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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Someone has to say it, so it might as well be us: There is no such thing as a “bad feminist.”

Merriam-Webster defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” By its very definition, the only requirement one has to have to be considered a feminist is that they support the idea of equality among all genders. For some reason, however, feminism has become synonymous with rejecting gender norms at all cost. This is, in no way, shape or form, what feminism is or what it should be.

The main idea of feminism is that no woman should be forced to conform to gender norms — not that she isn’t allowed to if she wants. This means a woman shouldn’t be forced to be a stay-at-home mom, but, if she wants to, she certainly can. It means she shouldn’t be forced to wear makeup every day or dress to the nines just to go to the grocery store. But, if she wants to, she absolutely can.

Just because a woman has a Pinterest board for her future wedding and loves the color pink, it does not mean she doesn’t believe she deserves equal pay. Likewise, if a man wants to go to work and provide for a family, it doesn’t mean he believes himself to be a more valuable asset to society.

We believe this new criteria for feminism has had an adverse effect and is starting to diminish its overall goal. Society has been pushing feminists to believe that doing anything that would be considered traditionally feminine makes them a bad feminist. This in turn forces many women to become something they aren’t, which is the exact opposite of what true feminists are trying to accomplish.

Consequently, women have started to believe that wanting a family one day or looking forward to getting a mani-pedi or going on a shopping trip makes them set back the feminist agenda. They thus dub themselves “bad feminists.” It’s our opinion that there is no such thing as a bad feminist. If you consider yourself a feminist, you are probably a great one.

Sure, there are different degrees of being a feminist. There are some feminists who are extraordinarily active. These feminists are the ones who are known to spend their days and nights at protests and rallies, advocating for equality. They are the ones who don’t shy away from an aggressive Facebook battle or heated class debate about the oppressive nature of the patriarchy. There are also feminists who are often silent. They do what they can to further the agenda in their daily lives, but they tread lightly when they do so. While they are devoted to the cause, they might not consider it worthy of putting their life at risk at a protest or getting into a social media fight with friends and family.

Feminism can range from extreme feminism to subdued feminism. Neither approach is the right or wrong way to be a feminist, and wherever you feel comfortable on the spectrum is where you belong. The intensity of one’s feminism shouldn’t matter. All feminists are good feminists. If you truly believe in the intentions of feminism, to create a world where all genders can be seen as equal, then you are a d--- good feminist.

 

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