Bra-burning, manhating lesbian with hairy armpits and unshaven legs campaigning for the superiority of women, I am NOT.
This widespread misconception of the definition of modern mainstream feminism continues to distort public perception. Radical Feminsim is the extremist camp no mainstreamer wants to be associated with, just like Al-Queda to Islam, but nonetheless it’s continually used as a representation of the feminist “norm” by the ignorant and those opposed to gender equality.
Here’s a real definition:
1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Equality is what I want. In everything. I don’t want to replace patriarchy with matriarchy. I care what happens to men as much as women.
It irks me that breast cancer awareness and research is better funded than that of prostate and testicular cancer. That male rape and male suicide rates are swept under the rug. That people think it’s okay to sexually harass and objectify a man. That a househusband is belittled for caring for his children. That we’re questioning the necessity of men in the age of technology. That men’s rights are overlooked in favour of women’s. That we have feminism and no male equivalent, although men can call themselves feminists.
Long live Movember (Wikipedia) and International Men’s Day (Nov 19)! Some may think it’s just a month of men growing absurd moustaches – they’re wrong. It’s to campaign for raised awareness of men’s physical and mental health because men typically don’t go to a doctor when they need to and rarely know anything about the diseases that could affect them.
But then there are those that don’t identify as male or female. Gender and sexuality are generally perceived by most to be simple choices: you’re either one or the other. Neither involve absolutes, in my opinion. Scales and spectrums are better indicators. Even biology agrees with me. (Remember athlete Caster Semenya‘s controversial gender testing?) Intersexuality (biological) and transexuality (psychological) prove gender is more complicated than some might believe.
Sexual orientation is based on more than one simple continuum:
- Asexuality (like Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory) to hypersexuality.
- Monogamy to polyamory (e.g. swinging) to polysexuality (i.e. more than one long-term sexual relationship at the same time, e.g. three people in a relationship and every partner is intimate with the other two).
- Heterosexuality to bisexuality & pansexuality (i.e. gender-blind, doesn’t matter what you are biologically or psychologically) to homosexuality.
I don’t subscribe to any agenda from the endless list of different kinds of feminist. I’m not a box-ticker or a conformist. My views are my own, and are ever changing as I grow as a person.
That being said, I’m not a perfect feminist. My guilty pleasures include historical and paranormal romances with overbearing alpha males stalking their one true loves and grinding them down until they submit to that once degrading ownership commencement ritual called marriage. I’m weak, so sue me.
And although it’s not necessary to study feminism to become a feminist, I have been reading up on it:
- The Beauty Myth
- Sexy Feminism
- Rape is Rape
- The Purity Myth
- How to be a Woman
- Female Chauvinist Pigs
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I’m still reading. I think I’ll be looking at Black Feminism next. I’ve just finished Creoleana and having read Alice Walker’s The Color Purple I’m interested in learning more about Walker’s Womanism.