Ah, the Great Facebook Debacle of February 2014. Thirty-six hours of sweat, tears and phone-calls to check that friendships remained intact. The subject? “Why are feminists called feminists and not just equalists?” and “Why I’m anti-feminist but pro-equality.” As anyone who’s read my blog before – or, indeed, been in my presence for more than a sum total of around ten minutes, probably – will know, these are issues very close to my heart. And I’m sure the same people could vouch for the fact that I just can’t resist a good bit of controversy. So here’s a more considered, researched response to some of the arguments made against feminism. Let the games begin!
Intro) Why should I be a FEMinist if I want equal rights?
“Feminists are fighting for equal rights for women, why? Why specify that much? Why not fight for everyone’s rights in one hit?”
“Feminism is called feminism because it’s all about raising the rights of females. If it was called equalism it would be about raising the rights of everybody, however feminists aren’t interested in men’s rights. Nothing to do with equality.”
“Is it feminism if I want more rights for men so we’re all equal?”
Firstly, it’s feminism simply because it’s concerned with gender inequality. This doesn’t mean we don’t care about anyone else; personally, as a feminist concerned with intersectionality, I am also aware of and passionate about fighting for equal rights regarding sexuality, race, disability etc. but it’s not always possible to do all of these things at once. ‘Feminist’ is the word I use for the part of my identity that specifically fights for equal rights for all women. It’s important to remember that we’re not just talking about women in the United Kingdom, living in a first-world and liberal country. We’re talking about all women, and worldwide, women’s rights are far behind men’s. This remains pretty undisputed; therefore, true gender quality requires a worldwide fight for women’s rights. I am, at the time of writing, unaware of any rights which men would have to obtain in order to have a completely equal society.