This is a response to a comment made on this video about feminism. The comment reads “I’m an equalitist not a feminist… Kinda the same thing butttttt…. It doesn’t just focus on the FEM in it,” and was posted by Victoria Hunter.
This is terrifying to me, and as soon as I saw it I thought back to learning about the role of women in ancient Greece while reading the Odyssey last year in my Lit class. Essentially, the Greeks believed that any women who did not conform to the cookie-cutter standards of their society (attractive, musically talented, faithful, obedient, possessing exemplary weaving skills, a willing sexual object) was literally a monster. She was an obstacle to be overcome, a terror to be conquered. That was when it hit me that we haven’t changed a bit.
Our society is so entrenched in the mindset that women belong in this cookie-cutter that we fear the possibility that women could ever break free. We demonize those that even try. We fear the FEM in feminism because Dear God, how can you even suggest that women be raised up to the same level as men?? Has it still not been made clear at this point that that is the point of feminism? Has it not been made clear that one of the biggest problems in our society that nearly half the people in it see the other half as not only inherently inferior, but as objects? The fall of Ancient Greece began to fall in 146 BC. That’s 2,160 years ago! Why on Earth are we still following their rules?
Please, do not conform to this millenniums-old mindset by fearing the FEM in feminism. The FEM is beautiful and hopeful and necessary. It is a shout out into a void of old traditions and old fears. If we only get one shout into this void, let it be the FEM, but if we get any more, I’d use them to say this:
I am a feminist because I have been taught since birth that I should be the mindless princess, the damsel in distress. I am a feminist because I was sexually harassed throughout 8th grade, and I took it as a compliment. I am a feminist because I can’t watch TV without seeing women objectified; I don’t watch much TV anymore. I am a feminist because when I told my mother what I was, she scoffed and asked what we’re still fighting for.
We are fighting a battle that began before any of the ones the history books teach us about. We are fighting against fear, injustice, and inequality. We stand for every individual of the 1 in 6 who are raped, the nearly 100% who are sexually harassed. We stand for the voices that have been silenced by this oppressive culture and the people who have not yet found their voices. We are fighting for a world in which a little girl can go out into the world knowing that she is not an object, but has the potential to be a hero. We are fighting for a world where sexual harassment isn’t seen as a compliment and women’s bodies aren’t used to advertize the desirability of a product. We are fighting for the end of the fear of FEM.
Thank you to every person who has always known this, for you are angels. Thank you to every person who has had this reality thrust upon them, for you are survivors. Thank you especially to every person who has forced themselves to change their ways, because you are giants…
…and together, we can still fight to change the world. Why not?