Can I Be A Feminist If…?

…I wear makeup?
…I like Nicki Minaj and Beyonce?
…I come home and make dinner for my husband/boyfriend/father/whatever man I have in my life?
…I am not angry all the time?
…I really want to get married and raise a family?
…I don’t work?
…I let men help me with my car and plumbing?
…I like to impress men?
…I’m submissive in bed?
…I’m a man?

Yes.

It has come to my attention that I might be a feminist. I’ve always avoided using that term to describe myself, not because I don’t agree with the general terms and conditions it holds, but because I didn’t want to get lumped in with the crazies that the culture of Internet-feminists has brought forward.

However, at it’s core, feminism is about equality of the genders. All of them, however many you think there are. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines feminism as, and I quote, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” Equality to men, not “gaining world domination by killing all the men.” A feminist is someone who believes in the general equality of the sexes. You can absolutely agree with those things while baking an apple pie for your loving husband who works so hard to provide a good life for you. That doesn’t make you any less of a woman, or a feminist.

Feminism is not synonymous with man-hating, burning bras, or general crazy people. If someone hates men and wants to let their nips fly around, that’s their own prerogative. You can believe that women are intelligent, hard working, and appreciate everything that they contribute to the world while still respecting men and their amazing accomplishments.

2014 was a huge year for feminism; we couldn’t go a week without seeing news stories and Twitter hashtags, and Facebook posts on the subject of women’s rights. Between #yesallwomen, heforshe, and a general uprising of sorts, specifically in the digital world, “feminism” became one of the biggest topics of the year. That’s like, 70%* awesome and totally something that needs to be happening, but it’s also 30% really destructive. Feminists have always had a reputation for being “crazy”, or had their anger at being considered second-rate blamed on hormones and PMS. It’s actually a huge part of the feminist movement itself; women don’t want to be seen as overemotional children who can’t handle real-world pressures, because they’re not. They’re angry because they only make $0.76 for every dollar a man makes, or because their opinions on politics are never taken seriously, or because certain men are constantly shitting out their condescension upon women’s heads. It’s frustrating. Women want to be taken seriously, feel safe to live their lives, and to be treated equal to men in the workplace, at home, sexually, and just… in general.

But with every good intention comes a downfall – this “fourth wave of feminism” that we’re experiencing right now is quite frightening.  In a lot of cases, the Internet can be an amazing tool but 80% of the people on it* don’t understand how to be a normal human person behind a screen. They take their platform and go bananas – please refer to my post entitled “Do You Even Understand Logic” for reference (and entertainment, because I’m hilarious).

Internet feminism has become so far removed from actual feminism that I’m honestly not even sure what their goals are. Because of the majority of SJW’s calling for the downfall and destruction of men, “the ultimate enemy”, a lot of people don’t want to touch the crazy. This is something that I’ve said often, but I need to scream it from the top of every building as loudly and as often as I can:

MEN ARE NOT THE ENEMY.

Men can and will be our allies. Personally, I know more men who believe in equality than I do women. That’s an amazing thing to see, and I don’t want insane people on the Internet to take that away. There will always be men who don’t side with feminism, who don’t understand what we’re “whining about”, but know that they are a minority. Hell, there’s women with those thought patterns too.

And that brings me to anti-feminism. I’ve seen a lot of feminists mocking women who say they “don’t need feminism”. They hold up signs saying that they don’t need feminism because they don’t feel threatened by the men in their life, or because they make enough money to support themselves, etc. I was like these women – I saw the SJW posts on Tumblr and it freaked me out. I didn’t want to be associated with a group of people that wanted to “break men” or who thought that all men had to offer to the world was sperm. That’s insane, offensive, disrespectful and frankly not something that any competent person would agree with. So I, along with these women, decided that feminism wasn’t for me. I believed in the equality of the genders, and that men and women both have amazing things to contribute to the world, so I called myself an “equalist”. As time went on, and I did more research, I realized that what I believed in was, in fact, this little thing called “feminism”. Ever heard of it? What SJW’s on the Internet believe in is… something else entirely.

So now that I’ve ranted all over the place for a while, all I really have left to say is this:

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I’m a feminist. After I’m done kicking butt at work today, I’m going to go home and make some soup for my boyfriend because he’s cute and I goshdarn feel like it.

* Why yes, I did pull these stats out of my ass. Thank you for noticing. Did you know that 64% of the worlds statistics are made up on the spot?**
** I made that one up too.  The troll is strong with this one.
[originally published 28 days ago on stephaniefaye.sbvtle.com]

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