Monday, June 15, 2009

What a feminist is or isn't

Since I've started interning at FMF, I've been asked a lot of questions about what feminism is, what I'm doing here, and what I think should happen in the world to make it a better place. I was recently talking with a male friend of mine, and he was asking me the usual questions. What do feminists look like? How do you know if you're a feminist? Can men be feminists? etc.

While I was talking to him, I was wandering around the internet, and I stumbled upon this blog post about feminism and I sent it to him. The basic message is that most people can be a feminist, which is an important, and often ignored, aspect of feminism. FMF defines feminism as "the policy, practice, or advocacy of political, economic, and social equality for women." That seems like a pretty good definition to me. I also like bell hooks's definition as feminism is the end of sexist oppression.

To keep this short and simple, feminism is about choices, freedom, and equality. I differ from other people in what I look like, what I've studied, what I'm doing with my life, who I love, and a million other ways, but the fact is that none of these qualities that make up who I am make me any more or less of a feminist.

How mindblowing is it to think that there are millions of people, all different, who are similar in the fact that they all believe in equality and freedom of choice, which is essentially love?! Maybe this is obvious, but I think that we love each other by not oppressing them and denying them the chance to express themselves and live their lives, hence the end of sexism (racism, heterosexism, and other -isms). And that's what I told him, but with more exclamation points.

1 comment:

Kay Steiger said...

Over at Campus Progress, we explored this issue in depth: