Being a Feminist

Many people try to make feminism a “more equal” movement by saying that it should be called “humanism” and people should refer to themselves as “egalitarians”. Sure, those arguments are nice, but what do these people do with the movement? When people google the phrases “egalitarian protests” and “humanist protests”, there are very few protests shown that are led by these “more equal” people. For decades, we have heard of the numerous protests from feminists. There is a reason bigots do not get angry with humanists and egalitarians- they don’t do shit.I believe that the first part of feminism is to accept the title “feminist”. People often associate feminism with women, not only due to the benefits it serves women, but because it looks like the word “female”. I have heard the argument that feminism should be called “gender equality”, and I am all for feminism promoting the recognition and rights of all genders. However, I believe that one of the reasons these non-binary gender and trans* people are oppressed is because they possess any number of feminine traits. For example, Richard O’Brien, writer of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, “described himself as being transgender or possible third sex” (source). He has dressed in feminine clothes, and I think he has a (handsome/gorgeous) feminine appearance. For any transgender person, female oppression hits them either by being born in a female body or identifying as male to female. If gender is a linear spectrum, with male on one side and female on another, then a person who identifies other than an extremely heterosexual, macho, cisgender male is going to be affected by some sort of female oppression, whether it is being ridiculed for enjoying sewing or wearing a bra and donning breasts of any size.

Additionally, it is important to have male allies, for we need the privileged to speak our words when bigots refuse to listen to us. Nonetheless, we should be free to make sexist male jokes that ridicule bigots who have oppressed us for generations. Women have dealt with sexist jokes aimed at us for too long; misogynist jokes are what got us in this mess, misandrist jokes are what will get us out. Besides, men are supposed to be strong, right? If they can’t handle a joke, they’re weak. Come on, boys, have a sense of humor! In all seriousness, a male ally will willingly acknowledge that the majority of males (and even some females) are the culprits behind misogyny. I do not think anyone ever says “all men” when depicting the amount of men affecting us, but the phrases that MRAs pick are merely stating “men” without a defined amount that infers the majority of men. You know, just like how they say “don’t trust women with a credit card”. Of course, they probably meant “all women” in that case. If I can make silly white privilege jokes as a white person, then a male ally can tolerate (or even laugh at, just like many women have) male jokes.

As a cisgender, heterosexual female, I understand that my opinions on the gender spectrum and sexuality may not be correct, so if you are someone who is affected by any misinformation that I may have provided, I welcome your comments below and I am willing to work with you to edit my work, take responsibility of my actions, and prevent future mistakes. Thank you.

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