5 February 2016

Don’t Call Me A Feminist

Never have I written a post with such precaution and knowledge that it may anger certain people. Nevertheless, I wanted to write it because it’s a subject that only ever seems to see one side of the coin. My message in this post certainly isn't politically correct but it isn't offensive. And before you begin to get wound up, this isn’t a post about how men are unequal too but have no movement.

I’m going to start off with a question: Why do you have to be called a feminist just to stand up for women’s rights and equality? This post was embedded into my brain because of this question. I saw the great biologist and actually very naive Tweeter, Richard Dawkins, tweet about his feminism. I’ve also noticed in recent months the backlash of the most famous modern feminist, Germain Greer, for her transphobic remarks. (That’s how I saw them anyway - you may disagree) Men around the world are suddenly labelling themselves as feminists. It’s almost become a cool label. But as I asked; why do you have to call yourself a feminist just because you care for female equality? To me, supporting female equality is a no brainer. It’s something I firmly believe in. Women and men are equal and should be seen as equal. I assumed that everyone believed this apart from a few sexist football fans, chairmen of big companies and the odd builder. As far as I’m concerned everyone wants gender equality and therefore everyone is a feminist. Surely then, the word is redundant. 

I firmly believe that women should be equal. But don’t call me a feminist. I stand for the human rights and equality of every person. Every sex, colour and creed. Every sexuality, every nationality and every religion. If there are women in the Middle East who can’t drive I don’t see this as a feminist issue. This is a human rights issue. If there are waitresses in Wyoming who are living on tips instead of a wage equal to the kitchen staff I don’t see this as a feminist issue. This is a human rights issue. The same is said for FGM in Africa, sweatshop workers in India and arranged marriages in Pakistan.

Feminism has become annoying. A considerate person will hold a door open for a man or a woman. And yet we hear stories of feminists who get angry that a man has held a door open for them. As if they believe the individual thought the feminist wasn't capable of doing it themselves. There’s no dispute that women are degraded at times and don’t always have a fair shot. That does not mean that we all need to stand for one side and forget the other. 

Real feminism happened one hundred years ago. The amazing work of Emmeline Pankhurst will never be forgotten and women around the world have her to look up to. comparable figures today are not feminists. They stand up for human rights and feminism should fall under that. I am not a feminist. But I stand for women’s equality as much as those who label themselves as that and nothing more. 

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