Sunday, May 3, 2015

"Feminist" is Not a Dirty Word

I think there's a lot of confusion about what a feminist is and what she isn't.  I also think that misconceptions about this extraordinary individual have come about because of this confusion.  I read recently about an interview Katy Perry did in Australia, and even though she admitted to being a "feminist", her idea of the definition seemed a little foggy.  To throw more hoopla into the mix, we have a considerable population of people who like to "boo n' hiss" the feminist, and I have to note that most of this crowd (which I've experienced) appears to be a few cranky old men who actually don't like women to start with-- feminist or not. (This group of anti-feminists also includes some misguided young men with an unhealthy dose of misguided women who feel compelled to Stick-By-Their-Men on this touchy topic.)   *head-slap*

"Feminist" is not a dirty word.  Feminists are depicted in a rather harsh light so much of the time, and I think it's because we make society uncomfortable.  Think about it.  For the last millennia, everyone had a role, everyone knew their place, and life went on without any bumps in the road-- well, it went on merrily for those who have been In Charge of this world, the Top Guys on the food chain.  For the unfortunate souls at the bottom of the ladder-- like women, and anyone else who stuck out in the crowd as different, well, life could be a little tricky.




Feminism:

If you believe that all humans, regardless of gender, should have equal political, social, and economic rights, you are literally a feminist by definition.

Are you a feminist?

  • Do you support the idea of equality for both genders?
  • Have you felt compelled to study women's issues, women's history, women's future; and by doing so has it given you motivation to make changes in the world?
  • Are you acutely aware of how gender roles play out in the media?
  • Do you feel that your accomplishments, your skills, your intelligence are more important than your looks? (And, hey, who defines true "Beauty" anyway.)
  • Do you find yourself more aware of type-casting individuals and what they can and can't do, what they do or don't know, by their sex?
  • Do you realize that it's perfectly okay for some women to embrace traditional roles of housewife and mother, when this is their choice?
  • Do you realize that it's perfectly okay for some women to forgo motherhood completely, realizing that just because they're female, it doesn't mean they want, or need, to accept this role in life?
  • Are you painfully aware of the difference in wages between men and women?
  • Are you a strong advocate for the underdog? 
  • Do you work to eliminate injustice in the world?
  • Do you aspire to be the best you can be, to achieve your full potential?
  • Do you encourage this type of aspiration in other women, cheering them on to live their lives to the fullest, to be who they were meant to be, to achieve all that is within the realm of possibility?
  • Do you love yourself?
  • Do you respect yourself?



My thoughts:

1.  No, I don't "Hate Men".  In fact, I adore them-- that's why I married five of them in my lifetime.
2.  I do not want to give up one shred of my delightfully feminine ways, tastes, and habits.
3.  I do not want a stereo-typically "male" oriented job.  Get real, I have all the physical strength and stamina of a slug...But I DO want my daughters, and any other women out there, to have the CHOICE of such a job if this is their desire and they have the talent to do it.
4.  If I want to cuss, swear, and spit, by golly, I will.
5.  I want to show men the same respect that I expect from them in return. (It's a two-way street, you see.)
6.  I want to live in a safe world.
7.  I want to have a gazillion "warm n' fuzzy" moments in my lifetime.
8.  I want the Universe to slow down, just for a minute, just for an instant, so that every human being on the planet can take a deep breath and take stock of who they are, where they're at, and where they want to go from this point on.
9.  I don't want anyone to live with regrets.
10.  I want all Women to realize how god-damn frickin' awesome they really are.


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