Monday, January 5, 2015

Burning bras are a safety hazard.

Before you begin this entry, please take this short quiz!

1) Do you think that all human beings are equal? 

2) Do you think all human beings, being equal, deserve human rights? 

3) Do you think women are human beings? 

4) Do you think men are human beings? 

5) Do you think both men and women, being humans, deserve equal human rights? 

If you answered yes to all of these questions, congratulations, you are a feminist!

So why is this identity upsetting to you? I really hope it isn't. Unfortunately, there is a recent trend of people turning their backs on "feminism," or at least claiming to. To me, it is astounding and is an act full of very scary logical fallacies. 

Let me explain. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a church often known as the Mormon church. If I were in a conversation with someone who told me, 

"I hate Mormons! They are evil! That Warren Jeffs guy molested all sorts of children, and forced young girls into arranged marriages! That's awful, and I will not stand for it. I am anti-Mormon," my response would probably be, 

"Okay, so I hear you; Warren Jeffs is pretty dastardly, and I wholeheartedly agree that he deserves the multiple life sentences he is currently serving in prison, buuuut, he's not Mormon. So, you hating him, doesn't make you anti-Mormon... Amirite?" 

Similar to the misidentification of FLDS church as being the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, everyday people falsely attribute the acts of misandrists to being representative beliefs of feminism. To help us all assure we are on the same page, let us define both terms. 

  1. dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men (i.e., the male sex).
    "her brand of feminism is just poorly disguised misandry"

  1. the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Just to reiterate: 
Feminism is a movement for gender equality.

I see people claiming to abandon feminism over and over through passionate blog pieces and celebrity endorsements. Please, do not stand up and say that you do not believe that women deserve to be treated equally to men because feminists are evil, when in reality, you feel that the acts and behaviours of misandrists are immoral and wrong. If anything, to me, that means that you ARE a feminist! You are openly against the mistreatment and blanket-statement hating of men. You believe that they too are humans who deserve to be given equal opportunities and rights. If you believe this, you are a feminist

Abandoning the feminist movement because of the acts, beliefs, and behaviours of misandrists would be similar to me leaving my faith - something I believe to be true and right - due to the misconceptions of others that I may be a polygamist in favour of child molestation. Others incorrectly identifying themselves as LDS while they do terrible things that are not representative of my church or my standards, will not make me walk away from my religion, and neither will misandrists claiming to be feminists make me walk away from my beliefs in feminism. On the contrary, their mislabeling of their own biases makes me feel more passionate as everyday goes by to educate people on what feminism is and what it fights for. I feel inclined to shout, "do not tell me you are a feminist when you are openly bigoted against an entire gender. Do not suggest that feminism represents that. You are wrong." 

In other instances, it doesn't seem to be what feminism stands for to make individuals turn their back, but some strange desire to exempt themselves from a worldwide movement simply because they feel they are not involved. For those who claim that they are not a feminist because they have never experienced inequality, my heart feels so heavy. Should I likewise stand up and say, 

"I am not anti-rape, because I have never been a victim of assault." 

"I am not anti-racism, because I have never been a victim of a hate crime." 

"I am not anti-murder; no one has ever tried to murder me." 

"I am not anti-poverty. I have always had a roof over my head."


The fact that I do not face horrible things on a daily basis does not mean that I do not recognize the ways in which those things exist in the lives of others. Maybe I have never been denied something because of my gender, but everyday, worldwide, thousands of people are. 

So please. Educate yourself on the things which you are claiming to know enough about to publicly denounce. And if you still feel that you are not a feminist, well, like Louise Brealey, I hope you'll reconsider. As she said, "I'd like every man who doesn't call himself a feminist to explain to the women in his life why he doesn't believe in equality for women."

Thank you for reading my rant. I hope you feel enlightened. 

Batman wants you for a feminist. 

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