I am a feminist. I believe women, men and all of us who identify otherwise deserve the same rights, same protections and deserve to be on as level a playing field as possible. This is something I’ve always held true. and when I discovered Feminism, it became closer to my heart than I thought possible. I was hesitant to embrace the label because of the things I heard about the cause, about the Misandry, the harsh rhetoric and many other things, a process that took years of study and personal discovery to overcome. It was such a wonderful thing, and I wanted to bring it to as many people I could. It meant the world to me, and didn’t think anyone who identified with it was capable of the horrible things they rallied against.
How horrified I was to be so wrong
In just the past few months, I’ve seen people who did things that will live in the history of science piled on to the point of a tearful apology because they wore a tacky shirt. I’ve seen them pile on companies because their cause was being chosen as one of the least favorable of a bunch of less tasteful choices. I’ve seen people get SWAT sent to their house, called terrorists and sexist monsters, get knives, dead animals and syringes full of mysterious liquid and generally harassed to the point of losing their job because they dared to believe something different. And the banner I’ve seen these people fly when they perform these heinous acts to other human beings?
These acts were so heinous, so offensive, so cold hearted I couldn’t believe it was happening. I couldn’t believe who was justifying this nonsense. I couldn’t believe that this is what qualified as being a good Feminist. I had to do much soul searching, much questioning about if I even wanted to be a Feminist anymore, if that’s what being a Feminist meant. It was in this soul searching that I realized if I wanted to a Feminist, I had to be my own kind of Feminist. I couldn’t be the kind of Feminist that shames others for dressing sexy or having casual sex. I couldn’t be the kind of feminist that silences dissent because it offends someone. I couldn’t be the kind of feminist that tears others down because they do something that goes against my beliefs or does something the least bit tasteless.
Those things aren’t part of the Feminism I know, and things I will always reject.
The Feminism I know creates opportunities for other women to do something, as The Fine Young Capitalists did through their charity. The feminism I know welcomes all kinds of expression of sexuality, as I see in Sex Positive Feminists. The feminism I know creates bridges for others and lets them decide on their own that Feminism is something they want to support, respecting if they choose otherwise and leaving them be. Sex negative, hostile, elitist feminism is, in my view, the greatest thing holding it back from achieving the change they want, not Patriarchy. Patriarchy is a big problem for the progress of feminism, but not as big as this modern day iteration of Puritanism. There is no place for that of movement anywhere in civilized society, and as long as that’s the kind of feminism people choose to advance, feminism will always be rejected by the the people it encounters, the way I’ve rejected both it and those who choose to practice it. I know not how far it will get me, but I choose to practice the kind of feminism that seeks to bring understanding, equality and the ability for people to choose of their own free will, no matter what that choice may be.