Caution: f-bombs below!
To Lauren Southern, the girl in Rebel Media’s trending video “Why I am not a feminist” and to all those who shared her video.
I don’t care if you call yourself a feminist or not, as long as you fight for fair and just treatment of all inhabitants of the earth.
Call yourself what you like, but do not just sit there sharing videos that at best, argue over semantics.
Call yourself a humanist, an egalitarian, a Rebel Media Right Wing Contributor or follower for all I care but do not just sit there. Speak up, and take action for those who cannot speak or stand up for themselves, and whatever you do, do not seek to “destroy” anyone.
If it’s truly equality you want to promote, don’t displace your energy by trying to smear a movement that fought hammer over fist to give women the right to vote, to end the legal subordination of a wife to her husband, to make abortion legal and therefore safe, to give women the choice to work outside the home if she chooses and to earn a fair wage when she does. Slandering a movement that continues to challenge gender stereotypes and expectations that limit both women and men and challenge heteronormative culture that assumes only strait people got it right only hinders your plight.
The truth is feminists don’t fight for women’s rights, the fight has always been for basic human rights for all beings. Typically this has been relevant to more women than men as there have been more times and there are still more places where women are not seen as human, let alone treated as equal.
The inequality you speak of is a social and energetic imbalance of power, of assets, of freedom.
We recognize that anyone can be a vampire of power and control, wielding the masculine energy associated with entitled action, taking and destroying, using privilege and power to control and violate other men, women, children, and the earth. To that end, we recognize that anyone can be taken from, and destroyed in the taking.
The feminism I subscribe to seeks to right this, for all genders. To bring feminine energy into balance with the masculine. To model give and take, action and patience, to destroy our fears and regain our peace, to grow and only take what we need, and to nurture and initiate action that supports liberty for all beings.
You don’t have to join us, you don’t have to identify with us. However, you’d be remised not to recognize that women’s rights, civil rights for African Americans, children’s rights, gay and lesbian rights, trans rights, inclusion for persons with disabilities and mental health challenges, etc. were all born out of feminism.
Feminism has grown, morphed, and changed to encompass advocacy for all violations of human rights and social inequalities. Perhaps the specific term is dated, or has been so muddled and divided that is has lost its original meaning, as much of language tends to.
But, if the only fight in you is against feminism (the label or the movement) then your plight for equality will be ill-fated, and fraught with energetic leaks.
Let’s agree to disagree on what we call ourselves, and both vow to practice earnest equality by embracing all beings and supporting all movements that move in that direction. Let us see past our own monocles to see that ultimately, we want the same things. We want a safer world; a world where it’s safe to be you.
If you’re worried about men raping men in prison, then bring it! Our fight is not against you, it is with you. It was feminists that lobbied to have rape redefined as sexual assault in Canada so that activities other than vaginal intercourse were recognized as such. That means that before 1983 the raping of a man wasn’t even a recognized crime. Our fight is against the paradigm where power by means of force and control is rewarded, because it’s that indoctrinated belief that precedes prison rape, as it precedes rape in war, and rape in the home, among other things.
I seriously do not care how you fight that notion—but for fucks sake, fight it!
If you earnestly believe that the only way you can do that is by attacking feminism then go ahead (we’ve had worse) but know that if you redirected that energy towards lobbying legislation for the changes you want to see, the majority of us “evil” feminists would stand with you.
Every ounce of energy you put into fighting feminism is a win for the systems that don’t want us to question their authority and control over our lives and choices. They want you to fight feminism, because it has been the single most effective voice for demanding legal, and social considerations for all beings.
Take a page from the Ending Violence Association of B.C. playbook, where we have been particularly successful advocating for an endless list of protections and considerations for programs that support survivors of crime. If it’s more specific supports, legal aid, transition houses, and money, made available to support male survivors, then ask the Ministry of Justice for it.
And see if you can do it without attacking anyone.
We want these things too. They money the Ministry of Justice has made available to support survivors of crime is proportional to the majority of people served, which historically has been women. Ask for additional money to be set aside for men. Lobby for that; but not a redistribution of funds away from women, that are already under served. And men, ask for this yourself. You are at the forefront of social change, we need you.
Now, back to semantics. I am a human, despite some the horrific things that some humans do. And I am a feminist because it’s been the longest standing home for the social justice causes that have been closest to my heart, so I live here.
I believe its human to strive for a sense that we are held, held to live our lives with dignity, to make our choices from a place of inner knowing and absolute self-acceptance, free from fear. I call this feminism, and I don’t care what you call it, as long as you strive for it.
I am a feminist, and I do not give a flying fuck what you call yourself—as long as you are called to action.
Author: Donalda Dawn Beeson
Editor: Renee Picard
Image: screenshot from Youtube video