A new generation of feminists has started to emerge and share their ideals with society. Just like our complex society, there are many different approaches and ideas in the world of feminism. Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as, “The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” If this is true, shouldn’t we all be feminists?
Recently, I have heard a number of intelligent, strong women claim that they identify with feminist values but they hesitate to call themselves a feminist because they are afraid of the possible repercussions. Even worse they are not worried about non-feminists thoughts on the matter but instead are worried about dealing with other feminists. While I would never let anyone else’s opinions instill enough fear of judgment in me that I would be afraid to call myself a feminist, I can understand where some of these women are coming from. The trend of women judging one another is nothing new but seeing it in the feminist community is especially disheartening.
Many women feel they need to be perfect in order to claim being a feminist. Being a self proclaimed feminist and living a semi public life can open you up to harsh criticism from others if you act in a way that is not considered by some to be acceptable feminist behavior. Too often I have seen one woman tear another woman down for the way she dresses or the make up she wears. That kind of judgment against women is unnecessary, disheartening, and petty.
Instead of tearing other women down, we should be building them up. Women should be respecting other women, supporting other women, and empowering other women. This doesn’t mean that you need to agree with everything that every woman says or support every choice that every woman makes but we should respect that women can make different choices and have different lifestyles while still being feminists. Just like women themselves, feminists come in all shapes and sizes with various economical, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. There is beauty in our differences and seeing the world from different perspectives actually makes us stronger. By embracing and celebrating the different kinds of women in the world, we pave the way for a day when women truly are treated as equals in every way imaginable.
photo sources: science penguin, the f bomb,