Feminism is not an easy concept to define. According to the dictionary it is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” And yet, there are so many feminists out there. Feminists who believe that women should be given the same opportunities as men; feminists who believe that men and women have different strengths and weaknesses which should be taken into account; feminists who believe that the female biology should be celebrated.
They all stand under the same banner. That’s amazing. It sends the message that women can unite and fight for each other no matter their race, values, culture, and beliefs.
This is one of many comics drawn by Katarzyna Babis, a talented young Polish artist. It’s an accurate portrayal of how women are treated in society. No matter what a woman does, thinks, or wears; she is put down. And the best part? It’s done by other women.
But wait a minute, isn’t this the age of feminism? Aren’t we all sisters under the same umbrella and whatnot? Babis is right when she says feminism is not about hating men, but we forget that it is especially not about hating other women. I have yet to understand why women hate each other so much. There’s so much judgment, stereotyping, and plain old bitching. There are women who preach about wanting to “free” the woman who’s being domesticated against her will or being forced into a marriage she does not need nor desire. The same women will make snide comments about those who choose these options of their own free will. Because, obviously, they don’t know any better. These same women will badmouth other women to their friends, while they talk about advocating their rights in the daylight.
It doesn’t work that way. This is not one of those situations in which you can lie as a quiet hypocrite.
It’s so easy to condemn others that it takes quite a bit of effort to restrain ourselves from passing judgment. I met a girl this summer; she recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree and is getting married this December. Of course I asked about her future plans. The light that had been in her eyes when she’d been talking about her wedding dimmed and I could see that she had no plans of pursuing a masters’ degree or higher. I wish I hadn’t thought her useless in that moment. I really do. It’s her life and how she chooses to spend it is up to her. I only have the privilege of supporting her in her many future endeavors.
In this day and age, we tend to think less of women if they don’t chase options which were unavailable to women till a century ago.
It doesn’t matter who she is, where she comes from, or the choices she makes. If you call yourself a feminist, then think nothing but the best of her. That’s what being a feminist is about for a woman. Loving other women; believing yourself and them to be worth the effort of advocacy for whatever you believe in.
Applying this to the rest of the world makes you an awesome human being.
Anna Akana acts out the comic here. She’s right about the “burning bras” too. Have you ever bought a bra? They’re inexplicably not cheap.