Fighting an oppressor can seem like a daunting task. Sometimes it sounds so far outside of our capability that we get overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin – so we just don’t. Yet, no matter how overwhelming, some systems are worth challenging. The very purpose of this article is to not just come face to face with oppression by recognizing or reading about it, but rather, to learn how to take some small steps in our daily lives that can combat oppression, specifically in regards to gender inequality.
Feminism, the inclusivity and equality of all sexes, persists as a worldwide concern because it is yet to be a reality. But how does one act as a catalyst for worldwide change? When presented with this seemingly impossible question, we forget that any positive change – no matter how small – is a step in the right direction. So, let’s implement small changes to our daily in order to spark habitual feminist acts and inspire others to follow. Here’s how:
Always include trans and non-binary individuals
Feminism is so much more than equality between men and women; it works to alleviate oppression from the existing cisgender, heterosexual patriarchy. It is extremely important to ensure that all voices are heard during any discussion; otherwise our discourse to try and make positive change may lead to furthering inequality amongst other oppressed groups.
Practice being body positive
It is important to be accepting of your own body as well as all other kinds of bodies. This will aid feminist inclusivity. In order to do so, try to avoid categorizing a specific body type as, “bad” or equating our success with a certain “good” image. This can be hard when women are often policed on what they should wear and look like, so try looking good for you and only you.
Don’t immediately dismiss someone who doesn’t identify as a feminist
Most of the time when one says they don’t identify with the term “feminism”, it is possible that they have a misconception about what feminism really means. Therefore, it is important to engage in conversations with such individuals, rather than becoming angry or dismissing an opportunity for conversation. Instead, try to calmly chat in order to better understand their perspective; you can even explain your own views. This discussion, along with mutual respect, can allow both parties to be heard, understood, and possibly even enlightened by the other.
Explore common misconceptions about feminism
Many times when people hear this word, they think about women who strongly opinionated and who hate men. Clearly, this is not always the case as feminists come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Anyone can be feminist, regardless of his or her age or gender. That’s right, men can be feminists too. It is important to learn about these stereotypes as well as the negative connotations associated with the label “feminist.”
In today’s world, it can be easy to judge others, but rather than judging or being jealous, one should work to empower others. Society as a whole would benefit greatly if we start focusing on raising people up rather than putting them down.