What is a Feminist?
Updated: Apr 11, 2020
The concept of feminism eludes a clear definition. It’s messy. Feminism means different things to different people, it’s informed by academics, activists, celebrities and everyday individuals, so there is no wonder that one single clear definition of the word doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean we should not try to think about a collective understanding of what the term means, because defining things gives them value. We should also be careful how we define it and what that consequences that definition produces. In Japan feminism is a dirty word. It’s associated with radical, man –hating matriarchs. So to be labelled a feminist in Japan may be viewed as a negative thing. But, the same word has a much different meaning in most Scandinavian countries, where it simply refers to a person who believes in the equality of all people regardless of gender/ sex.
My understanding of feminism is along the lines of the Scandinavian model, except I want to take it a few steps further. Feminists care about equality between men and women, that much I think is obvious. But gender equality isn’t enough. The feminism I subscribe to supports equality regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, or gender. It goes beyond simply “men and women should get paid the same amount” and is more based on the idea that all people deserve equal opportunities. So that brings us back to the original question: What does it mean to be a feminist? This is something I have thought a lot about, there are tons of mini questions that exist within this like: do feminists wear makeup? Can I be a feminist and shop at stores that exploit low-waged labour? Am I a bad feminist if I shave my legs? I don’t think there is an easy answer to any of these questions; it’s never black and white. A commitment to feminism though is a commitment to critical and reflexive thinking. It’s our job as feminists to question the things around us and our daily activities even if it makes us uncomfortable or directly confronts us.
This website aims to do just that. We want to put feminist thinking and feminist questions at the heart of social issues. The world explored through a feminist lens shows the reality of inequality and exploitation in multiple dimensions of everyday life. We also want to explore what it means to be a feminist do different people: men and women around the world. We hope this platform serves as a space of learning, growing and community for everyone who believes that all people deserve equality.
- Super Smash Hoes