Who Can Be A Feminist?

05Sep10

What makes a person a feminist?

Does hating men, becoming a lesbian, not shaving your legs and burning your bra constitute to you being a feminist? Frankly, no.

This belief is a misconception. And a rather clever one at that.  Feminism as a social movement has always been feared by patriarchal control, hence why it is often represented in an negative light by the media in hope to discourage women (and men) from embracing it wholly. The fear-mongering is clear in the following quote made by controversial Christian televangelist, Pat Robertson, who claims:

The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

These types of comments encourage people to disassociate themselves from the feminist agency. First off, what is a feminist? The dictionary definition (according to the American Heritage Dictionary) writes that a feminist is someone, male or female, who believes in social, political and economic equality between the sexes.”

What is so radical about that? What is so frightening about that?

There are some feminists who assert that men can never be feminists as they can’t really identify with the female experience and gender. This may be true to an extent, however, men can be pro-feminism (Charles Louis de Montesquieu, William Lloyd Garrison, Andrew Golis, Brian Klocke). As the definition suggests, you don’t need to be a woman to be a feminist. You just need to value equality and have egalitarian principles.

It is essential for men to a part of the movement, if feminism truly wants to “attain the goal of liberating women” men must be included in this collective struggle.

Link: http://www.nomas.org/node/122

Sadaf Hakimi

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