I am 16 and a budding pissed-off feminist.
Just the other day, a guy friend of
mine, in the context of the conversation,
hate feminists, don't you, Amy?" I
just stared at him. I hardly knew what
to say. Where would he get that idea? I
explained to him that no, I don't hate
feminism. "Feminism is the novel idea
that women are people," I said, "I
hate the sexist, gyno-centric attitude
that the extremists can take of wanting
to be treated better than men, because
that's violating the entire point of feminism.
I do not hate feminism." When I told
him that I actually AM a feminist, he couldn't
believe his ears. Somehow, the idea that
a strong, liberal, left-wing girl would
actually consider herself a feminist was
completely alien to him.
Why is this? How
can society seriously expect females to
hate feminism? At every turn, we hear anti-feminist
rhetoric: that all feminists hate men,
that feminists are lesbians, that they
want special treatment, that they're all
bra-burning humorless Feminazis. Society
is telling us to hate the very movement
that brought us out of the kitchen and
into the world, and I'm tired of it!
one Amy to another,
Thanks for sharing that exchange,
which yes, sadly isn't unique. I think
that many people have a version of that
conversation at some point in their lives.
In general, I think that people want feminism
to be about something more out there or
radical because they don't want to have
to own it. If it's about "other, weird,
extreme" people than it means that
you don't have to deal with limitations
to it in your own life.
Also, I think that
people rarely reflect on how their lives
are already influenced by feminism and
thus prefer to pretend that it's about
other people. I think the only way to really
convince people otherwise is through your
own example, just as you have done. I think
over time the more you can remain the same,
both in how "normal" you are,
but also in how "feminist" you
are, that will have the greatest influence.
I hope that helps, at least to help
know that you aren't alone.