What does it really mean to be a Feminist?

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I’ve come to realize that there are way too many misconceptions of what feminism is and what it means to be a feminist. To break it down, feminism is a movement aimed at supporting, defining and defending political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. A feminist is someone who advocates and/or supports these rights. Very simple. It’s been made to be way more complicated than it really is and given a negative connotation by certain men who preferred for women to “stay in their place”.

I was first introduced to the movement when I discovered one of my Inspirations: Sojourner Truth.  Sojourner is one of the pioneers of the feminist movement, and in 1851, she gave a speech at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention called “Ain’t I a Woman. She addressed the issue of women having limited rights due to men’s flawed perception of women, and she argued that if a woman of color can perform tasks that were supposedly limited to men, then any woman of any color could perform those same tasks. Now I tell you, after I read that how in the world could I not consider myself a feminist??

I must admit it completely vexes me when I hear other women claim no allegiance to the movement, yet in the same breath will complain about men being paid more and having certain privileges that too many women never get to experience.  I just want to shake them and ask, well what the hell do you think feminism is all about if not addressing those very issues?!

Being a feminist DOES NOT mean you hate men! It DOES NOT mean you are a lesbian (for those who are afraid to be labeled as such) it DOES NOT mean you don’t want to be treated like a lady! I’ve heard men say, ‘why do I need to open the door for you? You’re a feminist right?’ WTF?? You’re tryin to tell me that because I want to get paid what I’m worth and treated like I’m a fully capable, intelligent individual, this means that you don’t need to act like a gentleman? In what world does that equate?

Soo… I just watched the video that FCKH8 put out where they have a bunch of little girls dressed in princess costumes, cussin up a storm for the purpose of representing feminism. Hmm.. Now, I do consider myself a feminist, but I have a problem with that video. I’m sorry, but instead of me seeing female empowerment I was distracted by the cuss words coming out of the mouths of those little girls.

Since when does being a feminist mean you can’t talk like a lady? What is that video teaching little girls exactly? And how is that video reaching men and women who are clueless about the important issues affecting women when they’re distracted by the little girls dressed as princesses saying f**k in every other sentence? How is that not taking away from the importance of the message? You got a little girl saying rape in one breath and then f**k in another. Really people? Girls get raped every day. Young girls are being sex trafficked as we speak and you really think this is the way for people to take it seriously? WTH is goin on with folks?! Smh.

What better way to end this than with Sojourner’s last words in her “Ain’t I a Woman” speech:

 “Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.”

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3 comments on “What does it really mean to be a Feminist?”

  1. Dawn with all due respect you seem to be stuck on the roles of ladies and gentlemen. Door opening, and not cussing and all that superficial stuff. I hold the door for people coming behind me or step aside and let older people enter before me. I can cuss up a storm too. But neither of these things are about the feminist movement for equality. They’re simply examples of a. Good manners and b. Losing your temper.

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    1. I think the very act of women voicing our opinions and expressing our personal perspectives is precisely what Sojourner was fighting for. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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