On Being A Feminist
“I am a feminist. I’ve been female for a long time now. I’d be stupid not to be on my own side.”
Before we go any further, let’s quickly review the definition to Feminism, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Definition of feminism
1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests
Now that you have read the true definition of feminism, we should all be on the same page. I hope.
“You’re such a feminist!” I can’t believe I once believed that to be a negative and actually defended my stance by stating I wasn’t. Truth is I am a Feminist and I hope you are too! Simply stated, a feminist is a person who supports equal rights for men and women. So, yes, men should also be feminist because it’s just the right way.
The fear of using the F word is obviously due to the extremes beliefs some people have all while using the term “feminist” to describe themselves. Being a feminist doesn’t mean, let’s burn our bra’s and hate on men. It’s not about women giving up on femininity, not shaving your legs or thinking women are better than men. A feminist can be a girly girl. You can be a badass rocking it as an entrepreneur, as a stay-at-home or as a working mom. Feminism is about raising our kids to to not give a second thought to seeing Papi cooking dinner or Mami putting together a toddler bed. It’s about reaching a point where men and women are equal in rights and opportunities. You can be a girly girl rocking it in the corporate world or a strong, opinionated stay-at-home mom. Mix it up however you want to but be a feminist.
“WE ARE NOT THE SAME”
Another big misconception with feminism is that in standing up for equality, many people confuse it with “sameness”. Many argue that since men and women are not the same, they can’t be equal. In other words, since women are typically “smaller” and “weaker” than men, and because we obviously have different physical capabilities, this means that equality is not possible.
What we need to understand here is that “equal” doesn’t mean “same”. Men and women don’t need to be the same to be equals.
OLD-SCHOOL GENDER ROLES
A deeper look into our ideas on gender roles will lead us to our own upbringing and what society has shown is “right”. As a Latina, I grew up in a traditional home in the sense of my mom being in charge of the cleaning and doing laundry BUT also normal, was my dad cooking and even being a stay-at-home dad for a while after not being able to work for a some time due to a car accident. My parents had their own clothing factory and both worked there so they did a great job at being an amazing team and taking on the role they needed to regardless of if was the “man” or “woman” job.
At the end of the day a word is just a word. May be that the word feminist has piled on too many years of negative weight on it. Maybe we should think of changing the term “feminist” to “humanist” and more people will see it for what it truly is. Call it whatever you want. As long as you believe that men and women are equals, we are on the same page.
You may also enjoy: 10 Things All Women Should Know.