Everywhere I turn, women are asserting that they aren’t feminists. But for the most part these women are feminists. They believe in a woman’s right to vote. They believe in equal pay for equal work. They believe in combatting gender-based violence. They will tell you that, and then they’ll say this:
“But I like men.”
I’m going to say this once (that’s probably a lie, I’ll probably end up saying this a million times), and maybe it will get forwarded around or retweeted or put on a T-shirt:
Feminists like men.
Feminists love men. Why wouldn’t they? A lot of men are feminists. The really crazy thing about feminism is that it has nothing to do with what gender you are. There are men and women who believe that both genders are equal, and there are men and women (lord help us) who don’t. Just because you’re a member of a minority and you believe in racial equality doesn’t mean that you hate white people.
No other activists are put on the defensive as much as feminists. And by the very people whose rights they’re trying to defend! I’m astounded when I hear women say that they’re not feminists. What part of feminism is problematic, exactly? The only thing feminists are trying to do is secure women around the world the freedoms they have traditionally been denied. That’s it. That’s all feminists are trying to do. Many of them are married to men. Many of them are raising sons. Hating men is not on the agenda.
To say that you aren’t a feminist is to say that you don’t want women to have the same rights as men. Period. Any other definition of feminism is a myth perpetuated to keep women from realizing their power in numbers.