“The problem with you is that you are too feministic.” This was said to me by a man who happens to read this blog. “You should try adding a human aspect to your blog posts,” he added. Apparently, I am too feministic because I advocate for women’s rights and condemn violence against women through my writing. Really!? Too feministic? Are their levels of feminism? If so, what level is comfortable for people out there? It appears that to some people writing about women is devoid of that much-needed human aspect. That to me is simultaneously baffling and frightening.
I didn’t always think of myself as a feminist. I don’t know why. Every time someone told me I was a feminist my internal response was always, “I am a woman who believes I should be treated as a person not an object, I have rights that are accorded to me by virtue of being a human being and my opinion matters.” My external response on the other hand was always, “Well, I don’t know about all that.”
I’m not sure why I didn’t embrace it before but now I do. Yes, I am a feminist. I realize that it means different things to different people and that’s o.k. To me it means advocating for women’s rights and empowerment. It means recognizing that our value doesn’t stem from being Mr. X’s daughter or Mr. Y’s girlfriend/wife – it comes from being people. Yes, I will continue to speak up against the injustices and violations that women face. If my feminism and that of others makes you uncomfortable then too bad – such is life.
Side note: I know several people who don’t think of themselves as feminists but they really are, as per the definitions of the word out there.
Jackson Katz, PhD, gave the TEDx talk below about “Violence & Silence.” It contains a lot of food for thought. One of which is, “Calling gender violence a women’s issue is part of the problem for a number of reasons. The first is that it gives men an excuse not to pay attention.”