Living in the era of millennials and marches, we as women are always posed with the question “are you a feminist?” Many of us have a hard time answering that question. We do not feel the connection to the way the media and society portrays modern feminist movement. We do not necessarily agree with some of their ideas, but at the same time, we do support a woman’s equality in the workforce, in society, in the everyday. After thinking about these mixed emotions on the topic, I was introduced to an answer to that question that sums up how many women feel. Yes, I am a feminist, but by definition, not by connotation.
Before I continue, I know not everyone fits into the stereotype of the modern feminist. My only intention is to explain why so many of us do not advocate for the modern movement and that is because of the way it is perceived, even if it is not completely the way it is.
If you do a quick Google search, the dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of women’s right on the basis of equality of the sexes.” This is a vague definition. It is very open to interpretation, but that is what makes it so great. By this definition, we’re all feminists. We want women to be able to vote, run for office, dominate in a male dominated industry if they choose, and have all the other economic, political, and social benefits men have. What this blatant definition does not have though, is all of the connotations the word “feminist” has to it in the modern world. It does not say that women have to be pro-choice, that we have to put men down in order to advance ourselves, or that we must be a part of the sexual liberation movement that the feminist movement seems to encompass. With that said, lets dig a little deeper into these.
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Today’s feminists claim to be all-inclusive. They claim to promote the voices of all women. That’s simply not true. On January 21, 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, thousands of women went to the streets for the Women’s March. At first, it sounded great and reasonable as a concept. It seemed like it was a march that all women were welcome to. The problem? The march aligned itself with pro-choice groups, which would have been perfectly fine, had they not excluded pro-life groups including New Wave Feminists, a pro-life group based in Texas. The pro-life group had been listed as partners of the event, but were soon removed from the list and the website completely because they were labeled as an “anti-choice” organization. This exclusiveness and the inability to support one another for such an event is why the I answer feminist, by definition. Equality of women is for all women, not just those who do or do not support certain political agendas. Feminism spans across a myriad of issues, not only reproductive care.