Feminism helped me find my voice.
Forget the negative press feminists have always faced. We are always deemed as angry, single and lonely women with 10 cats who hate men and are working very hard to challenge the position of men in today's society. When in fact, we are just a bunch of bomb-ass intelligent women and girls who are breaking boundaries and pushing for the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
Over time however, I have come to learn and understand that the term feminist is not as inclusive as I had thought. Feminism is different for every woman. The way a white woman experiences discrimination is definitely not how a BLACK woman would. A black woman will be discriminated against for being a woman as well as for being black. Hence, I now prefer to ascribe to intersectional feminism.
Intersectionality is a term that was created by American professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. It basically means that I recognize that barriers of gender equality vary according to other aspects such as race, age, class, religion and gender. I am concerned about the struggles of black women, LGBTQ women and women of other minority groups as well as white women. Intersectional feminism is all inclusive. Every woman's voice needs to be heard in politics, in making laws, in defining cultures and so much more.
As for the men, I know you might not prefer to identify as feminists because it sounds emasculating -especially in our patriarchal society, or because of your anatomy; we are biologically made different. Or maybe because you have not experienced the kind of gender discrimination women face therefore you cannot comprehend the struggles of a woman per say. Here's the thing, if you stand for and believe in equality, then you are a feminist. Your gender/sex should not be a barrier, so jump on board, a woman birthed you.
With a series of gender-based domestic violence cases becoming rampant lately, I think it is important that we all come together and effect change. Let's pull everyone in and change the narrative, how ever we can.
At the end of the day, we should all be united by one thing: the hope for equality and freedom for all.
I am the creator, host, and writer of The Candid Cave Podcast and Blog. I am a proud feminist and an advocate for positive change around the world.