One of the many questions I’m constantly asked as people seek to understand (or maybe break down) my feminist ideals is “Why ‘feminism’? Why not ‘egalitarianism’? Or ‘humanism’?” This question, though initially intriguing, overlooks the very essential concept at the center of feminist thought: that the female—the feminine, the woman—is constantly and inarguable devalued within our society. Yes, I am seeking equal rights for all people, regardless of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability, age, or any other differing aspect of being. In fact, I do consider myself an egalitarian and a humanist. But none of this means that I can’t be, or shouldn’t be, a feminist.
Feminism is not a movement seeking female dominance or the subjugation of maleness. It is one at whose core is the recognition of a societally engrained sexual and gendered inequality that affects all people, and that needs to be abolished before we can all be treated and recognized simply as human beings. This central understanding of inequality is needed before one can work towards breaking down beauty standards, addressing harmful concepts of masculine normalcy, opposing rape culture, combatting standards of white femininity, or any other of the countless goals that individual feminists seek to achieve.
So, “Why feminism?” Because, anything less would be ignoring the very basic disparity that I, alongside so many other men and women, am fighting against. With formalities aside, I can’t wait to use this blog as a medium to open up an honest discourse about concepts surrounding feminism that are prevalent in all of our lives, and to work towards a collective understanding of both individual and societal steps that can be taken in order to break down the need for the use of such a word at all.