Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why I Need Feminism

The question is: why do you need feminism?

University of Cambridge students replied here. I thought I'd try the same.

I need feminism because yesterday the US House of Representatives passed a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks, a bill against the Roe v Wade  Supreme Court ruling that includes a provision for rape and incest, but only if the woman reports the incident to the police. No woman helped write the bill.

I need feminism because if you think the only access to abortion a woman should receive is predicated on her being the victim of a crime and then, only if she reports this crime, you automatically assume that A. women shouldn't control their reproductive bodies and B. women lie.

I need feminism because B (above) seems to be the prevailing sentiment towards women since Adam vs Eve. Eve, bless her, ruined it for all women by eating the apple and defying God's manliness, and that mistrust has burdened our shoulders to this very day.

I need feminism because we cant be trusted to choose if we want children and when, we cant be trusted to have sex, we cant be trusted to have pleasure in that sex, we cant be trusted to tell the truth about sexual violence and rape, we cant be trusted to wear what we want and we cant be trusted to say what we want, when we want.

I need feminism because I still argue about women's oppression with bright young men on a daily basis. It is a struggle to help them see the world through a gender lens. They want to ban the headscarf as a 'sign of opression' when they forget that they are also 'banning' the woman wearing it. They want to speak for women because of what they've been told, not what they've lived through. They want to want to mansplain everything for me. They throw the word oppressed around while then calling other women 'whores' and 'sluts'.

I need feminism because it's an even bigger struggle to show women the short hand they've been dealt. When women become foot-soldiers in the patriarchal structures surrounding them, backstabbing and lashing out at their sisters, it pains me to watch them use the same terminology as men, mistrusting women who say they've been raped, asking what she was wearing, or how many drinks she'd had.

I need feminism because we are not all victims, liars and cheats by the nature of our sex.

I need feminism because I am not someone's mother. Nor someone's daughter. Nor a sister or a wife. I am just a person in my own right, not attached to someone else. And that should be enough, but it's not.

So, why do you need feminism?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

20 is that okay?