I have identified as a feminist since I first heard the word, because why wouldn't I want to advocate for equality of the sexes? Why wouldn't anyone want to advocate for equality of the sexes? It was really strange for me hearing people say that they weren't feminists, but then saying they were for gender equality. I thought that it was just that they didn't know what the word feminist meant, and so I would explain it to them time and time again, just to make sure that they knew what it meant, and yet they would still tell me that they weren't feminists.
This wasn't just coming from boys, but from girls too, and so I started asking why. Why aren't you a feminist if you support gender equality? They all responded with a similar sort of answer which always followed the lines of "I don't like the way some feminists promote it. It sounds like female supremacy" or "feminism only fights for womens causes".
I disagreed with this time and time again. This wasn't true. Yes, there are some people who identify as feminists but who can come across as female supremacists, but that's not their intention. The word feminist has been given a bad label, and there isn't really anything we can do about it.
I have been a perpetrator of this myself. When me and my friends in school were talking about issues we face as women, one of my male friends chipped in on the conversation and I knocked him down, telling him that we were talking about our issues. When this was later brought up with me by my male friend, I was pretty upset. I hated to think that I had shut down a mans problem just because we were talking about female issues, and if it can be done that easily without thought, then there is no wonder that it happens over and over.
With all of this in mind, I recently stumbled across a video on facebook (link here). This video is a response to a buzzfeed video titled "36 questions feminists have for men", and it opened my eyes to so many things I hadn't really noticed before, like how damaging the depiction of men is in modern rom coms. I also wasn't aware that the gender pay gap was an average of the hourly pay every man and every women in the US gets paid, not the pay for a man and woman for the same job.
Since seeing this video, I have taken a step back and really looked at how I view feminism. I am still for gender equality, but I think feminism is an old label, and maybe we need a new one that's more inclusive of all genders if we are going to conquer gender inequality.
Thank you for reading my blog post. I would love to hear your thought in the comments. Is the title feminist old? Do we need a new term? Do you think men are more negatively impacted by gender inequality that women? Let me know in the comments.