Avoid saying these things to your favorite feminist. Trust me, we’ve heard them all before.
1. “Feminists just want to whine about stuff that doesn’t even matter.”
Are you really telling me that equal pay, reproductive rights and ending rape culture aren’t important? Those seem like pretty important issues to me. Did you know that Third-wave Feminism encompasses Racial Equality and Marriage Equality too?
2. “You just wish you had a penis.” Or, “You just wish you were a man.”
Nope, thanks. I’m pretty happy to be a woman. Women are awesome, men are too. Female feminists don’t want to be men, we just want to be equal to men.
P.S. Some feminists actually do have penises, see #10 for more details.
3. “You hate men, don’t you.”
Only the sexist ones! But really, no, we don’t hate men, we hate the patriarchy. Subtle, but important difference. Trust me, the patriarchy only benefits a select few, and if you’re reading this post, you’ve probably been negatively affected by the patriarchal society we live in in some way or another.
4. “Do you shave your legs?”
Does it even matter? Is it any of your business?
5. “Gender equality is just not possible.”
I have a hard time believing that. It might be a hard fight, but it’s definitely a worthy one. Sure, women and men have different hormones and sexual organs, but does that really mean that we can’t have equal opportunities?
6. “This is just a phase.”
Tell that to Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman-Hughes
7. “Men get objectified too!”
Yep, that’s also part of the patriarchy, something I’m working to eradicate. Trust me, Feminism benefits pretty much everyone.
“We must also raise our sons differently. We do a great disservice to boys on how we raise them; we stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way, masculinity becomes this hard, small cage and we put boys inside the cage. We teach boys to be afraid of fear. We teach boys to be afraid of weakness, of vulnerability. We teach them to mask their true selves, because they have to be, in Nigerian speak, ‘hard man!’….But by far the worst thing we do to males, by making them feel that they have to be hard, is that we leave them with very fragile egos. The more ‘hard-man’ the man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is. And then we do a much greater disservice to girls because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of men.” -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
8. “Not all men are bad!”
True, I found a great man and married him! I agree, not all men are “bad”, but I can also tell you that all women, at some point in their lives, have been harassed, accosted, or pestered by men. All women have wondered if it would be safe to walk home alone at night, or take the shortcut through the dark part of town. I’d be willing to bet that many less men have had to worry about these same things. So, yes, not all men are bad, but not all women are safe, and that’s not OK.
9. “Feminists are always so angry!”
First of all that’s a tone argument, and it’s considered a silencing tool. The way I say something does not affect the substance of what I’m saying. But hey, you’d be pretty angry too if you were treated like a second class citizen most of the time.
10. “Men can’t be feminists.”
I want to leave you with some homework for this weekend. Watch this video, and let me know what you think in the comments.
“A feminist is a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today,and we must fix it, we must do better’.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie