I recently heard a man praising his significant other’s qualities which included “she’s not even a feminist”. Where I’m from, women resist aligning themselves with feminism, going so far as to denounce it. I understand because I was one.
I was raised to believe that feminists wanted to murder babies. They wanted sexual pleasure for the sake of pleasure and didn’t want to do dishes. And they wanted to make more money than men and turn them into stay-at-home dads. I grew up with a father who still denies the wage gap and a mother who “sacrificed everything” to raise us kids. Including herself.
I believed that being a feminist meant men wouldn’t be gentlemen towards me and I would have to go to work and make my own money and that’s fun for extra stuff like shoes, but did I really want to have to be responsible for…like…bills?
I had internalized misogyny and poor role models.
Being in the unique position of being a former anti-feminist, I feel I can speak into that experience standing on the authority of knowing the mindset completely.
You see, for the men I grew up around, the only sentiment a woman could utter more attractive than “yay sports” is “eew feminism”.
For many women, positioning their beliefs for the male gaze is an easy way to help men feel comfortable and non threatened. It ensures that we don’t take up too much space.
Because I understand this, I am here to support women who are anti-feminists or pre-feminists or baby feminists just dipping their toes in the water.
I appreciate the women in the feminist movement who fought for me to have the rights I enjoy today even while I denounced them. I have no problem standing in the gap and setting an example for what women are capable of while women who are afraid to call themselves feminists enjoy the benefits of what we in the movement fight for every single day.
It’s important to always consider the fact that every group, every movement, every religion has extreme members who the majority don’t align with. Feminism is no different. Feminism is simply a belief that women should have the same rights, responsibilities, and opportunities as men.
Fun fact: we’re still not even protected by the Constitution.
I’m a feminist who loves men. I’m raising two of them. I’ve chosen a male partner who pushes me to always become a better version of myself. He supports my career, he cries with joy at my wins, and doesn’t let me wallow for too long in my losses. He puts me back on the horse, reminds me of who I am, and says, “get out there and shine”. He is a feminist. Not because I am someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s mother. Because I am someone.
Today, womandom is feeling the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Hard.
RBG is a feminist hero and here’s why…
She set the example that feminism isn’t about pushing men down to get ahead. She was humble and kind. She loved her husband dearly and raised children while kicking ass in her career.
For most of her time on the Supreme Court, RBG wasn’t actually even that liberal. She was near the center compared to her colleagues until later when some were replaced and she needed to begin dissenting against judgments that didn’t uphold her understanding of the Constitution.
RBG fought for both sexes.
Before becoming a justice herself, she argued many landmark cases for gender equality in front of the Supreme Court. Including arguing against women being able to get out of jury duty just because they were women and one in which she argued against men being unable to receive a social security benefit if their wives died.
She exemplified a side of feminism I more closely align with. One in which we don’t need men to fail in order for us to succeed. We just need them to get out of our way. As Notorious RBG herself said, “I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks”.
Rest in power RBG.