I don’t like being called a feminist and I have had people call me this a lot of times. I really do not know why. Or, well, maybe I do know why but do not just think it is enough reason for anybody to see me as one. If you know me personally or follow me personally on My Personal Facebook account, one of the things you probably know about me is that I am very assertive. I am everything that speaks confident (and I am not ashamed to say this) and I am not one to think I should be seen as less than capable or less than a man. I didn’t grow up this way either.
So, whenever I mention something that tilts in the favour of women, someone somewhere just happens to think that I am a feminist because to them, a feminist is someone who can speak in favour of women. People happen to think that any lady who refuses to lower her standards for a man has to be a feminist. If she is intelligent, confident and outspoken, then she also has to be a feminist. And if she ever has to speak against injustice against women then, she is very much a feminist.
Well… I don’t want to bore you with too much talk. You’re here because you want to know why I do not like being called a feminist and I am going to tell you just that.
ONE, I don’t like being called a feminist because I feel that it is a wildly-misconstrued term. Last time I checked what feminism meant in the dictionary, its meaning sounded cool and reasonable. I mean, advocating for equal rights for women when it comes to education and employment opportunities is not a bad idea, right? But leave the dictionary meaning and take it up to the real world and you will find out that many women who call themselves feminists are only mad at men and the fact that they exist. So, for many “feminists”, the battle goes way beyond advocating fundamental rights for women but is now an attack on whoever is a man. And many people also see feminism as the movement of women who hate men.
TWO, I do not like the fact that people who label me as that do not mean it in a positive way. People who call me a feminist rarely do so because they like feminists or the idea of feminism but because they think I am too “strong-willed” to be a lady. Another annoying this about this premise is that they expect me to be someone who can do everything herself and who doesn’t need help from anybody, especially men. I do not like the idea of that.
THREE, to me, being a feminist would mean not making exceptions for any part of your life. In other words, you can’t claim to advocate for equality in an area and permit inequality in another area. Even though I believe that women should not be seen as lesser or inferior and I make that clearly-known, I strongly believe that in marriage, the narrative changes. I am a Christian and my Bible teaches me that the man is the head of the wife. The woman is to submit to the man. The Bible makes clear a hierarchy where the man is the head and the woman follows his leadership. I am not obliged to submit to any man out there but I am obliged, according to my Bible, to submit to my husband. However, I am not sure feminism makes arrangement for exceptions such as this.
FOUR, I believe that to compare two different variables with each other, then there should be a sort of similar point which makes it easy to compare them with each other. And in my opinion, that similar point doesn’t exist when it comes to men and women. I believe it is quite erroneous to compare men and women together when they are obviously different. Men have their strengths and weaknesses and women also do. In essence, doing so would force us to give men roles that they may not be able to handle and that women may not be comfortable taking up. It’s like saying that men should also be allowed to breastfeed their babies because it is “injustice and degrading” to ask a woman to breastfeed her own baby.
WHAT I DO STAND FOR
Irrespective of the reasons I have given for why I do not like being called a feminist, some things stand for me, however.
- That I do not like being called a feminist does not mean I will allow anybody see me as less, inferior or incapable. If anything, I really will not stop to prove people wrong that call me a woman or not, it doesn’t make you able to make better decisions than I can.
- That I do not like being called a feminist does not mean that if I see an injustice being perpetrated against a woman, I will then keep quiet. No, if that happens, I will speak against injustice against women if I am exposed to real-life stories about them. The twist to this is that I will not speak in the favour of women alone. If the tables turn and a man is the one who is being threatened or mistreated, I will speak in the favour of the man. That’s the reasonable thing to do, I guess.
- That I do not like being called a feminist does not mean that I will be less confident in who I am. Or whatever makes me, Me.
Perhaps what I am saying, at the end of the day, is that the most important part of me isn’t that I am a woman. It is that I am human.