The word “feminism” gets thrown about and misused frequently. The movement itself is also misunderstood, misappropriated, and maligned – much like any underdog throughout history trying to rise up above the bullshit.
The literal dictionary definition of feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes”. That’s it. No matter what anyone says, it’s not about man hating. It’s not about women ruling over men – though honestly, why shouldn’t we get a turn at it? Men have had the power for what feels like eternity. It’s hilarious to me that after all these years of the patriarchy, anyone has the audacity to bristle at the idea of women desiring equality with men. How appalling, indeed.
It is unfortunate that there are those out there who misuse feminism for undesirable motives, but it happens with everything in this world. To damn the entire cause because of a few outliers is laughable.
The best part about displaying my feminism openly is that everyone has an opinion about it. It’s incredible that so many people feel comfortable judging me and telling me who I am based on one facet of my being – and one that is completely inarguable. If anyone can honestly say to me that they do not believe women should be on an equal level with men, I immediately disqualify them as having no relevant input at all. The irony is that this is part of what feminism is all about – fighting the desire of others, particularly men, to assign us their own idea of what a woman should be.
I have an idea – if anyone has a problem with my feminism, stay away from it. That should be quite simple, right? The fact is that they don’t want to back off because those who oppose feminism are so afraid of the the strength of women that they come at us head on. Why else would they even bother? I don’t impose my views on others, I just live my life in my own truth. There is no reason for anyone to care unless they either feel threatened by me as a presence or they want to impose their views on me.
Truthfully, if a person is against feminism – if they really believe that women should not be equal with men – I want absolutely nothing to do with that person. I want them as far away from me as possible. We women are fed up and I refuse to hide my feelings to maintain a status quo that is unjust, unfair, and horribly outdated.
Every time I put the world “feminism” in the title of my writing, there is a social media troll backlash, and I expect nothing less this time. I don’t care. The point is that we aren’t going away, we aren’t backing down, and we aren’t going to put up with this shit anymore. The haters can get over it, and if they don’t like it, that’s their problem. All I want is to be treated like a human being on equal footing with any other person. Maybe they should try meeting that idea with consideration instead of vitriol, defensiveness, and small-mindedness. Their insecurity is showing.
(Originally published on Thought Catalog)