So today I decided to deviate slightly from what the “lifestyle” category would typically look like for me. I wanted to discuss one of the most misunderstood but incredibly important movements of this century and centuries before. You guessed it! Today I am going to discuss something that may make you grit your teeth: feminism.
Before I begin, I just wanted to let you know that I am a feminist (which you can usually figure out by a couple conversations with me). The reason I wanted to bring this to attention so early in this blog’s life is that I think it is very important to understand my heart on this subject and why I believe this movement is so so so important. This is not about man-shaming, this is about becoming unified in the way God wants us to be.
WHAT EVEN IS “FEMINISM?”
The Merriam-Webster definition of feminism is, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” That’s it. Equality between men and women on a political, economic, and social scale. It’s not hating men. It’s actually the opposite! It’s calling men and women to stand TOGETHER. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer who says it better than anyone I have heard before:
“We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls,
‘You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man.’
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important.
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes.”
Feminism: unity between women and unity between women and men. Don’t let feminism be ruined by the people who have made this a movement of hate. A movement of anger. They have valid, important points they bring to the table. But they are angry and hurt by what has been going on for centuries. I am angry and hurt too. Especially when I look at what goes on in other countries, other areas of the world, and to women who get hit with sexism worse just because they aren’t white. But wars stem from anger, peace and unity stem from love. Feminism is not a call to arms but a call to change.
WHY IS IT EVEN IMPORTANT?
I’m sure a lot of you will say, “Okay I believe in these things but why do I have to identify as being a ‘feminist’?” You don’t. Just don’t say you aren’t one (confusing, I know). You can say, “I believe in equality, I just shy away from that word due to the stigma behind it.” That’s fine. But if you say you are not a feminist, it unlinks you from the culture of unity.
Feminism is even deeper than getting paid the same for the same work. It is even deeper than having equal representation in our government. It is even deeper than men and women being allowed to fulfill the same roles in society (stay-at-home dads, mothers who work full-time). It is the fact that women can’t even see themselves as equal to other women. Women fight and bicker and as the above quote says, compete. Women have to be on the same playing field (supporting and lifting one another up) if we want men to do the same.
I have been in several rooms in which it seemed that every single woman was on the same wavelength. We were all united. There was no “am I prettier than her?” There was no rivalry. We were all rooted in God’s purpose for our lives. I have also been in rooms where the exact opposite was happening. Want to know where God’s presence was the strongest? In the room of unity.
I see it time and time again. The enemy wants to shake women apart because when women become united, the church shifts. Bondage in the home break. Our country takes a leap forward. Whenever women hold hands and march forward in love, the world changes. The enemy does not want God to move fully. The enemy pushes women back because he knows that as soon as women and men are united, his time interrupting the earth is over.
SO WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?
Become educated. There are movements filled with hate and movements filled with love. Guard yourself and do your research. Figure out what your definition of feminism is and use it! Feminism is not just for women. In fact, my favorite feminism movement is called HeForShe (no, this is not about Hillary Clinton). It’s an entire organization created by United Nations to spread awareness to men about why we all need to become unified!
Stop comparing yourself to other women and start standing with them. Encourage other women. Guide other women. Love other women. Laugh with other women. We have to unite in order to unite sexes as a whole.
I believe in feminism because I grew up being called “bossy” by the other boys. Because when I was in middle school, guys told me I shouldn’t be so smart and just “go back to the kitchen.” I believe in feminism because I watched my friends get sexually harassed in the halls of a school. I believe in feminism because there are women across the world denied their education. I believe in feminism because there are women who are forced into marriages and viewed as property. I believe in feminism because thousands of women every year get forced into the sex trade. I believe in feminism because domestic violence and rape still exist.
But most importantly, I believe in feminism because I believe women change the world. Imagine what we could do if we all stood together.