How Dat Werk?! January 2017

How Dat Werk? – I Don’t Need Feminism!

This past election in the United States stirred up unresolved issues that are misunderstood. One of those issues was the subset of people who wanted to abolish the 19th Amendment. Quick history lesson: the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920 through the dedication and hard work of women and their allies.

This reminded me of something that pops up every so often: a group of women who say they do not need or believe in “feminism” for whatever reason. This statement is justified by a range of reasons, from “I don’t need to play victim,” or “I respect men,” or “Being a woman is not a disadvantage.” These were actual posts made by women and posted online, not something made up or imagined.

To those reasonings, I ask, “How dat werk?!”

It seems as though the definition of feminism is hotly contested. Being a feminist does not mean you are a man-hating, woe-is-me, I need help/attention woman. This definition is nothing but a caricature of what feminists (both men and women) are in an effort to disregard or discredit them.

The basis of feminism is equality, period.

Women should be paid the same as a man for doing the same job; they should be able to make decisions about their lives and their bodies without punishment; they should have the same rights and respect, regardless of their organs.

Ninety-six years ago, brave women marched on Washington, DC, and demanded the right to vote. The “fairer” sex was anything but as they marched in extreme weather, beaten, imprisoned—all in an effort to make sure women today have the opportunity to speak their mind, to have goals, and to live the lives they want to live, not the ones expected of them.

The fact that these women have the right to say they don’t need feminism is in fact a very feminist thing to say—and a product of the fight for women’s/equal rights (also known as feminism). Even though you say you may not need it, the fact you have the opportunity to say it derives directly from feminist foremothers. It’s like saying you are a vegan and hate meat, but loves to wear Uggs.

MDW

Cover image property of: DPI.StudioXX.org

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