“IF YOU ARE NEUTRAL IN SITUATIONS OF INJUSTICE, YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR. IF AN ELEPHANT HAS ITS TAIL OF A MOUSE AND YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE NEUTRAL, THE MOUSE WILL NOT APPRECIATE YOUR NEUTRALITY.”
– Desmond Tutu
Damn right. I love this man. I had the pleasure of meeting former Archbishop Desmond Tutu this past year in Cape Town. Never before have I met such a down-to-earth, steadfast, charismatic, devoted individual.
There has been recent debate about the term “feminism” itself. Some individuals are fighting for a new, trendier more inclusive name for these beliefs. “Equalism” perhaps, because most modern day feminists recognize that sexism is not the only type of prejudice and discrimination that is harming our society. All the “isms”- sexism, racism, religionism, ageism, ableism, heterosexism, classism, financial-statusism, regionism, citizenism, careerism, and anything else you can think of that serves as the basis for putting certain individuals in power and oppressing others needs to be corrected.
Personally, I think the whole debate is bologna. Why are we wasting our time coming up with a name instead of working to break down the stigma? Maybe we can all just join the “Hey, I’m an Open-Minded, Decent Human Being” Club? The point is that we need a united front, to recognize how many members there are in the Decent Human Being Club and not let the Not-So-Decent Human Beings get us down.
“I MYSELF HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO FIND OUT PRECISELY WHAT FEMINISM IS; I ONLY KNOW THAT PEOPLE CALL ME A FEMINIST WHENEVER I EXPRESS SENTIMENTS THAT DIFFERENTIATE ME FROM A DOORMAT.”
– REBECCA WEST (1913)
And we’d hate for everyone to think we weren’t doormats.
The words that make me gawk, then scream, then cry, then roll my eyes and sigh. I’ve heard it and read it so often… Come on People of the World, you just don’t seem to get it!
There’s a reason for the fear of the feminist label. Stereotypes have taught us that The Feminist is EVIL. She’s an ugly, hairy, smelly, man hating, back stabbing, lesbian bitch who eats kittens and puppies for breakfast. She’s sworn of men for life and patrols the globe for anyone with a sense of humor to stomp out their happiness. Right?
What is feminism? The infamous, “I’m not a feminist, but…” is usually followed by statements like:
- Women deserve the same opportunities in life as men
- I believe women should be paid as much as men for the same job
- Women have the right to education
- Women are just as smart as men
- Women deserve affordable reproductive healthcare
- Women around the world deserve the right to vote
- Sexual assault and harrassment are big problems that need to be solved
So, I hate to break it to you, but maybe you just might be a feminist after all.
This blog has been a long time coming. There are so many things I see in this world that bug the crap out of me. “Bug” might be a little too soft of a word. Frustrate. Anger. Enrage. Piss me the f*** off. All of the above. The fact is that we live in a supposedly modern world, full of technology, convenience, growth, prosperity. We are “developed”. And yet, look at the shit still going on around us. There is such a vast disparity between the haves and have-nots of our society, but it has all been set up that way. I’m not talking conspiracy, I’m talking reality. Our society, our culture, our livelihood is based on putting certain individuals in power and keeping others out of system. So who is out?
Well, who isn’t? In the case of the United States, unless you happen to be a White, Straight, Christian, Male from the Upper Class you are not in a great position. If you are, congratulations- you’ve been born with Privilege and Power. But what about the rest of us? That’s what this blog is about.