Feminism is an ideology, a movement, a goal to achieve equality of sexes.
It has once again rapidly taken over the global debate. #metoo turned into a movement. Abortion laws are once more a subject of inflaming discussions. More and more women speak out about sexism at work. The wind of change is coming but it is not here yet.
Here is a short guide to check why you can call yourself a feminist.
Because you think that emotions are a human thing.
We all have feelings. It is a base for being human. Why don’t we appreciate them in each other? Why do we tell men to “stop crying like a girl”? Why do we ask women if they’re on their period when they get more passionate or angry about something?
Suppressing emotions can get you through a crisis but in a long run it does not pay off. They are a part of you and always will. Accept them, accept them in others, and don’t be afraid of them.
Because you believe that everyone deserves respect for who they are.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, an Asian or a European, gay or straight, you deserve respect for who you are. You should not be judged based on your sex, skin colour or sexual orientation.
People are different but we are all human. Let us judge each other, as it is inevitable, for our characters, skills, and actions.
Because you think that everyone should be able to make decisions about their own bodies.
Birth control, abortion, or even female sexuality are still controversial topics.
Many women do not have access to birth control or sexual education. Yet, across most societies, the pressure of “taking care of it”, a.k.a. Avoiding pregnancy still lays upon women. Sure, men can’t get pregnant. But women can’t get pregnant by themselves. Share the responsibility.
We live in times when science allows us to take control of biology. Sex is not for reproductive reasons only. Having children should be a choice.
Because you believe that access to education is a right.
According to the World Bank, 130 million girls around the world do not have access to school. The most significant obstacles in their way to education are poverty, social norms, and violence.
Better education means better salaries, better health, better well-being. It decreases the chances of becoming a victim of domestic violence or being a subject of child marriage.
Education is, after all, the key to a better, more understanding, developed society.
Because you want men and women to understand each other.
Gender is not an easy conversation. It is full of stereotypes, prejudice, ignorance, and arrogance. On both sides. We do not understand each other and we are taught that we don’t have to. ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.’ I bet you heard that one. The assumption that we are from two different planets gives us an excuse to blame our misunderstandings on just being of different sexes. Should be easily solved via a conversation, right? Give it a try.
Because you are against violence.
WHO estimates that 1 in 3 women worldwide has been a victim of physical or sexual violence or both. Especially domestic violence is a major social and health problem all around the world.
Violence against women has a lot of triggers but also a lot of concession. If you repeat an action often enough it becomes a norm. Social norms that privilege men over women and give women lower social status are one of the key factors that raise aggressive men and subordinate women.
I plan a few more posts on this subject, so your insights and arguments are more than welcome.
What are your reasons for calling yourself a feminist? What are your reasons not to?
Let me know!
Meanwhile, I encourage you to read or watch We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which I wrote about here.