Recently, I was making myself crazy – er broadening my perspective – by reading some posts and comments on my friend Facebook. There was a particularly “interesting” discussion being had by some under-30-year-olds about women’s roles and how they feel about who’s defining them.
One said something to the effect that “these feminists are just man-haters who don’t want men to buy us dinner or open doors or wash our cars or . . . they are just misogynists!”
I was moved to shout at my screen:
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
(Pretty good line, huh? I just thought of it all by myself)
Wait. While I am pretty sure (trust me, I read the rest of the diatribe) they did not know what the word misogynist means, they might have accidentally been right, at least a little bit.
Feminists = Misogynists???
Well, maybe . . .
If feminism means that a liberated woman MUST:
- Have a career.
- Keep her own name, should she decide to marry.
- Indignantly refuse any gesture of kindness or help offered by a man.
Well, then that might be misogynistic because it surely demeans a whole lot of women; however, that is not what feminism means. Feminism is about giving women choices.
Feminism’s meaning has not changed but it has been perverted by some who would use the movement as a cudgel to beat more women into roles that – while they should absolutely be able to choose – do not wish to choose.
That is wrong.
That is not feminism.
Feminism means that it’s up to you to decide whether to be a mogul or a stay-at-home mother; an artist or an accountant; a ballerina or a boxer. It does not mean that the “traditional” women’s roles are bad or wrong; it simply means that there are other choices and all are equally valid. It’s the fact the we HAVE choices , not the choices we make, that make us liberated.
It is up to us to choose wisely.