Why do you do what you do?

I've been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be a feminist. What is this movement really about? Is it about equality? On what scale is it about equality? What're we fighting for anymore? Are we fighting for reproductive freedom, equality for the LGBT community, and equal pay for equal labor?
Lots of questions, and the thing is, I think we're fighting for everything. As far as my opinion goes, I believe feminism stands for more than what our foremothers believed it was. It's not about voting rights, or getting out of the house and making our own lives anymore. Well, to some degree it is, but it's not a prominent battle now.

I know the reason I became a feminist. It was because I didn't want to be tied down to a stereotype, I didn't want to be told I couldn't do something just because of my sex. As a girl, I stood up for myself and my friends when seldom ever thought I would. Somehow I had the confidence to do what I thought was right, despite what many people had told me.
I knew from a young age that people should not be judged by anything external, only by who they were inside. I was also told many times by my mother that no one could control what I did with my body, and that it wasn't right when someone thought they could do things to me.

So back to my original question. What is this movement all about these days?
I don't have an exact answer since this is an incredibly broad question, but I would like to think it's about: equality for all (men, women, the LGBT community, EVERYONE), a woman's right to choose what she can do with her body, being paid equally, and standing up for what's right.
I'm curious for everyone here, why did you become a feminist? Have you always been one? What does this movement stand for these days?


Rachel said...

I think where your confusion results from is seeing how the first and second waves of feminism had sort of distinct agendas; the first wave being the right to vote and the second wave being the elimination of gender discrimination, which were both achieved through law.

Although those achievements were incredibly great, we know that we still are a long way from achieving equality. Just because something is the law, doesn't mean it is true.. and so our particular breed of feminism still fights to change laws, yes, but also looks critically at the silent inequalities that still exist. In a way, we kind of are fighting for everything!

I definitely think this is worth exploring, mainly because no one really has an answer to the question you're asking.. there's so much disagreement over exactly what to even call what is happening. Post-feminism? Third wave? I just say, who cares? All I know is what is happening is good. :)

Jewelness said...

I also thought about this the other day! I asked myself when did I become a "feminist". I can think back now and remember times when certain things weren't as offensive to me, or didn't stir me up as much as some things do now.

I believe that this came from very personal developments. A mix of being single and looking for my own footing in this world, with my desire to protect other women the more I learn about current inequalities. Especially that of the struggling single mom that works two jobs and is still cannot find her way out of poverty.

Another point in which things were changing for me was this summer when I read the book, "The Female Brain" by Louann Brizendine. This book talks about the female brain secifically as it goes through various stages of the female life. It was great to read about female traits that are not necessarily learned but inherent. I recommend this book to any man or woman out there. It is amazingly eye opening!

But then... I think... maybe I have always been a feminist, a person who believes in the equality of all people... yet, now I am just older and have a larger view of what that means as my education furthers.

I like this question :) I like the term Post-Feminism. I think it can be seen as very personal. And I think that for me the main goal would be to make sure that every girl is comfortable in her own skin and never thinks less of herself due to influences from the outside world. I think that is the ultimate goal because if we have strong girls, we have strong women.

I know that I can say I am always dealing with these issues myself. It is a constant process and exercise and it is most important to be aware of it :)

Queers United said...

I am a male but have always been a feminist. It just boggles my mind how people can be so cruel and shallow to think they are somehow more important. Women deserve equal rights, and the feminist movement still needs to fight.

P.S. I am vegan too :)