There's no denying that there is a distinct backlash against feminism. Influential young female celebrities from Shailene Woodley to Taylor Swift to Katy Perry have stated in interviews that they are not feminists. They give a variety of reasons why they can't relate to the word "feminism:" they love men, they love to be taken care of by their men, they are "humanists," they refuse to be victims and find the notion of feminism antiquated and strident.
To paraphrase the great Inigo Montoya: "Feminism. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
A quick read through a Facebook group like "Women Against Feminism" (5,000+ members) where women are encouraged to hold up signs stating why they are against feminism show how woefully misunderstood and sadly demonized the F word has become. Feminism is the new "F*ck," and it's up to any person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes (ie. everyone) to reclaim it.
Being a feminist doesn't mean:
- that you hate men
- that you can't be attractive or sexy
- that you are a victim or don't own up to your own mistakes
- that you must chose between your heart and your brain
- that you hate sex
- that making dinner for your man means you are weak or subservient
- that you are entitled to special privileges
- that you don't think men have issues too
- Whether we love men, women, both or some combination of the two. If we want to get married, live with a partner or multiple partners, be single or live with our mom.
- What we wear, whether it's a sexy bandage dress, burka, dog collar or yoga pants.
- Whether we play the victim or fight for what we believe in. All people make this choice, it's not just feminists.
- We can be loving AND intellectual, educated AND kind.
- We are free to choose what we want to do in the bedroom, whether we want to procreate or just get our freak on. Access to contraception and reproductive choice are a responsibility and a right for both women and men. How, when and why we want sex is up to us, but you can bet your a** that feminists love sex.
- Whether we go to work or stay home to take care of our family. Men are also given this choice. Who cooks dinner doesn't make you weak or anti-feminist; it makes you a great partner.
- Believing that you are special or entitled to special privileges is narcissism, not feminism.
- Rather than say that feminism has hurt men, let's have a quick look at the "23 Ways Feminism Made the World a Better Place for Men." From economic growth to better sex to enabling men to spend more time with their families to acknowledging that men can be the victims of sexual assault, the feminist movement has helped even the playing field for both sexes.
Call yourself anti-feminist all you want ladies, but never forget that you have the freedom to define yourself because of feminism. While you're looking up the definition of feminism in the dictionary, you might also want to familiarize yourself with the definition of irony.
This post originally appeared on BLUNTMoms.com