To me, the great misnomer of the “movement” we know as Feminism is not that Women Hate Men (come on Megyn Kelly, you’re smarter than that to believe that’s what the F-word means); no, for me, the great misnomer about Feminism is that it will solve all the ills that befall women. In reading article after article by women and men, critiquing the Women’s March, or how feminism has failed us or oh, that time we decided as a global entity to wear pink hats and reclaim the word “pussy” or that any of the aforementioned were simply a marketing ploy, the overarching theme is: Is this what Feminism has wrought you?
Men, in their dating manuals, call this “negging.”
One Women’s March a year is not going to solve the overarching issues of pay gap, misogyny, intersectionality. It’s going to take an ongoing effort on the part of every willing human being to affect change. Your interpretation of the definition of feminism—and the definition can very depending on which dictionary you read or what search engine you use—enables you to have an informed opinion of whether you are a feminist or not. In this very sweet video, a 7 year-old explains (to Amy Poehler) what a feminist is, and to this day and for me, it is interpretation of the word I abide by: that girls and boys are of equal value.
If you want all the ills in the world of women to be solved immediately, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Being a Feminist won’t come into play when you burn the toast. Being a Feminist won’t matter when the Object of Your Affection doesn’t call you like she/he said she/he would. Being a Feminist won’t bear the responsibility if you can’t tear yourself away from Leah Remini’s Scientology show on A&E. But. Being a Feminist empowers you to run for office, because you know it’s possible, because other women have done so before you, and will do so after you. Being a Feminist opens your eyes to your indignation when a stranger tells you to smile, to know that you can decide what to do with your body, what lipstick to apply to your lips, what you feel like when your artistic male heroes show their cards. Being a Feminist comes into play when a hiring manager can see that you are of equal value to the male applying for the same job. Being a Feminist begins at your core. And from within, you begin to chip away at the bigger picture.
If you would like to affect change for women, pick an issue: “ERA. Pro-choice. Funding for breast/cervical cancer screenings/research. Domestic violence. Sexual abuse. Mean girl-ism. The male gaze. The glass ceiling. Women’s health care. Pre-natal, post, all of it. WIC. Subsidized child care. Education. Employment. Social security. Women in government. Women in the sex industry. Stay-at-home women.” Or whatever cause you feel best suited for, most interested in. And tackle it. Make the change happen.
Just please don’t sit back and shake your head at us. Or distance yourself from the term, when the things you want, like a job where you are paid as well as your male counterpart, are something we all want. Because we’re fighting for our lives and we need you, everyone of you. Women and men.
Jena Friedman: “Nothing is ever just a thing. It’s never just a joke.
Danielle Henderson: “The only directive I’ve ever given my agent, my manager, anyone on my team, is to make sure I get paid like a white man. I do not want to get any offers that are lower than average because I’m a woman or I’m black.”
Tracy Clayton: ” I had to grow a thick skin and learn to not take people’s frustration or disappointment personally. I’m still working on that. I’m better at it, but [there’s] always room for improvement.”
On Andrea Dworkin.
Obsessed with these.
And now have a laugh with Janelle James.