Hello there, (at this point I am tired of looking for a name for you guys)
Today I am the serious girl you don’t like, and some will even dare say that I am the angry tiny black girl (It must be because I don’t smile that much). I say this because today I will be exploring Feminism because I am a feminist and also because everyone should be a feminist!!! I decided on this topic because I have friends who are feminists (based on their beliefs and actions) but refuse to take up the title. For today I will be exploring the meaning of Feminism as written by different people and also a little bit of why people don’t like to be called feminists!
Academic Mambo Jambo Ahead
According to Merriam-Webster, Feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. At the same time, Wikipedia states the same but also adds that there are many feminist movements and ideologies that differ on exactly which claims and strategies are vital and justifiable to achieve equality. The Cambridge Dictionary also states that Feminism is the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way or the set of activities intended to achieve this state. Well, to me, the point of this movement based on these definitions sound reasonable, so why are so many people opposed to being part of this movement? Some of my friends even look like they are about to die at the mention of Feminism.
Maybe this hatred for Feminism comes from the definition that people offer, so perhaps let’s explore what “famous” people in the movement said about Feminism. (SideNote: I only know Tarana Burke *Founder of #MeToo Movement* and Chimamanda Adichie as “Famous” people in the movement) Chimamanda Adichie, in her book-length essay, ” We should all be feminists,” she insists that a feminist as anyone who acknowledges the existence of gender-based problems in the world and believes that everyone must work to fix these issues. I couldn’t find a direct statement by Tarana Burke about the definition of Feminism, but I did find (in my opinion) one of the reasons why Feminism could be a hard topic. Tarana Burke started the #metoo movement in 2006 but this movement only became popular when Alyssa Milano tweeted asking women to post about their sexual harassment experiences to show the magnitude of the problem. It took a person with privilege for this topic to be “relevant” in the media despite the importance of this discussion. Of course, there’s more to Feminism, Twitter, Tarana Burke, and Alyssa Milano, but we need to acknowledge that there’s something problematic about how this story played out. (Let’s discuss this some other day or on the comments)
Some of the reasons Feminism is “feared” by so many would be; it’s considered non-feminine, for lesbians, for women who hate men, for angry women, for women who don’t want to get married, etc. While these are just myths and stereotypes, there are so many people who believe that these are facts. I mean if you ask anyone who went to my internship with me in 2019 at some agricultural center in Kenya, they will probably describe me as the angry Feminist because I refused to reconcile with a boy who described me as half of him because I couldn’t use the hoe better than him, I gave a boy lecture about how I was not his servant for getting into my freshly cleaned house with muddy shoes on, I let some another boy know that me being a wife material was not a compliment, and I just overall gave every boy that tried to hit on me attitude. Well, the question is, how can we work towards giving Feminism a good name and bringing more people into the movement instead of scaring people away?
We can also admit that there is a whole species of human beings who believe that women don’t deserve the equality that we seek so much. Well, I don’t know how they came up with these beliefs, I am open to finding out (Maybe just maybe I am the wrong one). Some people also don’t like being labeled Feminist because they feel that they haven’t done much for the movement to deserve the label. Well, as far as I am concerned, I am just proud that they realize that Feminism is not a label, it’s the work too!! Another reason people fail to identify with Feminism is that they are not educated about it enough and also because they have probably encountered feminists who were also not very educated about their Feminism hence the “fear.”
This article touches on very little of what Feminism is and the politics around it, but it hopes to create a conversation around it. It hopes to trigger at least one mind to dare research more about Feminism and even strike a conversation about it with someone. I am clearly no Chimamanda Adichie or Tarana Burke, so if you find flaws in this article, be sure to comment with love below and also share materials on Feminism for everyone who might be interested to learn more!!
Side Note: I got feedback that I often highlight my opinions like they are not important and like I have low self-esteem (in my critics’ words), but I need to state that my articles are not here to push my opinions down your throat but to challenge you to look at things and maybe start a discussion about it.
Anyway, I hope y’all actually got to this point!!! Please do me a favor, comment, subscribe, follow my social media, and also share this article with your network!!!
With love and Feminism,