and so from now on I'm done telling people that feminism means "believing women and men should be equal". Because for that, "equalism" would work, and it's a nicer word that doesn't scare people. It's also less effective, because it's bullshit. The world doesn't improve through equalism, just like my airplane isn't built by engineers. The world is improved by human rights activists, feminists, civil rights leaders, peacemakers, environmentalists. The airplane is built by electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, aerospace engineers, technicians, pilots.
At some point along the line somebody decided that you can't move forward by drifting towards some big light, you have to break the issues up into little bites. One of these bites is feminism. And here's what I've decided it's going to be...
- Feminism means actually admitting that society is set up, in a lot of ways, to favor and encourage men. Feminism means admitting that we have to focus on the conditions of women, specifically, if we want to make things better for both genders.
- Feminism means reminding your politically active friends that there are countries where it's legal or acceptable to kill your daughter if she's dishonored her family, and that the United States government continues positive diplomatic relations with these countries.
- Feminism means telling your coworkers that you're sick of women with families being seen as not as career focused, or "struggling for balance", when a man who puts a picture of his kids on his desk is seen as a good family man.
- Feminism means asking why men and women still seem to gravitate towards different professions, and society just can't seem to value or pay as much for the professions that are traditionally women.
- Feminism means reminding women that if they're tired of feeling like they "have to do it all", they need to ask why others in their lives expect this from them and how changing attitudes about women can help the situation, instead of blaming feminists for overloading them with choices about how their lives go. When men struggle with life paths, personal journeys, and coming of age, we write books and movies about it. When women do it we ask why those bad feminists made their lives so hard.
because we thought their lives were worth the journey. that's why. and we're right.
sf the militant