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Feminism- The other F word I love.

by Janelle Larson (follow)
Feminism- The other F word I love.

 

I’m usually pretty reluctant to associate any type of ‘ism’ with my name.  Most of the ‘ism’ words I hear used regularly don’t exactly carry positive connotations.  

 

Racism.  Sexism.  Terrorism.  Alcoholism.  Extremism.  Narcissism.

 

Of course, there are some good ones, but then again I don’t often hear people just casually discussing stoicism or eroticism in their daily lives.  (They totally should, though.)

 

So where do these negative isms stem from?  Imbalance.  In my experience, the appearance of one of these words usually suggests a power imbalance.  I don’t understand why feminism so often is categorized with such abhorrent processes and behaviours.  

 

We’re actually the ones out there striving for EQUALITY.  Not imbalance.  Think about that for a second.  

 

We don’t all sit around thinking up ways to stick a knife in our male counterparts.  We just want a chunk of that nice big privilege pie they’re enjoying.  All to themselves……… those huge pie hogging……

 

(dicks.)

 

I feel like I should apologize for the harshness of my language.  Isn’t that what’s expected of me?  The truth is, there are more offensive things out there than a woman using strong language.  As it was so eloquently put by my new personal heroes, the potty mouthed princesses  If you haven’t already seen this video, or heard of this particular movement, I highly recommend you watch it now.


Frankly, I'm nothing short of enraged when I hear some of the ignorant assumptions about feminism. (Just look at the comments to this clip and you'll see what I mean. Check out the level of HATE.)
So I’d like to clear up a couple of common misconceptions anyone might have about it, and what it means.  What it is, and what it is not.

 

It IS- fighting to elevate the status of those less fortunate.  The ugly truth of the matter, is that women are the most disadvantaged in many ways, still.  Financially (unequal pay), Physically (rape culture and violence against women), Systematically, Culturally, Religiously….. The list goes on and on.

 

It ISN’T- fighting to elevate ourselves to a position of unequal power over men.  We know what it’s like to be subjected to constant oppression and injustice.  We wouldn’t do that to you.  We love men!  They’re our husbands, fathers, brothers, and our sons.  

My feminist status isn't about mandatory revocation of your manliness. It's about me being my most authentic, brave, badass and beautiful self. (Don't you want that for me and of me?)

 



pie
We just want a slice of that fricken pie, okay? I want my fair share of that delicious privilege you enjoy every single day.


 
Another common myth about feminists is that we’re all unkempt, undesirable, miserable, bitter pieces of work.  That’s the stereotype. (It's also supposed to be the ultimate insult. If you're unattractive, you're worthless, according to society.)  I can assure you, I’ve never attended a bra-burning.  I don’t reject all cosmetics indiscriminately.  I WANT to look smokin’ hot, and feel fabulous about it.  I’m not bitter, I’m just jaded after being treated as if I’m incompetent merely based on my gender.

 Careful now, ladies.  Don’t go getting too excited and go overboard.  Adhere to the ideal of feminine perfection TOO well, and you’ll taste the wrath of cultural backlash for that, too.

 
You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  Anything that falls outside of the category of 'lady like' behaviour, and into the category of 'feminism' is labelled as undesirable by the majority of the population.  Furthermore, anything that looks too much like unadulterated liberation and confidence- is also condemned.  If you’re a woman, thou shalt be judged.  Relentlessly. It's all about male privilege.

This is usually the part where someone chimes in about how men experience gender stereotyping and discrimination.

They absolutely do. I'm not disputing that. Nowhere near as often as women though. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lives. That's 1/4 of us- being beaten, threatened, and disrespected. So the whole us versus them mentality is getting really tired. Being a man rocks. They should just admit it. End of!

They're far less likely to experience judgement, criticism, or punishment based on their sex. Yet they still want to bring up THEIR hardships when confronted with ours. Sounds eerily familiar to the abusive partner, projecting and deflecting... doing ANYTHING to avoid the need to adjust their behaviours and attitudes. (Yeah, because it's selfish of me to want equality... because that would mean you'd be slightly less comfortable.) Still not convinced? Check out these examples of male privilege.

LINK: http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/11/30-exa...

Before all the men who feel challenged by the notion of feminism start their hate speeches- don't. Just don't. Anything to avoid having to give up some of that sweet sweet privilege, right? The price of women's liberation would be slight discomfort for you, and an attitude adjustment. Yet that price is too high, and you claim not to be part of the problem? Hilarious.

The thing about feminism is, there are no restrictions.  That’s the whole point. I don't have to satisfy any particular criteria to identify as a feminist. I don't have to fit YOUR definition. And it's probably a good thing that I don't, given the backlash and widespread misplaced hate we're subjected to. It's sad that you think I'm that messed up and selfish. But it'd be even sadder if I actually WAS.



So, that is feminism to me. That’s why I LOVE it, and will continue to be it.  I choose to free myself of the pressures of excessive scrutiny and sexist attitudes.  I encourage you to do so too, in the way that feels right and natural to you. Our diversity is our strength, and serves to bring greater awareness to the vast spectrum of feminine power that goes largely unrecognized.

Of course, I still endure the constant barrage of negative judgment I receive for daring to step outside of the acceptable limits of womanhood.

But it's totally worth it.
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