I am a feminist, and it’s incredibly unfortunate that the term has such terrible connotations. Yet I won’t pretend for a minute that it wasn’t the feminist movement itself that did it to the term: scrambling the definition with our own confused desires to retain femininity and not have it be synonymous with weakness. However, we’ve only seemed to make it synonymous with men-hating.
And so while speaking about feminism, I will try not to make the same mistake as some of my predecessors. My opinion and definition is not to be applied to all feminists. For instance, I’m a- don’t-really-need-a-man-but-I-like-for-them-to-hold-my-doors kind of feminist. Yet others subscribe to a more “equal” notion: men and women have no differences and should be treated the exact same.
But I believe that there is a difference between the sexes. However, because of our post-discrimination society we’re walking on eggshells not realizing that differences don’t automatically equal inequality. And yes, I remember “separate, but equal” but before you go further with that argument I am not asking for separation. I am asking for a different definition of equality; one that recognizes that women and men bring different things to the table. But to agree would mean we’re sexist or some other ugly word that ends with -ist and don’t worry I won’t make you an -ist.
However, this was the exact argument used in the Suffrage movement to bring women the vote. To suggest that men and women are so equal as to blur the line between the sexes and make gender a nonissue would have been too threatening back then. So, we argued that without the rights for one sex, we lose possible successes for the other. We argued that men needed women for the pure reason that we are women, not because we’re men as well.
We have to remove “weaker sex” from our vocabulary. With more and more women elbowing their way into “old boys’ clubs,” our actions are speaking a lot louder than our words already. We are a different sex and we don’t need to be the same to be on their level. Hopefully, we will move away from being the weaker sex, and even from being the “other” sex (de Beauvoir- I highly suggest her if you’re calling yourself a feminist!). Ideally, the two will be equal without needing to be the same and it’ll be OK for my boyfriend to grab my door without it meaning that my naturally smaller frame can’t open it myself.