Just now, I received a text message from a friend asking me “why do you read this feminist bullshit?”
Since he lived on the other side of the world and we were only messaging, I couldn’t really properly express myself.
Before I could overreact and say something mean, I just took a deep breath before responding with, “because I’m a feminist.”
He argued by asking me why can’t I just be a humanist and an equalist instead, so I responded by stating that I AM A FEMINIST, EQUALIST and a HUMANIST. I do not think those are mutually exclusive. As such, I don’t think being a feminist will make me less of a humanist or less of a supporter of men’s rights.
He then argued that claiming to be a feminist AND a supporter of men’s rights is contradictory because the term “feminist” itself denotes that the movement is exclusive only to the support of women’s rights.
I explained that feminism, by itself, promotes gender equality and gender fairness. Men don’t have to feel ostracized or excluded from the movement since men are just as essential to the women in the fight for equality.
I have tried to give him articles and links to facebook pages such as Everyday Feminism to explain that feminism also supports the LGBTQA community as well as fighting for the rights of marginally oppressed. I also explained that a feminist isn’t any less of an equalist.
He, however, insisted that he has read all there is to know about the topic and he believes it is oppressive to men’s rights.
At this point, I tried to calmly explain that I respect his perspective but I am also firm in my beliefs that feminism is egalitarian. He retorted that several people think it’s “hip” to be considered a feminist but that it’s an unnecessary cause.
Honestly, I can see nothing wrong with being a feminist and believing in an egalitarian perspective. It may sound idealistic, but I personally believe we all have to start somewhere in order for change to come around.
I didn’t just become a feminist overnight.
I had to deal with verbal harassment from total strangers and I have been consistently told to not do certain things simply because I’m born female. I also had to deal with several forms of sexual harassment, so I know – as a female – what it’s like to live in a man’s world. Simply put, it’s not easy supporting for equal rights when the community you have grown up in has long established patriarchal standards on gender roles.
I almost resigned to the belief that the world is simply unfair and that there really isn’t anything females can’t do about it.
Fortunately, I have met several feminists who have introduced the concept of gender fairness and equality. This has given me hope, since not only are these feminists advocates of human rights, they were also comprised of BOTH men and women.
I am afraid there will always be people who will try to argue and prove you wrong, but that is okay. Politics is driven on reason.
I just hope that one day, people become more open-minded enough to entertain new ideas without immediately rejecting them outright