Story time: I used to love Lady Gaga. I still enjoy listening to some of her music, and I’ve heard great things about her performance on American Horror Story, but I used to worship this woman. I had her songs memorized. My friend, Cori, and I waited anxiously for her new music videos to come out and then we’d watch them repeatedly during choir (instead of listening to our teacher, much to his irritation). And then she said something that immediately tainted all the respect I had for her as a person who defies bullying and fights for equality: “I’m not a feminist. I hail men, I love men, I celebrate American male culture – beer, bars, and muscle cars.”
“I’m not a feminist.” Are you fucking serious right now? You’re not a feminist? And your reasoning for all this is that you…love…men?
Let me just fucking rant on this.
Firstly, do you honestly believe that in order for me to call myself a feminist (which I do 100%) I must inherently hate men? You think I don’t love and respect my father? You don’t think I’ve thought the world of some men who are smart, and feisty, and unbelievably amazing people?
Secondly, I know there’s this strange demonization of women who call themselves feminists and Lady Gaga isn’t the only woman who’s scared of having that label applied to her. There’s another label that I see a lot on reddit and tumblr: feminazi. I fucking despise this term not because I don’t believe there are radical feminists, but because of its connotation. People had to connect feminism to one of the most infamous, evil, socially oppressive regimes in history. Really? That was necessary? Of course there’s a radical side to feminism. There’s a radical side to everything! And just like most social movements they’re not in the majority. Sometimes they make the most noise, but that doesn’t mean every feminist is like them. It’s important for you all to know that.
At its core, by definition, a feminist is someone who believes in the social and economic equality of men and women. It’s not someone who hates men. It’s not someone who thinks women deserve more than men. It’s someone who doesn’t want others to be dehumanized because they weren’t born with a penis.
Emma Watson delivered a brilliant speech to the UN about feminism and women’s rights. You can read a transcript of it ~here~ (or just youtube it. The whole thing is only 13 minutes). I definitely agree with everything she has to say. Anyone who believes in that core definition of feminism is a feminist. It doesn’t matter! Male, female, anyone in between!
I wanted to write this post because one, I think people need a reminder that feminism is fucking amazing and two, I think people need a reminder that they themselves are probably feminists! Respect and equality are sneaky like that. One second you’re thinking men and women should be paid equal amounts for working the same job and the next you’re a feminist. Bam!
What are your views on feminism?? Let me know in the comments or send me an email!!!