I Am A Feminist, But I'm Not...

I started identifying as a feminist in my very first year at university, and I joined the Black Feminist society at my university when I was in my final year.
The moment I identified with being a feminist was when I was in a lecture about feminism as part of my Social Science foundation year course. It just clicked with me, but with the benefit of hindsight, I realise that I always had feminist beliefs from girlhood.

Ever since I became a feminist, I have felt empowered, but I have encountered bad reactions, ignorance and stupidity by others. It annoys the hell out of me, but I realise that there are a lot of myths and stereotypes assigned to feminists, all of which need putting to be for good.

I am a feminist, but I am not...

A lesbian
Why oh why do men assume that I am a lesbian when they meet a feminist? I can 100% confirm that I am heterosexual, and not all feminists are lesbians! I believe that women should be able to own their sexuality and embrace that.

A man-hater
This myth really irks me. Being a feminist doesn't mean I hate men. Feminism has nothing to do with hating men, it's about equality of the sexes. That's it, and there's nothing sinister about that. Also, I don't think I'm better than men and I am not asking for more than men. I just want equal rights.

Yes I am angry - angry about the existence of patriarchy, the glass ceiling, the motherhood penalty, unequal pay, violence against women, slut-shaming, body-shaming, the objectification of women, rape culture and the general systematic oppression of women. I have every right to be! Wouldn't you feel angry if you were part of a discriminated group? My anger is not displaced, I have every right to feel this way, but I'm not an out-of-control raging bull.

I had to ditch one of my friends at university because every time we would meet up, he would always lecture me about how all feminists are radical and about how much he hated radical feminists. It really began to irritate me because it became clear to me that he assumed I was one of these so-called radical feminists, and as my true friends know, I don't identify with radical feminism at all. He seemed to be making jabs at me and it was weird to me, because he studied the foundation year too and if he had been paying attention in lectures and seminars he would know that there are different strands of feminism. In fact, I think radical feminists would judge me because I do 'girly' things and I like men.

Being a feminist doesn't mean I am radical. Feminism does not equal radical feminism.

I am quite opinionated, but I am not the type of to shove my opinions down people's throats. I believe that women should be able to be open about things that affect us - like periods, sex, domestic violence, motherhood - and we shouldn't be silenced. Being a feminist means speaking out against certain issues and we shouldn't keep quiet to appease people.

Against stay-at-home mothers
One of the reasons why I am a feminist is because I believe all women should be in charge of their own lives. I'm very career and travel-focused but if a woman wants to be a stay-at-home wife and mother then there is nothing wrong with that.

(By the way, you can be a stay-at-home wife and mother and feminist too.)

Wasting my time
I used to have an acquaintance at university (I met her through the foundation year) who told me that she didn't support feminism because she believed men and women would never ever achieve equality. To be honest I think that's a stupid reason not to support feminism. Even if gender equality does not exist in my lifestyle, I'm still going to be a feminist because feminism has made a lot of great changes in society. For example, without feminism I wouldn't be able to go to university and attempt to carve out a life for myself.

I'm not hairy! I love to groom myself and wear 'girly' stuff. That doesn't mean I'm not a proper feminist.

Smash up those stereotypes!
I am a feminist, and...
- I strongly believe in the social, economic and equality of all sexes.
- I believe that everyone should be feminists - including men! Everyone benefits from feminism.
- I strongly believe in female empowerment.
- I believe that women should be treated as human beings with their own thoughts, feelings, wants and desires, not treated as though they are mindless objects.
- I believe that womanhood should be celebrated and respected
- I believe in dismantling patriarchy.
- I am against the global, historic and systematic oppression of women.
- I don't believe in traditional gender roles.
- I don't believe in double standards because they are a load of BS.
- I don't believe in gender stereotypes. I don't conform to what society (or culture) thinks I should be.
- I believe that women should be able to have the power, strength, courage and determination to live their lives in their own way.

Liked this? Then read my other posts on why I am a feminist.

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