I read an article today from the Huffington Post about a facebook group called Women Against Feminism. It is basically a group of women who post pictures of themselves with written notes about why they don’t need feminism.
(You can read the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/07/15/women-against-feminism_n_5588062.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-living)
I am not one of those people who believes that if you don’t agree with my views you are bad, or less, or even wrong. I don’t think all women HAVE TO believe in feminism. I do think it is important to disagree with it because you actually disagree with it, not because you believe (falsly) that feminism is an elitist group of women out to take rights from men and give them to sluts who are playing the victim card. Because truthfully, for me and every feminist I know, it isn’t about taking from men and giving to women. We aren’t playing Robin Hood here. It is about equality for everyone. Men, women, anyone in between, from all walks of life, sexualities, classes, careers, etc. My spouse is a feminist. He doesn’t hate men. Neither do I. I hate that all over the world there are still women who are “less than” because they have vaginas…
I don’t even have a problem with having an anti-feminist page if the page consists of women who are against feminism because they don’t think equality is important, or because they don’t think it effects them… my biggest problem with the page is that they criticize feminists for being elitist, and belittling them for not living up to feminist expectations of women… the page has many women belittling feminists for not being like them. How is that better?
In response to many of the pictures I saw, and false arguments against feminism, here are my arguments as to why feminism is important:
1. Because my choosing to stay home with my kids when they are young is not a problem. The problem is that in too many of my relationships, I wasn’t even given an option. It was presumed that I would give up my goals to stay home, and expected.
2. Because cooking for my spouse does not make me less. Him treating me badly, or being angry with me for NOT cooking for him would make me less. Him expecting me to do it would make me less.
3. Because doing housework does not take away from my intelligence. I don’t have a job, and currently stay home with the kids. I do most of the housework. When I work, my spouse and I share housework duties equally. Too many women don’t have spouses who do. It is another expectation that women will work the double shift and not complain.
4. Because if I go to a bar in a sexy top and a guy checks me out and buys me a drink it isn’t oppressive. When I get called a slut/whore/tease/bitch because I didn’t consider that drink as a deposit on my vagina and offer to go home with the guy, that is oppressive.
5. Because noticing that I am good looking is not offensive. My looks being more important than my credentials, brain, or personality is.
6. Because rape culture exists. Because if I get drunk at a party, or don’t, flirt, or don’t, say no, or don’t, show some skin, or don’t doesn’t make it okay for any person to touch me in any way without explicit consent. Because consent is not the absence of “no” but the presence of “yes”.
7. Because of the phrase “Girls can’t [blank]”. My ability to do something or not do something should be a reflection of my talent/credentials/training/experience/ABILITY, not my sexual parts.
8. Because I don’t think I should get paid more for working less hours than a male, or for doing an easier job. I believe if I do the same job I should get paid the same. I also believe I should have access to better daycare so that working the same hours as a male is an option for me.
9. Because there is a lack of female voices in politics, meaning issues that are generally “women’s issues” like reproduction, daycare, abortion, etc. are decided on/changed/ and seen only from the perspective of people who don’t have to live with the consequences of those decisions.
10. Because anyone who isn’t heterosexual is oppressed.
11. Because too many women in the world don’t have a voice.
12. Because there have been too many times in my life when I didn’t have a voice because of what was between my legs, not what was between my ears.
Again, you don’t have to agree. You don’t have to be a feminist. I will still believe in your right to equality, and mine. But do some research. Disagree with it for what it is, not for what the rumours going around say it is.