I have no idea why but this push-pull nonsense between “traditionalism” and “feminism” has been tugging at my heartstrings lately. But I truly do not understand the perceived dichotomy between these two things. I don’t understand why people revile both words and cannot fathom how a full person can *ever* embody both things within themselves.
I hate the cop out of saying the word “feminism” is useless because it means so many different things to so many different people that there isn’t one definition for it. Ok, semi-true, but that is also true about the following words: Christian, American, Hispanic, Joyful, etc. I could go on forever because every word has a somewhat fluid definition.
I find sometimes that for the words that are on a spectrum of meanings it is good to start out with the basic definition: the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes (thank you Google). Now here’s where people get their panties in a bunch, especially some very conservative people*.
Equality does not mean sameness.
Equality does not mean superiority of women.
Equality means I have as much value as a man, because I am HUMAN.
Now, to be fair, there are feminist who are on the violent end of the spectrum, you won’t catch me in a vagina hat anytime soon. But you can be a feminist who loves dresses or pants. You can be a feminist and be pro-life or pro-choice. You can be a feminist and be a stay at home mom or a career woman. You can be a feminist and be a firefighter or a salon beautician. You can be a feminist and be a religious individual or atheist. You can be a feminist in a burqa or a bikini.
Read more: Lesson Plan: Global Feminism through Visual Culture
I truly, truly feel bad for the men (& women) out there who think feminists are out to get them. But what really gets me is how can a husband truly love his wife if he has convinced himself she is incapable of complex tasks, overly emotional, and useless beyond her mothering capabilities. That idea of “natural” inferiority is called Social Darwinism and its a crackpot pseudoscience.
All women have value. All men have value. All people have value; not due to anything they have done or their intelligence, but because they exist.
*I hate using labels to paint with a wide brush but it is useful here. Although, depending on the topic, I am also a conservative. lol There you go for labels!