Coming Out of the Feminist Closet

Someone very close to me is still unaware of my ever-present and ever-growing feminism. This person is my sister. I am hesitant to inform her about this part of my life because she tends to be judgmental and because of various things she has said in the past. About a year ago, her and her husband were talking and said something to this effect: “Feminists are butch lesbians who hate men.” At the time, my only reaction was to roll my eyes and feel somewhat shitty inside, but now I feel disgusted and slightly hurt that someone I love would make such an ignorant comment. Lesbians can be butch, lesbians can be feminists, and lesbians can be butch feminists, but they do not make up the entire demographic of feminists. Feminists consist of men, women, heteros, homos, bisexuals, transgenders, Christians, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, republicans, democrats, libertarians, independents, femmes, butches, you name it. So, obviously not all feminists are butch lesbians. This is because people have the ability to think for themselves and decide what they want to believe and agree with. Each and every human being is an individual, who can use his or her own judgment to determine who they are and what they want out of life.  My other new reaction to this ignorant comment is: Then what the hell am I? I am not a lesbian, or a butch lesbian, yet I’m a feminist. Oh, and I also don’t hate men. So it would seem that we now have a debacle on our hands since I am now the ultimate exception to the feminist rule. A predominantly straight, biological female, who doesn’t hate men can be a feminist? What? I know. I am astonished as well.

All sarcasm aside, the fact that her and so many other people think feminists are part of the “she-woman man-haters club” shows how seriously misinformed and ignorant the world is. Feminism is about achieving equality for both women and men because we are equals, regardless of our inherent, biological differences. Those differences are insignificant and matter not. The goal of the feminist movement is to rid the world of misogyny and misandry and to eliminate gender stereotypes and gender specific insults, so that one day a girl will not be given grief over her desire to join the school football team, and a guy will be allowed to cry and feel emotion in public without being called a girl, because, in reality, that is not an insult. In reality, we are all human. We were all created equally. Different doesn’t equate to less.

So, Sister, I am stepping out of the feminist closet to show you who I truly am. I do not expect you to agree with me on every issue. We both have very different beliefs politically, socially, religiously, academically, but in the end, none of those differences matter. I have looked up to you for so long. For so long, I wanted to be you, but now it is time for me to become my own person. I am who I am, and I am proud to be me. And I hope you are proud to be my sister. I love you, and I can’t wait to see you on Thursday.

Love,

Catherine

On Feminism

I am a feminist in the truest form. I am relatively independent, and I fully support equality between men and women. Yes, I said equality. Despite the fact that women are superior to men in the sense that they can hold a full-time job, raise kids, clean the house, and cook for their families, I don’t necessarily think it’s right to act in such a way(all the time). I came across a blog post a little while ago in which a self-proclaimed feminist thought it was insulting for a man to hold a door open for her. She was offended because she thought that she was thoroughly capable of holding the door open for herself. This blew my mind. Men do not have to hold the door open for women. They do it out of respect, not to assume their “dominant position” of male authority. Women are perfectly capable of  doing this for themselves, but that is besides the point. This was just one among many other things she was upset about.

I honestly believe so many “feminists” are missing the point. Men are nice to other men, men are nice to women, women are nice to other women, and even sometimes women are nice to men. That’s all it is. People like to be nice to each other sometimes, even if they don’t know each other. We live in such a socially deficient world, you’d think having a man hold the door open for you would be a refreshing surprise. If you think such a simple act is another way to make women feel inferior, then you have already proven yourself to be inferior all on your own.

I’m a feminist, though, right?

Sleeping with a bunch of men and dating with a “men’s mentality” doesn’t make you a feminist. Always acting offended when someone of the opposite sex tries to help you is not being a feminist. Degrading other women for choosing to take their husband’s last names and for choosing to live the domestic lifestyle is not being a feminist. It just makes you a jerk. Sorry. Haven’t you ever heard of being the better example?

The whole point of feminism is to rise above and join the pursuit of equality. However, that does not require you to parade around NYC with your top off and your boobs swaying in the wind. How is that having respect for your body? We live in a world in which breasts are over sexualised. I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is. And besides, that doesn’t help the cause. Men do not take you seriously that way. And isn’t the point to be taken seriously? We’ve been beating  this around the bush for so long now. Everyone talks about feminism and equality, but nothing actually happens. I’m sure everyone has heard about women being allowed to hold authoritative positions in the military. While that is a great step in the right direction, women are still being raped and molested in the military. In this country. They actually have to fear sexual violation while they are serving their country. That is not okay. Rape is not okay. So while you’re going about your “feminist”ways, worrying about all the evil men, who try to do favors for you, just know that there are women out their who are actually being violated and stripped of their rights to feel safe and secure.