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Feminism

Dear Amy,

Recently a guy overheard me say something to my friends about being a "budding feminist" and he jumped all over me and tried to convince me that feminism is wrong, because it is not for equal rights. I tried to explain to him that equal rights is exactly what its for, but I had a very hard time doing so. He also didn't seem to understand that we live in a male dominant country. I was wondering if you could help me to be more prepared to explain that feminism is not anti-male, but pro-equality. What laws are there that are biased against women right now? What other fact can I use to convince people that women don't have as many rights as they should in today's society. I really appreciate any help you can give me!

Thanks,

Mattie

 

 

Dear Mattie,

In general, I have found that the best way to convert others to feminism is to "show" them feminism rather than force it upon them -- for instance, how has their life been changed as a result of feminism? It's a glib response, but men no longer are expected to treat all the time or repress their emotions -- that should count for something. There are tons of things that feminists are working on at any given moment, but in terms of getting people to understand it or to be less resistant to it, I think you have use examples that are closer to their lives -- for instance, if children is something you care about -- talk about after school programs, which were entirely devised with feminist intentions. Or access to medical information -- men didn't use to be tested for prostate cancer the way that women were for breast cancer -- though both affected people similiary -- so it was feminists in both instances that fought for better research and funding, etc.... So figure out what it is that the person you are talking to and locate you feminism within those issues or within that person's life.

And most importantly -- don't take the bait -- people will bait you with feminism -- and say, but aren't you all man hating lesbians? Thus making you have to defend feminism. Turn this question on them or say "do you really think I hate men?" Make them realize how stupid and naive their association is.

I hope that helps.

Good luck,

-- Amy


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