Feminism is Not a Bad Word

I received a reminder this morning that Buffalo’s Women’s March is on Sunday.  I felt like a bad feminist for a moment when I thought “Oh, that is entirely dependent on the weather.”  I went one year and it was great; we even took the kids, who had a weirdly good time.  The thing is, it’s in January, and this is Buffalo, and the weather rules our days this time of year.  So, I doubt I will be making my way downtown on Sunday.  It is much more likely my sister, mother and I will go to the movies that day and see Little Women, which is, in its own way, solidarity. 

One time, after we went to the march with the kids, someone asked why I did things “like that.”  I assumed this person was referring to my beliefs in feminism and social justice, and the fact that I had no problem making my voice heard about such things.  Mark thought perhaps said individual was commenting on us taking the kids along.  “You know that 50% of your children will grow up to be women, right?” I said, getting a little heated at the wrong target.  He threw his hands up and reminded me that taking the kids was his idea in the first place.  It was.  I was just going to go with my sister, but he wanted to come and we had the kiddos and so…it was inevitable.  In the end we all had a good time and the only slightly awkward moment was L asking me what a design was on a poster: it was a uterus.  I told him it was the part of the body women had for keeping a baby safe to grow.  He said “cool” and then ran over to explain it to M.

Anyway, I remember how furious I was after.  This person so enraged me, and I was even madder at myself for letting that happen.  But you see…this wasn’t one of my old foes.  This wasn’t an old white man who pines for the fifties.  This wasn’t some incel creep with a vendetta against his high school girlfriend.  This wasn’t even just a slightly ignorant young dude who needed to learn how the system works.

THIS WAS A WOMAN MY AGE.

That’s what got me.  That’s what sent me over the edge.  See, I’ve had plenty of years of experience explaining feminism to dudes….let’s take Mark for example.  Took Mark many a year to realize he actually was a feminist, and even longer to say it.  Because men are taught that “feminism” (which, by the way, means equality of the sexes and literally nothing else) is a bad word.  And apparently, some women pick that up along the way as well.

How, I will never understand. 

I mean…do you like making 78 cents on the dollar?  Do you think you don’t deserve the right to vote?  Or hold property?  Or have your own bank card?  Or testify in your own defense?  Or go to college?  Hell, read any book you want? Or wear pants???

FEMINISM GOT YOU PANTS.

There is not a woman alive who has not benefitted from feminism, so when they question it, I get a little annoyed.  Men benefit too, but I’m legit not talking about you guys today.  I’ll save that one for another post, likely when some old guy with too many opinions on my uterus slides into my DMs.  Today is for the ladies, specifically the ones that “don’t need” feminism.  They are so unaware of the things we still battle…domestic violence, sex trafficking, abuse in any form.  Most women know the 1 in 4 statistic.  1 in 4 women is sexually abused or assaulted.  I have two daughters.  That’s a 50% chance.  And you think I’m not going on the goddamn defense?!

I don’t usually think of the person that riled me up at all, so when she pops into my head like this it’s kind of maddening.  However, I look for a silver lining and I find it: she keeps the fire stoked in me, so that I wake up each day ready to strike down the patriarchy she so desperately feels she needs.  I don’t know what has led her to her own belief system but I know what has led me to mine, and it is an undeniable truth that I am no less than my husband, father, brother, son…and neither is she.

2 thoughts on “Feminism is Not a Bad Word

  1. Good points! And I agree that it’s frustrating to see women so adamantly defending the very thing that tears them down. We’ve got to educate the public on what feminism REALLY means, and what it has done and continues to do for them, because without this conversation women and other marginalized people will continue to be abused and mistreated as per the status quo.

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