Why I Question Feminism

While being at college, I've been asked if I’m a feminist on multiple occasions. That in and of itself is a strange question to ask, but what is even more confusing is what these questioners expect the answer to be. No, I don’t believe women should be equal to men? Of course women should be equal to men, but I don’t need to be a feminist to think this. I think it’s called being a decent human being. You shouldn’t have to say you’re a feminist because you shouldn’t have to explain to people that you believe in equality, especially when you’re an American citizen. Rather than being a feminist, shouldn’t we just be for equality for all, not just women but for every oppressed group in this nation and the world? There should be no alternative to feminism. You can’t just say, “Yeah, I’m not really for this whole equality thing." This nation was built on the concept of equality for all and if you live here you better damn well believe in that principle too.

What rubs me the wrong way about those who over-zealously claim they’re a feminist, is the righteousness heaped on the term. When you’re in a conversation with someone and they suddenly say, “Well, I’m a feminist so…”, as if the point they just made is even better due to the fact of feminism. How is this even a point? Instead of making me agree with you, it makes me question why this even needed to be included or said. Feminism isn’t some badge you use to claim superiority over others, even though when talking to some avid feminists it comes across this way. How can one be so righteous by doing just the basic requirements for human decency? Just because others have screwed over countless people doesn’t make you wonderful because you’ve selected one group of people to give equality to. Congrats, you’ve simply achieved being a decent freaking human being. Gold star. Realize feminism is just a word. Your actions are what matter, not the terms you wrap yourselves in to feel good when you fall asleep at night. So whether you’re a feminist or not, as you go to bed, I hope you can live with the person you are. Because I sure as hell am not going to applaud you for doing something that should be expected of you. Maybe if this society had higher standards, people wouldn’t feel the need to parade around terms like feminism as if they were something special. For all this talk of how far we’ve come as a people, as a nation, sometimes it’s really hard to see it.

~M