Print Edition: November 12, 2014
“I don’t need feminism because I love men and a women-only world would be a nightmare.”
“I don’t need feminism because I am not a delusional, disgusting, hypocritical man-hater!”
“I don’t need feminism because I love my boyfriend and respect him, I make my own decisions without being pressured, I enjoy makeup and like feeling pretty, [and] also don’t need to be superior to men.”
These are a few of the posts from the Women Against Feminism social media campaign, a project dedicated to belittling feminism and those identifying themselves as feminists. This campaign started in July 2013 and is still going strong. Females are encouraged to write down why they feel they don’t need feminism on a sheet of paper and post a picture of themselves holding it with the hashtag #womenagainstfeminism.
What most of these women don’t know is the real definition of a feminist: someone who supports the rights and equality of women. I am proud to call myself a feminist, and last time I checked, I am not a man-hater trying to achieve a women-only world. I don’t hate makeup and feeling pretty, and I definitely don’t feel a need to be superior to men. All I want is equality for women. That’s it.
Most women don’t realize how much feminism has actually accomplished. Thanks to feminism, women can now vote, own land, run for public office, and be educated. These things we often take for granted.
One of the arguments that anti-feminists are making is that we don’t need feminism anymore because our society does not oppress women. If you feel that you don’t need feminism because you’re not an oppressed woman, good for you. You are clearly not one of the one in four women who have been sexually abused; you probably don’t live in one of the 10 countries where women are legally bound to obey their husbands; you must be unaware 80 per cent of all slaves in the world are female.
Many of us have had the privilege of growing up in a country where we are lucky enough not to face gender discrimination on such a high level. There is the ever-present wage gap where Canadian women on average earn 26 per cent less than men, and you can’t open a magazine or watch a sports game on TV without seeing multiple ads using women’s bodies to sell their product. But for most of us, sexism is nothing more than being catcalled at or sarcastically told to get back in the kitchen and make a sandwich. If you don’t mind living with that, and don’t see a need for feminism in your day-to-day life, that’s okay.
Though you may never personally face sexism or gender discrimination, the majority of women in the world do. So rather than sharing your hatred for feminism, think of what it has and is continuing to accomplish[ed]. Most of all, be thankful that you live in a society where you don’t feel discriminated against. Think twice before using the hashtag #womenagainstfeminism, because you are belittling those who still need it.