Feminism is a good thing

12 11 2009

we can do it

This post by Achelois, or rather the comments, reminded me of the problems we encounter regarding the word, or concept of ”feminism”. There are nowadays a lot of different interpretations of what it means, and especially there is a lot of shying away from the word itself. Why is that?

It seems to me that here has been a fairly succesful attack on the concept of feminism, with the result that most women who truly are feminists in the original sense, feel constantly compelled to regularly add the comment: ”I am not a feminist”.  Sorry, but all the intelligent women I have met in Blogsphere àre feminists.
Any woman, or man, who insists women have a mind of her own, who does not want women’s intelligence diminished by artificial patriarchal or religious misogynists is a feminist in the true sense of the word.

Feminism stands for women’s rights.
What can be so bad about this that women who also stand for women’s rights have to denounce the suspicion that they too are ”Feminist”?

Let’s recapitulate, feminism  stands for human rights for women.
Such as:

  • the right to vote,
  • the right to be educated,
  • the right over her own reproduction, both having children, or using contraceptives to avoid having children,
  • the right to own property,
  • the right to be an individual,
  • the right of bodily integrity and autonomy,
  • the right to work,
  • the right to be protected against violence, abuse, sexual harassment and rape,
  • the right of equality to men,
  • the right of equal pay for equal work,
  • the right to get medical assistance,
  • the right to be protected against gender-specific discrimination
  • the right to choose religion
  • the right to speak out

These rights are still not fully established in what is generally called ”The West” and the rest of the world is far behind. Because ”The West” happen to be those societies which where most successful towards gaining some of these humanitarian rights for women, people from other societies on the planet like to point out that these basic human rights are not suitable for their cultures or religions, that women’s rights and feminism are some sort of evil, alien ”western” influence,  and that therefore they do not need to heed them.
I beg to differ.
These ”feminist” rights are human rights, which apply to any human, any woman and any culture. When ”culture” disagrees with feminism, culture is wrong. When a religion denies with women’s rights, religion is wrong.
Same way the different cultures and religions of the ”West” were wrong when they disregarded the rights of women. As the misogynist cultures and religions of ”The West” had to give up their misogynist ways to the demands for equality and human rights by strong intelligent and organised women, so can the faults of other cultures and religions be amended by women and men if they are strong enough.

And that’s a good thing. Not a bad thing. Feminism is a good thing.

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15 responses

12 11 2009
Lat

Great post!
”The West” had to give up their misogynist ways to the demands for equality and human rights by strong intelligent and organised women, so can the faults of other cultures be amended by women and men if they are strong enough.”

Well said! And I agreee to it totally!

12 11 2009
Personal Failure

It’s sad that the word “feminism” has been so slandered. If you believe that women and men are inherently the same and deserve the same rights, then you are a feminist. (Even if you are a man.)

12 11 2009
Aafke

You’re both true feminists !!! 😉

12 11 2009
Achelois

In my books the term patriarchy is a bad word. It equals misogyny. And the opposite of patriarchy is not feminism. Patriarchy is an extreme. Feminism seeks balance.

12 11 2009
susanne430

great post!

14 11 2009
Sara (cairo, lusaka, amsterdam)

I LOVED this post!
It’s sad how many Arabs hide behind the whole “feminism is western” excuse. No! Feminism is universal!

15 11 2009
Haleem

What I don’t like about “feminists” (and this could be the stereotypical view of them) is when they say men are bad and evil and women can live on their own without men.

15 11 2009
Aafke

Achelois, I agree, for some reason ”patriarchy” is extremely oppressive. It is always afraid of women’s independance and invents the most bizarre means of controlling them.

susanne, thanks!

Sara, yes, a stupid excuse. Anyway a lot of these so-called ”western feminist” goals are sunnah anyway, just not the sunnah they like to cherry-pick from.

Haleem, of course we can’t do without men!
Who’s going to put the garbage out?
Who’s going to spoil us?
Who’s going to do the washing up?
I would never want to do without men!

As long as they know their place!

16 11 2009
Achelois

Thus, I dedicate my latest pot to you – http://acheloisunplugged.wordpress.com/2009/11/15/the-lost-story/

16 11 2009
Aafke

Achelois, deeply honored! 🙂

16 11 2009
radha

good post Aafke. agree 100%.
Feminism is accepting and demanding that both men and qomen are equall, 50-50 in everything
and no we cannot do without men, what’s the fun in life then..
Imagine a poor spouse sandwiched between 2 women.. one menopausal and one a teenager with hormones raging all over the place 🙂
whom do we torment if men are not around…

16 11 2009
Aafke

Hmmm I see you are getting a lot of fun out of your men….
😈

17 11 2009
Save the Women

Love this post!
I could not agree more!
And I am not afraid to claim that I am a FEMINIST!!!
(and still love and adore my man)

20 11 2009
Aafke

STW, we are all feminists!!!! 😀

24 06 2010
Kimmy

Wow love your post! Excellent!

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