There will not be a trigger warning.
I am what one might call a “closet feminist” meaning, I am very passionate about women’s rights, but would refuse to identify myself as a feminist simply because I didn’t want to be pigeon held with the “extreme” feminist. At least, I used to be a closet feminist.
I recently finished reading “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay, who by the way is anything but a bad feminist. In all the reading I’ve done on the topic, I believe this is the first time the subject matters, even the extreme ones, have been explained to me in a way that did two things:
1.) Bring me to the above conclusion that I was in fact a closet feminist.
2.) Give clarity to the fact that sometimes extreme measures are needed.
Everything from the control the government takes on women’s bodies to the culture we live in surrounding rape. Should you be a victim of both above circumstances, my heart goes out to you. We should all stand together, outside the dark closet of denial, media, marketing and government. Divided on our personal version of feminism, will only bring more opportunities to tear us all down, one at a time.
While it’s true, I cannot personally agree with all “feminist matters”, as many things that people don’t understand tend to come with this title, I will no longer use it as a dirty word. I will no longer be afraid that identifying myself as a feminist will somehow hold me to each and every act in the name of it. While we are still working to truly define what this word means, I urge you to be reminded of it’ simple definition:
fem·i·nism ˈfeməˌnizəm/ noun The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to menfem·i·nist ˈfemənəst/ noun
feminist; plural noun: feminists
A person who supports feminism.
Any woman reading those simple explanations can surely get on board with the concept of feminism. I think that where things get fuzzy is when we all start to personally define beyond this. We decide what rights to get behind, we decide what the word means to everyone. It’s not to say that any of us are necessarily wrong, but where we do go wrong is when we begin to fight against each other for the same cause. Can we all identify as feminist with different agenda’s in mind for what “rights” we intend to advocate?