On March 14, you posted a blog entitled “I am Not a Feminist, and that is okay” (please see the link below). While I value your opinion and view on the feminist movement, I would like to assure you that feminism is still relevant and necessary today. Although you may find comfort in traditionally female roles, I think it is important to realize that because you do believe in women’s right to vote and equal pay, you are celebrating feminist accomplishments. And it is important not to discredit all that feminism had accomplished because I do not think you realize how far women have come because of this movement.
I would like to begin with your statement that “feminists wouldn’t have you believe in these things,” referring to giving birth, being a stay at home mother, cooking and taking your husbands last name. I assure you that is not the case, while there are some more radical feminists who do not believe in these things, the majority seek to have feminine characteristics valued as much as male characteristics. In addition, the feminism movement is more about “ending sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression” (Hooks, 2000). I strongly encourage you to research what feminism exactly is, because it is not just about childbirth and taking your husbands last name, there is a lot more to it than that.
Next I wanted to address your statement that “the man is the head of the household. The man is to be the provider, protector and leader of the family.” To me, this appears to be rather narrow-minded statement considering that today, thirty-seven percent of women are the breadwinners in their family (Conger, 2016). Especially nowadays where same sex marriage is legalized, I think it is harmful to assume that everyone will eventually have a husband to provide, lead and protect the family. In any event, women should too be able to take on these roles.
Lastly, your statement that being independent isn’t a bad thing because “it is a weight lifted to have a husband you can lean on” suggests that independence is unnecessary when you can simply depend on your husband. I believe that everyone should learn how to be independent and care for themselves in the event they never marry, or they divorce, or they marry someone of the same sex. I also believe that you are suggesting that women lose their independence when they marry, and while I agree that yes they give up some aspects of being single, they should not default on their husband for every aspect of their life.
I want to conclude that this train of thought you have, that women are gentle and nurturing for a reason and that is why they are best at domestic activities, are the first obstacles that this movement faces. Feminism begins with a “change of heart and mind, letting go of sexist thought and action” (Hooks, 2000). Yes, many believe that we have already been liberated, but that is because they don’t understand some of the deeper issues regarding feminism in the US and abroad, such as human trafficking and even denied rights to vote and drive in Saudi Arabia to this day (Green, 2014). I hope that you find the resources I attached useful, and that we can continue to explore the feminism movement with an open mind.
Hooks, bell. 2000. Feminism is for Everybody. Cambridge: South End Press. (Selections)
Conger, Cristen. 2016. “What Has Feminism Accomplished?” Everyday Feminism. (http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/01/what-has-feminism-accomplished/).
Green, Laci. 2014. “Why I’m A…Feminist *Gasp*”. YouTube website (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwJRFClybmk).
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