Feminists are the worst,
Feminists just don’t get it,
Feminists don’t do enough to silence their radical wing.
Ever heard a variation of some of these terms? What do you think about feminism?
Let me say a little bit about what I think.
Feminism to me is about finding out the fears that hold us back from achieving a more just society. I don’t believe human beings are predisposed to hurt others; I do believe that customs and habits that are left unchecked and unquestioned make for morally weaker societies. We tend to mistake the way things are with the way things should be; we’re scared to imagine a world that’s different than the one we’ve known so far. Because of this personal belief, i work to understand what others are afraid of and encourage them to ask if its reasonable. Other feminists may not agree with one bit of what I just wrote.
So than, what is feminism? How much of what I wrote do you agree with? Are you a feminist? I don’t encourage sloppiness and messages that degrade human dignity in the name of feminism. But I do know that there some that do it. I confront them sometimes; I don’t other times- now, does this make me a passive activist or does it make feminism passive? How often do we take the time to differentiate between the person and feminism. And what is Feminism?
Feminism stands to identify a group of people that are committed to gender equality-a goal. With that goal in mind, many people approach the problem from different view points and come up with their own solution. There is no establishment or body that is responsible to identify which solution works the best. Which approach can work? What is truly feminist and what isn’t? It’s a name for people that have a similar goal in mind; not for a coherently functioning system that has procedures and means to check itself. In some aspects. This is a strength that gives people the opportunity to approach the problem from different fronts. It doesn’t require you to be all or nothing; it allows you to do what you can and design a way of thinking that is relevant to your environment. In some aspects, it’s a weakness because you can’t identify between personal failures and philosophical short comings. You don’t understand if a feminist’s message has ideological short comings that are worth addressing or if its a professional deficit. We talk about feminism like its an established personality but really, it is a diverse set of approaches united by one goal. It doesn’t have a personality that can account for everything we disagree/agree with.
My life as a feminist is about testing to see what works, being sure to read and re-read everyone’s messages so you don’t misunderstand and make assumptions that don’t value the opinions of others; wondering how much of your articles and comments you may find absurd a year from now. Trying to explain your ideas clearly and interpreting the ideas and messages of others as kindly as possible because you know how much it hurts when you are misunderstood and always hoping not to trap yourself in an ideological prison where there is no light or growth. Trying to find the messages and principles that will always stay true and serve humanity. Hoping not to get caught up in a wave of irrational ideas that hold back the cause you care for so deeply.
I am a feminist; like being a Mehret, a Philosopher or anything left to human interpretation; it doesn’t mean anything that is clean or organized. Our personal judgment tell us it would do better without certain fractions but it belongs to too many of us to be anything but all of the above. So to the question what is wrong with feminism, nothing that can’t be wrong with any cause that involves so many of us.
In all sectors of my life, I believe I do better by identifying one small short coming and encouraging growth; i wouldn’t try to burn down the whole thing. The name might go away but the mess won’t.
So, what do you think about feminism/feminists?