The Equalist Feminist
The other day, I came across a women who happily ranted about the behaviour of men in front of a class of teenage girls. You could just hope that she was joking and poking fun at men, but then she declared herself as a feminist… And that is when it got personal.
It was when she happily announced that she would convert us all to her way of thinking by the end of the day, that I started to think. This is where people get their ideas about the image of a feminist. Many people think that feminists are men hating, aggressive and opinionated women; which, of course, is a very set stereotype.
I think that the appearance of the word feminism has changed a lot over the years to something that is a lot more attainable for many women today. I have always declared myself as a feminist but before anyone has time to run away wielding their crosses in the air, I have had to also tell them that I am an equalist, and yes, the two do go together.
When I was confronted on my stance on feminism in the modern world, I always found it quite hard to put it into words. I didn’t think that anyone else held the same stance as me, and I guess that I was afraid to delve into the world of the internet. I was half afraid of the men hating stereotype that I feared would greet me.
Then who could put my stance on feminism better than my own personal idol than Taylor Swift, who said, “So many girls out there say ‘I’m not a feminist’ because they think it means something angry or disgruntled or complaining. They picture like rioting and picketing, it is not that at all, it just simply means that you believe that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities.”
I am beyond happy that women are finally taking a stand against the sexism in the world. But I also think that sometimes women can take it from fighting for feminism to turning into sexists themselves.
I know that it can sometimes be hard to not step over the line into sexism but some women, like the women I mentioned above, can just take it to full on sexism. That is not what the fight for equality is all about.
It is true that men have always had the upper hand in the world, and it is true that some people still see men as the rightful rulers; but that does not mean that we need to make women the leaders of the world.
We do not need another power struggle.
But, I think that before we commence the fight for equality, we need to set the stance on feminism straight. Because it is true that it has become very prominent in today’s world.
Feminism was born because women have always been the underdogs. This is why there is no such word for men’s stance on sexism. But just because women have always been the underdogs, does not mean that we now need to be the top dog.
Feminism is not the scary stereotype that some people are still adopting. It is simply a term to describe the side of the women who want to fight for an equal world. I know that it may seem like you have feminists coming at you from all sides nowadays…
I am a feminist. I am an equalist AND I am a “Menist”.
But let’s just face it, the term “Menist” just doesn’t have the same ring too it.
This was originally published on Tralee Today on the 26th of November 2014.