It’s a personal pet peeve of mine when someone says that they’re not a feminist, but insist that they are ‘humanist’ or ‘equalist’. Why? because by being either of those things, they’re actually feminists. They just don’t understand the term or equate it with man-hating, bra-burning and the like. So I tend to share this video repeatedly because “hating men” is not what feminists do. Feminists speak up against violence, objectification and marginalization of a particular group, if not all groups of people. The fact that the focus is on one group that spans ethnicity, religion and geography just influences the term, not the goal. The fact that it’s one privileged group (you know which group that is without even thinking about it, don’t you?) that consistently comes under fire for perpetuating violence and mistreatment does not make it a man hating project.
And for those who insist “not all men” buy into sexism, I tend to think they feel guilty on some level because they know, somewhere that they have objectified a woman, or all women at some point. Instead of insisting that they’re not part of the problem, they should focus on being part of the solution by advocating for their female brethren (or gay, transgender, etc etc…). Problem solved. (It’s hard to advocate against certain behaviours without speaking in terms of groups. We can’t spend half the time saying, “this guy, that guy and that person over there in particular, but you, you’re fine”. Deal with it already and stop being so sensitive about it.)
And I will point out, again, that feminism works for men too, because they are programmed to do the objectification in the first place and it often takes a conscious effort to change the habit. I mean it’s part of the very language we speak. (Oh, grow a pair! Don’t be such a pussy! You run like a girl! Oh wow!) Only by working together can we erase the need to call the idea of equality ‘feminism’ and move on to tackle the next great disparity.
So. As long as a boy feels pressured to ‘act like a man’ we will need feminism. As long as there are college boys who think it’s OK to film themselves raping an unconscious girl in their dorm room and then post the images online, we will need feminism. As long as a group of men can get away with raping and killing a woman on a public bus in India, we will need feminism. As long as girls who haven’t even reached puberty are married off to men old enough to be their grandfathers, we will need feminism. As long as women’s genitals are mutilated in the name of ‘purity’ (I dare you to read the entire entry and not shudder) we will still need feminism.
Equality starts at home, so don’t be afraid of calling yourself a feminist if you feel the disparity between people anywhere.