Hillary’s recent announcement that she’s setting her sights on the White House has ignited a new feminist flame in the hearts of many Americans.
It's a flame that’s already been steadily growing in many hearts around the world in recent years.
Feminists have come a long way from the bra burners of the past, but even today, the “F word” still induces visions of radical, crazed women who hate men.
In fact, many people who respect women and want equal rights for women hesitate to label themselves as feminists because of this stigma.
I’m a feminist, and I have absolutely no trouble calling myself the “F word.”
I refuse to accept sexist remarks or “make me a sandwich” jokes — even if they’re not meant to hurt anyone – when I’m with a group of friends.
I won’t stand for anyone undermining my opinions and skills because I’m a female.
I will be the very first to call bullsh*t when a man gets an advantage over a woman on the basis of gender.
However, I will also be the first to admit that the whole feminist revolution comes with contradictions.
This article isn’t meant to criticize feminists for double standards, nor is it meant to say that those who condemn feminism should feel their arguments are without fault either.
Instead, let’s start a conversation about this:
Contradiction 1: Women want to be seen as equals, but men who spoil women and subscribe to the “old-fashioned” chivalry code are celebrated.
I’m guilty of this one. Depending on my mood and whom I’m with, sometimes I want to pay for my own drinks and open my own car doors, and other times, I wouldn’t mind if the guy I was with did that for me.
Even when I’m not even thinking about being “my own person” or exercising “feminine independence,” and a man unexpectedly offers to pay for a meal, a feeling of admiration and girlish giddiness rises up in me because of this man’s amazing manners.
I know I’m not the only one who suffers from split personality disorder when it comes to choosing independence or chivalry.
This doesn’t put men in a good position at all. Are they better off letting women pull out their own chairs, or do it for them?
Will he get a better reaction if he recognizes a woman’s independence, or dotes on her and spoils her?
Sure, men can be confusing in the world of dating and love, but we, women, can’t claim we’re the simplest to please.
Contradiction 2: Women say they can do anything men can do, yet they want to be given greater respect for things like getting through menstrual cycles and delivering babies.
These two ideas often exist among many women. I personally hold both of them and am aware they can be construed as conflicting.
Women cannot both claim perfect equality in male versus female abilities then demand recognition and praise for processes that are exclusively female.
Is it really right to demand equal pay but scoff when companies offer men equal benefits in the form of paternity leave?
It seems feminists are either equal or better, but by elevating women to a higher pedestal than our male counterparts, isn’t it hypocritical when we start calling for equality?
Contradiction 3: Women hate when men call women names because of how they act or dress, but women call each other those same names on a daily basis.
One of the strongest contradictions is when women are disgusted and feel personally victimized by men who call them “sluts” and “whores” for how they dress and present themselves, but they then turn around and say the same things about other women.
By using these degrading words, women give men the impression that they’re okay to use, so long as the reasoning is correct.
But they're wrong; these demeaning words are never okay to use.
Female solidarity, that’s not too much to ask for, right? How are we supposed to move up in the world if we keep putting each other down?
Men and women aren’t the same. We react to conflicts differently, argue differently, think differently and fall in love differently.
While women should refuse to be cheated of privileges or submit to preconceived notions about them on the basis of gender, it is my opinion that women should not pretend that they can do the same things as men can or behave in an identical way as a man. Nor should a man act as if he can do everything a woman can do.
Men and women are wired differently; it’s a fact impossible to argue with.
Feminism does not equal the belief that men and women behave, think and act identically.
Feminism is the belief that despite unavoidable differences, women should be treated with the same emotional, personal and professional respect as men.
However, I believe that until feminists confront these contradictions, a certain level of hypocrisy will always exist.
I am a feminist. I am not afraid to associate myself with the “F word.” But, I do know that I contribute to the inequality women face today, whether it be in the workplace or at a nightclub.
We can’t ignore these feminist contradictions. There’s a pink elephant in the room, and we need to talk about it.