It’s time for a new subject upon my blog! Yes, you read that right. Feminism! Now, don’t be scared. Feminists aren’t men-haters or any other ugly thing that’s being said about them. Feminism is important for everyone, really. I’ve been reading more about it lately and it almost feels stupid that I have missed this subject all these years. I have so much to say! But today I want to start easy on you. What is (intersectional) feminism and why do we need it?
If I look up feminism in the Dutch van Dale dictionary (a well known one here), it states: ‘The pursuit of equal rights for men and woman‘. This definition is obviously extremely binary. It only talkes about men and woman, as if they’re the only human beings on this planet. Wake up call! They’re not. We have all kinds of beautiful human beings on this planet and we shouldn’t put everyone in these tiny boxes all the time. The book Feminism is for Everybody therefore has a much better term. Feminism therefore is about ending oppression of all human beings.
‘Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression’ – Bell Hooks
In 1989 Crenshaw found a new term, called intersectional feminism. She found that not only gender or sexuality are a part of feminism. Race, age, culture, language, ethnicity, ability and even more aspects are also a part of feminism. And as I understand, it’s about acknowledging that not all woman* have the same rights and that all oppression is related. Skin-color, disabilities and religion are examples of a part of someone’s identity which are used to oppress those people.
We need to acknowledge that feminism isn’t just about being a woman or not, it’s about so much more. As a white, non-religious cis-female** I have to acknowledge that my skin-color, sexuality or religion have never been things I have been oppressed for. Simply said: my life is much easier and that’s not fair (obviously). And so again, feminism isn’t just about fighting sexism, it’s also about fighting racism, islamophobia and ableism to mention a few. I simply see it as equal rights for all human beings. Because all oppression is related.
Feminism for me
I think feminism is different for everyone. Everybody has a different part of feminism to fight for. And so I think that everybody practices feminism in a different way and that is all okay. You can be marching on the streets, education people or even just being aware of the forms oppression. You can never be a bad feminist if you’d ask me. We’re all in this together, to fight any type of oppression. That’s why I find it radical when people say they’re not a feminist. Who doesn’t want equality for all human beings on this planet? Nobody right? I think that sort of comments come from ignorance and I think my job here is to educate to my best ability (because I don’t know everything and I make mistakes too, so please tell me when I do).
As I mentioned feminism is about fighting all sorts of oppression. Unfortunately, there is immense oppression still here today. And that’s what’s coming in the next posts in this category. Why do we need feminism? What forms of oppression are there? What can you do (if you’d want to do something)? How is feminism related to (climate change for example)? There is so much to talk about and so much to educate ourselves about. Let’s do it together!
*I’m still working on how to write more inclusive.
**cis-female or cis-male means that you identify with the gender you were given at birth.
Sources: Feminist Oasis.