My previous article titled “An Open Letter To All Men” sparked a heated conversation between my friend and I. He felt that I was too strong about my opinions. Due to my encounters with toxic men, he felt that I have grown to be biased and that it showed in my article. We debated the whole article for over 4 hours while sipping a couple of cups of coffee. In the end, I realised that certain sentences and elaborations had generalised all men. Many men have been troublesome but, I also have some greater understanding and nurturing males in my life, hence, it is not all bleak. Though I could speak for many, my article was mostly based on my perspective. I did not realise that I sounded like a man-hating angry feminist. As a writer, I am accountable for what I share to the world and I vow to be more responsible with my content and method of presentation. Many men get on my nerve but, I do not hate the entire male population. The last thing I wish to be is a misandrist or portray shades of toxic feminism.
One of the most common misconceptions is that feminism is for women alone. Men and women, who desire equality and equity, would not see the harm in true feminism as it is essentially a movement that advocates women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. To put it in plain words: You are a feminist if you an advocate of equality of sexes! You are also a feminist if you are up for humanity. One cannot exist without the other. Feminism is not about superiority. It never was.
You may or may not identify as a feminist. That is all right. You could even be a gender-neutral person but, sitting over the fence over issues that clearly stem from one-sided biasedness would help no one. Have a stand or abstain the discourse.
Identifying yourself as a feminist is not a complete win yet because whether or not you have embraced the movement in all entirety is another question altogether. What is not acceptable is if you are a sexist or misogynist. We do not need any more than we already have now.
Here is a list of things that you may or may not relate to. The fewer things you acknowledge, the more sexist you are. We could all use a reality check from time to time.
Here you go.
I acknowledge that…
- Feminism does not elevate women to a superior standard than men
- Men and women should be treated equally
- Male privilege does exist
- More women must be afforded a seat at the table
- Catcalling is appalling
- A girl can do and become all that a boy wants to and vice versa
- Girls and boys can dress up however they desire
- Alike men, women are capable of running nations
- Abortion is a woman’s right
- All women should be able to access birth control
- Rape threats are disgusting
- A woman never “asks for it”
- Abuse and rape can affect both male and female
- A woman is allowed to make her own decisions
- Consent is a must in all conditions regardless of people’s sexual orientation
- Make-up is not gendered
- Having children is a woman’s personal choice
- Marriage is not a person’s life milestone
- A woman is her own and not to be owned
- Toxic masculinity opposes feminism
This is not the best yardstick to assess your principles. This serves to remind us that we should constantly keep our notions in check and evolve better as days go by.