proclaimed Feminists don’t understand either).
Feminism means something different to each and every Feminist. Like everything else in this world we cannot all be lumped together under one label and told “this is what you believe/are/think”. The following is simply my views on Feminism and what I consider to be some general ideas that most Feminists share.
Firstly, Feminists do not hate men. I’m not saying every Feminist loves men either but any dislike of the male sex is personal and irrelevant to the movement. Feminism is about women (duh) and accusing us of hating men or whatever is just another way to make everything in the world about men (damn you patriarchy!).
If you look up Feminism on the net, Wikipedia will tell you (that ole’ reliable source ye know) that “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending a state of equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A Feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.”
You could probably find a better source and more eloquent wording but for me, that pretty much sums it up. I don’t want to be a man, eat a man, kill a man, I just need the world to appreciate that although I may be different from men I am equal to them in every way.
I don’t want to be defined by gender, I’m not one way because I’m female and another way because I’m masculine, I’m me because I’m Iona and I do what I do and like what I like because of who, not what, I am.
I like to hill walk, ski, shop, read fashion magazines, Ayn Rand, Dickens and Kerouac. I like to go to the gym and watch my figure and eat chocolate and drink and smoke and swear and sing and laugh and cry and this is my Feminist life because everything I do from the mundane to the meaningful is my choice. I do not dictate (often) and I will not be dictated to. I might stay at home and have eight children, I might get married in a pink wedding dress, or become the CEO of a logistics company and live alone with my five cats. I might wear my pink wedding dress whilst running my logistics company juggling my eight children – who knows? The point is, whatever I do, it is my choice, and I’m a Feminist because I believe every woman should have that right.
It is easy for “Women against Feminism” to say that Feminism makes victims of women – that it shouldn’t need to exist because they refuse to be victims. But look around you, there is still rape, still oppression, domestic abuse, catcalling and pay gaps, and until no one is defined, harmed, or treated in a particular way solely because of their gender, Feminism not only will exist but needs to exist.