"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Black and White Feminism.

When I first started identifying as a feminist, I oversimplified things for the sake of the pursuit of equality. I call it black and white feminism, which is, essentially, men are always wrong and women are always right. Men always get the good stuff and women always get the shit. Ra ra ra.

Which was gung ho and fearless and, let's face it, in an eight year old kind of endearing; but I like to think that my stance as a woman and a feminist has moved on from the boy germs era of childhood.

There are a lot of problems in this world. Some are related to women. Some are not. Not all of them are caused by men being arseholes to women. Some of them are. Men are our equals; you can learn so much from them, if you give them a chance. We cannot further the women's revolution at the expense of the rights of men.

I've always wanted children. I've always thought, as a woman, it's my right to have a family, and when I do, I will first and foremost be a mother, and my first responsibility will be to my family. I detest feminists who try and degrade me for thinking like this, for having these kind of dreams - it's every woman's right to choose, and this is the choice I want to make. I would be heartbroken if it were an unfulfilled dream.

To me, feminism is about choice. It's about the right of women to make choices about themselves without fear of persecution or societal alienation. But I think what many young feminists fail to realize that, as a feminist, it is not only my choice to choose to work, but to choose not to work if I so wished. It is not only my choice not to get married and have a family, but it's also my choice to want to get married and have a family. As far as pornography and the sex industry is concerned, the same thing applies - anything that happens between consenting adults is nobody's business. The key word here is not the business, but the consent.

Be a feminist with a brain. Be a feminist of compassion; a feminist who sees the problems clearly and seeks the peaceful solution. Don't marginalize others if you don't like being marginalized. Our society is so diverse and complex, things are very rarely clear cut. Don't be a black and white feminist.

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