* Do you have a vagina?
* Do you hate your father, brother, husband/boyfriend, friend, cousin, all penises? Because you might be asked at any point to castrate a man.
* Do you not wear skirts, lipstick, bras or shave your legs?
* Are you offended when a man offers you a chair on public transport or opens a door for you?
* Are you a victim?
* Or, are you a lesbian? If yes, then you must have answered yes to all the above.
If you answered yes then you must be a femenist. At least that is what the website Women Against Feminism will have you believe. It shocks me that more people aren’t feminists. I am a feminist because I believe in the world where there are equal rights and opportunities. A world where male and female aren’t defined by stereotypical roles. I am by no means suggesting that there is anything wrong with women who choose to be stay at home mothers or men who choose not to stay at home. But these are choices that they should have the freedom to make.
The look of shock I see when I tell people that I don’t want to have children tells me that the idea that I would not perform my gender role as a mother shocks them. Yet for a man that wouldn’t be so abnormal. A “boys will be boys” attitude would be adopted. We live in a world where roles are thrust upon us – girls are given dolls, tea sets and all things pink and boys are given cars, Lego and all things blue.
We live in a world where men are humiliated by phrases like “you … like a girl” or being called names like “pussy”. The message is still that feminine qualities are considered less than and an insult. And masculine qualities in women are considered an insult. An assertive female is a bitch rather than assertive and “manly” would be considered an unattractive way to describe a woman.
The fact is most of us are lucky and there are parts of the world where women are traded and sold, are given less right to education than their male counterparts and held to stricter “moral values”. So to see on the website that there were women who do not see themselves as a victim and therefore they don’t need feminism shocked me. Maybe it’s an injustice I have not had to endure but this doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem that affects the world. The idea that feminism is about being a “victim” or whinging seems quite a harsh one. Don’t they realise that there are differences in countries where women are given access to education, job opportunities and contraceptives?
Perhaps feminism is about accepting all genders and supporting every woman’s right to education, equality, her own body, safety and choices. Why can’t it be simple? Why does it have to be a bad word?