It came to my attention this week that one of The Beacon’s columnists received negative comments about her columns. This is par for the course for a columnist, I’ve been called everything from a “radical” to words that won’t make it past the censors. And I’m sure for this column I’ll be called all sorts of nasty things: “whipped,” “apologist,” etc.
So why am I, this time, responding to the normal vitriol and insults that an opinionated person deals with on a regular basis? Because of the nature of these comments, and because I want it on the record where I stand on this issue. Where many of my closest friends and relations, of all genders and sexes, stand as well. That we are feminists, we are egalitarians, and that we are not drawing a distinction between the two as long as gender is concerned.
The comments in question perpetuate the idea that a feminist is a complaining, “bitchy,” PC-obsessed, and angry woman who makes problems out of nothing. There are physical characteristics usually included as well, but they are best summed up as “unappealing in a traditional sense of the word.”
This column was written by a 6-foot, 185-pound, caucasian, heterosexual man with a beard who likes baseball, good bourbon and cigars. And he identifies as a feminist.
I am not going to pretend to understand everyone’s definition of feminism. But to me, feminism is the belief that women are equal to men. Feminism means that when someone asks ways how do we prevent rape, the answer isn’t “women should watch out” or “women shouldn’t dress a certain way in a certain area” the answer is people should not rape.
Feminism to me, isn’t about hating men. It’s about men and women working together for equality.
I am a feminist because our society doesn’t treat men and women as equals. I am a feminist because I don’t believe in second-class citizens. And I hope you’ll join me.