Feminist or not?

I recently discovered Insanitybytes22‘s blog, and I just read all of her ‘anti-feminist’ posts… and it really got me thinking.

I have always been unsure as to whether I want to identify as a ‘feminist’.

I want to live in a world where there are no expectations of what jobs people do – where the female doctor is not called “nurse”, and the male nurse isn’t looked at funny for choosing a ‘woman’s profession’. Where it is OK for both men and women to say they don’t want kids, without being judged (men seem to get told ‘you’ll change your mind’ less than women do, in my experience). Where it is perfectly acceptable for the woman to be the breadwinner and for the man to stay home with the kids.

I want a world where it is OK for everyone to choose what they want to do, without being told that it’s a “man’s/woman’s world” and they should choose something more in ‘keeping with their gender’. Where it’s OK to be gay, straight, whatever. Where a woman being a scientist is normal, and a man being the stay-at-home parent is normal – and where the opposite is also normal and acceptable. Or any combination – both working part-time to spend an equal amount of time with the kids and at work.

Everyone has a right to an education. Everyone has the right to choose what they want to DO with that education. Everyone should be able to choose if/when they get married, and to whom. No-one should be judged, persecuted, or otherwise made to feel uncomfortable about their choices.

And this is where I feel I differ fundamentally from most people who popularly identify with “feminism” – I don’t hate men. I don’t want to get revenge for all the time that men apparently lorded over us.

I want it not to matter what I am. I want ‘male’ and ‘female’ to mean nothing more than an aspect of who we are, like having brown hair or being left-handed.

I was brought up to believe I could do anything – and that I could CHOOSE anything. That I would not disappoint my parents by what I chose to do – only if I did not do it to the best of my ability.

I still do not know what I would call myself, because ‘equality-ist’ isn’t a word. ‘Humanist’ is, but it doesn’t mean what I would like it to.

So, I will continue to support everyone in what they choose to do. I will continue to not judge people for their choices. And I will continue to learn about things that are different from my own experiences, so that I know the truth, not the twisted details that we get fed by popular media.

I do not identify with the ‘popular media’ view of what a feminist is – the extreme, most vocal end of the scale. I identify closest with the other people who are saying “I want equality, but I don’t want to be associated with the extreme views of ‘internet feminists’, so I will not call myself a feminist”. I guess this is much like the way that Muslims don’t identify with the jihad extremists who are involved in terrorism – those people call themselves Muslims, but it is not the true core of what Islam is.

~K

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3 thoughts on “Feminist or not?

  1. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.

    I grew up in some remote areas, spent some time in Alaska. Something I noticed is that men are women are more dependent on each other in rural areas, and therefore less likely to engage in any kind of gender war. There’s a symbiosis that happens. Labor is more likely to be divided up according to ability, you learn to rely on each other rather than compete with each other.

    The culture at large and certainly the media is concentrated in densely populated urban areas, so sometimes ideology simply takes on a life of it’s own until it starts to have no substance at all. Often the loudest people speaking the fastest have no idea what they’re talking about. Feminism as a mediated bit of ideology is really just a bunch of nonsense. I personally believe our ideas around equality have become so convoluted, that I tend to reject the whole idea entirely.

    Having a desire to treat people kindly, and to support their freedom to be what ever they want to be is all good however. 😉

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