Monday, August 3, 2015

What Exactly is Feminism?

Feminism is kind of a new movement, and its definition is rather nebulous. The way that I define feminism, and the definition that I think others agree on, is this. "Feminism aims to achieve equality for everyone by raising women to the standards that men have already achieved." That's a good starting place, but it raises a good number of questions. Namely, how the fuck do we do that? We know that women need to be elevated. The playing field needs to be evened out, but there's a lot of discussion, even in feminist circles, about how exactly that ought to be done.

Well, I figured I'd throw my hat into the ring. Here's a breakdown of what feminism means to me:

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, I'm trans-inclusionary. This is a point of contention among feminists, with one camp claiming that feminism is about protecting 'real women,' whatever the fuck that means. In my opinion, if you identify as a women, that's what you are. And, let's be frank with each other, trans people are still oppressed, as are women. That's a shame, but it is also true. Some would even argue that trans women are even more disadvantaged than cis women. I'm against turning oppression into a competition, of course, but I'm also inclined to agree. There are several states where employers can refuse to hire trans individuals simply because of their gender identity, and that needs to stop. Feminism has to be intersectional, and work to further the standing of all women.

I'm pro-choice. I think that most feminists agree on this point, but there are some people who believe that abortion is akin to murder. This is crap. That came out a little more bluntly than I intended, but I stand by the sentiment. Before viability, a fetus is nothing more than a collection of cells. So is hair, and no one gets lynched for exfoliating. Further, the fetus feeds off of nutrients that is gathered by the mother. Until viability, it is virtually indistinguishable from a tape-worm. But perhaps that's a flimsy argument. Most pro-life people claim that abortion robs the world of potential geniuses. 'What if we aborted the person who would eventually go on to cure cancer,' they say. I'd like to take a moment to correct this. Children who receive the sort of education and support required to cure cancer are not raised by parents who consider getting abortions. Abortion ought to be available for everyone, but only people who would be unable to provide for a child take advantage of it. It's as simple as that.

Finally, I'm sex-positive. This is an easy one, and it ties into an old pro-choice argument. What someone else does with their body is none of your fucking business, nor is it mine. It doesn't matter if people want to fuck, or get abortions, or get tattoos. Just back off, man. Be cool. Also, and this is the biggest reason, sex-negativity encourages the proliferation of abstinence-only sex education, which is provably ineffectual.

So, yeah. That's my personal brand of feminism, and it's the direction I think the movement as a whole ought to be going in. But I'm always open to hearing and discussing new opinions, so if you disagree, tell me.

Just something to think about.

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