It’s fairly obvious that the definition of feminism has become somewhat twisted, despite it literally meaning ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes’. See that word, equality? Well, it seems to have gotten lost in translation. So I want to know, on the basis of this actual definition, what does feminism mean to you?
Feminism means many things to me. It means the eradication of everyday sexism, equality opportunities for all, and acceptance of all everyone, regardless of race, sexuality, religion, etc. It means the ability to do what I want in life, without my gender restricting me.
But it also means education. Since delving into my feminist side, I’ve learned a lot of things on a variety of different topics. I’ve learned that black people cannot be racist against white people, because racism is a societal structure that oppresses a certain group, but they can still be prejudiced. I’ve learned that saying things like ‘man up’ and ‘like a girl’ are harmful to both genders, because they reinforce gender expectations. I’ve learned that you can be pro-porn and still consider yourself a person fighting for women’s rights.
These are all feminist topics. Everything to do with equality and fairness, and starting discussions on difficult topics, including PMS, mental health, and FGM, is to do with feminism. But what does it mean in everyday life?
To me, feminism means the ability to work, to drive, to go outside alone, to manage my own money, and to wear what I like. It’s made up of all these little things that we quite rightly take for granted – feminism means being free to go about my life and do what I like, without being restricted by my gender. Being a feminist simply gives me a label to stick on the feeling of being outraged at inequality.
So what does feminism mean to you? How has it impacted on your life?