In our society today, there seems to be a never-ending competition to be the most hardcore feminist or the most “woke” person. If you spend your entire life being mad at the whole world, you’re some kind of hero, even if the constant negativity eats you up inside. Being any kind of happy or traditional is suddenly frowned upon, and it’s kinda baffling to me.
I most definitely consider myself to be a feminist, but I also relate to the actual good men in the world (you know, the ones who aren’t rapey and misogynistic). Yes, I said it. There are good men in the world. Go ahead and get out your flamethrowers if you must, but I know it to be true because I’m married to one and a couple of my closest friends are also married to wonderful guys.
Sometimes I feel like women like myself are judged unfairly for having the lives and interests that we do, and our brand of feminism is disrespected. I’m here to set the record straight – these things do not make me (or anyone else) less of a feminist.
- Women who like guns are not less feminist than the ones who want to take away our second amendment rights. I’ve always been a big fan of guns. Let’s face it, shooting guns is fun and it also gives me the ability to defend myself if I need to, which is crucial for an assault survivor like myself. It bugs me when I see anti-rape culture memes that automatically associate being anti-rape with also being anti-guns. It doesn’t make sense; women can protect themselves from rape by using guns!
- Women who like watching sports aren’t less feminist either. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge basketball fan, particularly of my hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. Sports used to be more of a dude thing, but I know a lot of other women who like watching sports. I’m not a big fan of football but I’m pretty sure that has more to do with being relentlessly bullied by football players when I was younger. Don’t try to yank my feminist card because I enjoy catching a game and drinking some beer with my guy.
- Women who marry men can still be feminists. A long time ago, marriage was essentially the transfer of ownership of a woman from her father to her husband, but it’s not anymore. Marriage has been redefined in a modern world and spouses are equal now, but some women still see marrying a man as supporting the patriarchy. It’s fine to just live together and never get married (or to be single forever, or to marry a woman if that’s what you’re into), but it’s not for everyone. I always wanted a great husband and I got lucky in finding one, but rest assured he does NOT own or control me in any way; we’re equals, just like we should be.
- Women who become stay-at-home moms aren’t less feminist either. My mom was a stay at home mom but definitely not a feminist, so I won’t use her as an example. My sister-in-law, however, currently stays home with my two young nieces while my brother is the traditional breadwinner in their household, and it doesn’t mean she’s anti-feminist or pro-patriarchy. It just means she loves her kids and it makes more sense for them to be a single-income family than to pay for childcare so she can work too. For a lot of families, child care costs make it pointless for both parents to work outside the home. Also, I can’t attest to this personally, but I’ve heard that raising a toddler and a baby simultaneously is pretty much a full time job. I completely support her in this mission for many reasons; not only are my nieces adorable, but my husband and I don’t want kids, so at least my parents already have some cute grandkids to play with. Whew!
- Women who enjoy cooking and making their house look nice can still be feminists. Just because in past generations women were expected to be homemakers, that doesn’t mean it’s anti-feminist to enjoy those things. I love cooking and baking; it’s fun! Plus, food is kind of a requirement to live, and who wants to live on pizza and fast food all the time? I also enjoy making my apartment look nice, making sure it’s clean and nicely decorated. I like having a clean and comfortable atmosphere around me. Nothing wrong with that!
So ladies, can we please stop judging each other on the completely made up scale of wokeness and patriarchy-hating and finally accept that it’s okay to be a feminist and also be a regular girl who gets along with good respectful guys and appreciates being part of a family? Feminism is supposed to be about empowering women to be whatever they want to be, not cutting each other down for following dreams and interests that fall under a more traditional umbrella. Every woman should be free and encouraged to live the life that makes her feel happy and empowered without the expectation of conforming to anyone else’s agenda; if that isn’t the case, we’ve officially failed as feminists.