Why do so many people dislike feminists? I do not know, I can only guess. In my mind, who would not be in support of ending oppression and injustice for women (and all those needing empowered in the world)?
There seems to be a misconception among many people that feminists are man-hating, angry, savage women who are ready to burn their bra’s and emasculate the entire world. Yes, fear does crazy things to the imagination. In fact, empowering women and other minorities actually empowers us all. In the interconnected world we live in, if one is oppressed, all are oppressed…no man can be truly free when his power and opportunity come at the expense of women.
I am a proud feminist, and I do not hate men. I am civilized. I do not burn bra’s ( usually), and I am ready to talk. I am committed to the equal treatment of women, minorities, and anyone (even men) who have been denied balanced equality in the world. Feminists come in all shapes and sizes–there are not one set of beliefs about what feminism means. Feminists of my generation are vastly different from the feminists the 1920’s or even the 1970’s. It is said that there are as many definitions of feminism as there are people in the world. I know many men who call themselves feminists as well–they are some of the finest (and manliest) that I know.
So, how do you know if you are a feminist in today’s world? If you believe any of the following……YOU may be a feminist!
You believe that everyone should be treated equally, with dignity and respect.
You care for the welfare and empowerment of others.
You wish for others the same blessings that you have. You are willing to share in your abundance.
You understand that empowering someone else does not take power away from you…it is only multiplied as it is shared.
You are capable of empathizing with others. You remember what it feels like when you were once the underdog.
You wish for a peaceful and harmonious world.
You understand that the world is socially constructed–there is always opportunity for change.
You see that diversity is a gift. If everyone were the same, life would be pretty boring.
You are able to honor the sameness and the differences in others, knowing both are an essential aspects of humanity.