*Disclaimer: These are my own thoughts and opinions–please understand that this article is not intended to start an argument, political conversation, and is absolutely, under no circumstances, meant to undermine men (since you know, the whole point of this article is to reaffirm that feminism is not synonymous with misandry). This is just something that truly needs to be understood. If you do not have feminist ideals, this article is probably not for you. Furthermore, if you don’t have anything nice to say, tell your teddy bear or write it in your journal, because I’m not interested in your negativity. You’ve been warned!*
First, let me start off by saying that I am proud to be a woman. I am independent, confident, strong, but I can also be stubborn, opinionated, and impatient. I believe that, together, women and men have the ability to change the world, and I hope for equal opportunity for all people. I believe in the equal treatment of every race, religion, sex, and body size. I dream of a world where people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and cultures are seen as beautiful and can be celebrated.
Unfortunately, not everybody thinks as I do. I understand this, and I also accept other peoples’ ideas and opinions. I keep an open mind when listening to other parties speak their minds. I try not to judge others for their opinions, even if they do not align with my state of mind. I do a fairly good job at this, until, you know, somebody becomes irrational, or worse, is just plain wrong.
If you are unaware of what intersectional feminism is, no worries. To be honest, I did not know what it was until a little while ago. Turns out, I was an intersectional feminist all along, and I didn’t even know it! It is important to understand what intersectional feminism is in order to truly understand what we believe, and why true feminism is not misandry.
Unlike Brandy Melville, intersectional feminists believe that one size does not fit all. What I mean is that there is not one type of feminism that can cover all the different types of oppression. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, etc. are all connected together and should therefore be examined together. For more information, here’s a handy dandy link with more details on intersectionality!
That said, I know that there are all types of negative feminism and nonfeminism. Feminazis, TERFs, and antifeminists are all real, but that does not mean that they are justified or correct in their actions. Rather, they have taken a positive thing, and turned it a complete 180. And of course, instead of focusing on the positive side of feminism (Equal pay! Body positivity! Loving and supporting other women! Safe abortion/access to birth control! Sex equality!), society and our media tries to target all their attention on the adverse aspects (re: negative forms of feminism listed above).
But luckily, intersectional feminists are bonding together in order to truly establish who we are and try to rid of the idea that feminism is the idea of equality for all!
It breaks my heart that there are people, especially women, who do not support my decisions for my body. That there are fellow women that do not want me to have access to birth control and that some women do not even accept that I deserve some jobs that I am qualified for. I know that not all women support other women, and while I do not necessarily agree with their choices, I choose to support their opinions because that’s what feminists do!
My main goal here is that people stay informed on the truths regarding feminism and the ideals we support. That will not always happen (for example, people still believe in the Planned Parenthood hoax even though David Daleiden admitted the videos were fake). However, ignorance only prohibits those who practice it. Choosing to believe lies only sets those back farther in life.
This is precisely why I am so shocked with the backlash against positive feminism. If you’ve read recent news stories such as the murder of Grace Mann, the countless stories regarding college football players raping women (while victim blaming *but what’s new?*), and even instances of women proudly declaring their antifeminism, then you know what I’m talking about.
What is so difficult for me to comprehend is the horrible things people have to say in relation to feminists. While regarding the vicious murder of Grace Mann, one antifeminist blogger stated, “One day a feminist wearing an “ironic” KILL ALL MEN t-shirt will walk down the wrong street, enter the wrong room and encounter the wrong man; a man that does not value her as a woman and chooses not to treat her as an equal. The man will not see the t-shirt as ironical humor, but be offended and beat her savagely, laughing as he licks the tears from her crying eyes”. I have chosen not to state the name of the writer or blog, because frankly, he is not worth my time. But you can find more info here.
Other antifeminists claim that feminism is outdated. They claim that feminism does not support conservative, or traditional, ideals. Amongst many other reasons, they also claim that feminists do not believe in the victimization of men.
While I can see why they’re concerned, I also believe that they are majorly mistaken regarding what feminism really is.
For starters, a real feminist would never wear a KILL ALL MEN shirt, because that it not feminism. It is misandry. Feminism is about the equality of men, women, trans, different races, cultures, etc.–wearing this shirt would completely go against our ideals. That is not to say that a Feminazi would not wear this shirt–she might. But she is not a true feminist–she is a misandrist, and they are just as bad as misogynists.
To further clarify, in case you still don’t quite get it, feminists promote the equality of men and women. It is also about women supporting women. Therefore, we accept all choices that women make. The reason we do not openly talk about women who choose to get married, have children, and be stay at home mothers is because they face little criticism from society. But working women? Women who may not want to get married, or have children, or who do not like to cook, or dress up? They face criticism every day. We are not putting down women, we are encouraging them to follow their path and make their own decisions. Another thing that Women against Feminism do not understand, is that we, as feminists, are supporting the equal treatment of men and women across all races, cultures, sexual orientations, ages, etc. Women against Feminism are quick to state their position on equality between men and women, but completely disregard other types of oppressed people. This is why feminism is still relevant. We support everybody.
Lastly, we do not believe that men are never victims. Men can absolutely be victimized. Men are raped, men are abused, men can be mistakenly accused as sex offenders. I, as a feminist, support their rights, but I do not believe that women have more rights than men. In some areas we are equal, in many we are not. The idea is to get to the level where we all have the same amount of rights, the same voice, and equal love. The reason we try so hard to support women is because we have been oppressed for a long time, and historically, men have not. Women are told that we should not have a say regarding our bodies. We are told we do not deserve equal pay to men. We are told that we are worthless without men but that we are sluts if we spend too much time with them. However, we would never think of disregarding men in the process of attaining equality. Remember: feminism is for everyone! (I have many feminist men in my life, and they are just as wonderful and appreciated as the feminist women in my life!)
What absolutely sickens me is that, in the act of opposing feminism, real people are getting hurt every day. People get raped, murdered, harmed, and physically/verbally/emotionally abused fighting for their basic fundamental rights. Nobody deserves this under any circumstances. Ever. Say what you will about feminists, but a true intersectional feminist would never harm somebody to get what they want. The same can not be said for those against feminism and equality.
Feminists are not out to get one another. I mostly believe that we are misunderstood. I believe that antifeminists are either misogynists or they are misguided concerning what real feminism is. We want equality, we want our rights, and we want the love and support of other feminists. Don’t like abortion? Don’t get one. Don’t agree with easily accessible birth control? Don’t take it. Want to be the CEO of a corporation or be a stay at home mom? Follow your own path. We are not trying to take anyone’s rights away, but rather increase the rights of all groups of people. Overall, I want to make my own decisions regarding my body, my lifestyle, and who I choose to be as a person. I do not want to be judged for my decisions. Nobody does.
Feminists face a lot of opposition, but we are still going strong. Unfortunately for those against us, they are fighting a losing battle. There will always be men and women who choose equality over all else. We are louder, because we are willing to fight for what we want. We are leaders. We are strong. It’s time to do your research, and learn what real feminism is all about. Those who face the facts will soon realize…
…Feminism is not misandry.
*Song of the Day: Been a Son–Nirvana
*Want some recommendations on some great feminist blogs? Just ask!*