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Things You Cannot Do If You Are A Feminist

You Cannot:

  • tell women not to wear frilly dresses
  • tell men they can’t cry
  • tell women not to dress masculine
  • tell transwomen they are not real women
  • tell transmen they are not real men
  • tell women of color that you(a white woman) face the same amount of discrimination
  • tell a rape survivor it is there fault because of how they were dressed
  • tell lesbians that there problems are not as important as yours(everyones problems are important)
  • Exclude minorities from plans, meetings, rallies, anything

 

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How To

How To: Be A Feminist

Want to learn how you too can be a feminist? Follow these easy steps:

  1. Believe that everyone should have equal rights.
  2. Get educated about the different types of discrimination.
  3. Try not to be discriminatory toward anyone.

Congratulations Gif

Congratulations you are a feminist! Go forth and continue learning and adapting to new information. Steps two and three are never over.

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Genderbread Person

Words You Should Know

It’s hard to keep up with which words are correct and which are not in style anymore, and I myself am no expert. So this list is a work in progress. It is not complete and it may be updated at times to account for new information.

Feminism:

the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

Humanism:

a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.

Biological Sex:

Biological sex identifies a person as either female, male, or intersex. It is determined by a person’s sexual anatomy, chromosomes, and hormones. Biological sex is often simply referred to as “sex.”

Intersex:

Sometimes, a child is born with sex chromosomes that are different from the usual XX of the female or the XY of the male. The child may develop sex and/or reproductive organs that are ambiguous — not completely female and not completely male. Ambiguous sex organs can develop for other reasons, as well. These are called intersex conditions.

Gender Identity:

our deeply held, internal sense of self as male, female, a blend of both, or neither; who we internally know ourselves to be

Cisgender:

term for someone who exclusively identifies as their sex assigned at birth. The term cisgender is not indicative of gender expression, sexual orientation, hormonal makeup, physical anatomy, or how one is perceived in daily life.

Transgender:

encompassing term of many gender identities of those who do not identify or exclusively identify with their sex assigned at birth. The term transgender is not indicative of gender expression, sexual orientation, hormonal makeup, physical anatomy, or how one is perceived in daily life.

Agender:

An umbrella term encompassing many different genders of people who commonly do not have a gender and/or have a gender that they describe as neutral.

Bigender:

Refers to those who identify as two genders.

Genderqueer:

An identity commonly used by people who do not identify or express their gender within the gender binary. Those who identify as genderqueer may identify as neither male nor female, may see themselves as outside of or in between the binary gender boxes, or may simply feel restricted by gender labels.

Gender Fluid:

noting or relating to a person whose gender identity or gender expression is not fixed and shifts over time or depending on the situation.

Gender Non-Conforming:

Asexual:

someone who does not experience sexual attraction

Bisexual:

noting or relating to a person who is romantically or sexually attracted to both men and women, or to people of various gender identities; ambisexual.

Demisexual:

a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone.

Gay:

Homosexuality is considered to be same-sex sexual attraction and behavior and “gay” is a synonym of homosexuality. Gay is a term that is not gender specific, so men or women can be termed “gay.”

Queer:

A term for people of marginalized gender identities and sexual orientations who are not cisgender and/or heterosexual. This term has a complicated history as a reclaimed slur.

Lesbian:

a female homosexual

Homosexual:

a person who is sexually attracted to members of the same sex

Pansexual:

Capable of being attracted to many/any gender(s).

Aromantic:

a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others.

Demiromantic:

only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand

Skoliosexual:

a potential sexual attraction to non-binary identified individuals. This does not generally describe an attraction to specific genitalia or birth assignments but rather is an inclusive term.

Polyamory:

is the non-possessive, honest, responsible and ethical
philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously.

Muslim:

someone who follows or practices Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran (Koran), their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad. They also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad (sunnah ) as recorded in traditional accounts (hadith). “Muslim” is an Arabic word meaning “one who submits (to God)”.

Islam:

is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion which professes that there is only one and incomparable God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the last messenger of God. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique; and He has guided mankind through revealed scriptures, natural signs, and a line of prophets sealed by Muhammad. The primary scriptures of Islam are theQuran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative example of Muhammad.

If you find a word on here that you either want to know more about or you think I have the wrong definition please message me and let me know! Also if you know of a word that I don’t have listed that you believe could be helpful for people to know message me and I will see about adding it.

Credit for each definition is in the linked word it corresponds too. I do not claim credit for the definitions. 

Group of women

The Woman-Identified Elixir of Life

Radicalesbians and Victoria Woodhull

Feminism, according to Merriam-Webster, “is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities” (Credit). This simple idea has been expressed and fought for in many different ways over the years. We separated the phases of feminism into waves, each with its own unique fights and desires. The first wave of feminism happened from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. This wave focused mostly on woman’s suffrage, or the right to vote. It was also mainly driven by straight, white, cisgender, middle class women (Credit). These women knew that they needed to be able to make political decisions if they were going to be able to do anything about the other problems they wanted to fix. Once the right to vote was acquired, it prompted the second wave of feminism (Credit). Which was from the 1960’s to the 1990’s (Credit). The second wave focused mostly “on the workplace, sexuality, family, and reproductive rights” (Credit).

Victoria Woodhull was a part of the first wave of feminism. She was born in Homer, Ohio in 1838. As a child, she worked as a clairvoyant in her abusive father’s traveling carnival show. She got married at fifteen to escape her violent father, but left her husband after only five years because he was an alcoholic (Credit). She remarried in 1866, and two years later, her and her family moved to New York City. Because of her talents as a clairvoyant, her sister and she became the spiritual advisers to Cornelius Vanderbilt, who in turn helped with their finances on Wall Street. The sisters opened a brokerage house in 1870. In the same year, they started a newspaper that promoted women’s suffrage, and Victoria announced that she would run for President of the United States. She got nominated in 1872 for the Equal Rights Party. Although popular with other women who believed in her platform, she lost because those women could not actually vote yet. After divorcing her second husband, she moved in 1878 to England where she married again. She stayed active in the woman’s suffrage movement until she died in 1927 (Credit).

Victoria Woodhull was a free love advocate, believing sex shouldn’t be confined to marriage, and wrote “The Elixir of Life: or, Why Do We Die?” which suggested that women’s sexual desire was just as important as a man’s. This meant she though sex should be enjoyed by both men and women. She felt that the idea that sex is all about the man’s pleasure was ridiculous. She said, “It is a fact terrible to contemplate, yet it is nevertheless true, and ought to be pressed upon the world for its recognition: that fully one-half of all women seldom or never experience any pleasure whatever in the sexual act” (Kolmar & Bartkowski, 2010, pp. 86-88). Because of her belief in “free love,” Woodhull was legally charged with adultery. To combat the “personal attacks from political enemies” during her campaign for presidency, she reported on the sexual scandals of Luther Challis and Henry Ward Beecher. Beecher was a respected minister and Challis was a stockbroker. This got her “arrested and tried for sending obscene information through the mail” and she “spent the election night in prison” (Credit).

During the second wave of feminism, Betty Friedan, the first president of the National Organization for Women, or NOW, said that lesbians were threatening the feminist movement, because “they distracted from the goals of gaining economic and social equality for women.” Many feminists in NOW “felt that lesbian issues were irrelevant to the majority of women and would hinder the feminist cause, and that identifying the movement with lesbians and their rights would make it harder to win feminist victories.” Many lesbian feminists split off from NOW and made their own groups. One group, founded in 1970, was the “Lavender Menace” which ambushed the Second Congress to Unite Women, which was sponsored by NOW. The congress had left out lesbian rights issues from their itinerary. The Lavender Menace group turned the lights off at the conference and when they came back on they had shirts with “Lavender Menace” on them. They then handed out “The Woman-Identified Woman” manifesto (Credit).

“The Woman-Identified Woman” was about how the word ‘lesbian’ was used to insult women and keep them in line with social norms. An important piece of this manifesto was as follows:

For in this sexist society, for a woman to be independent means she can’t be a woman-she must be a dyke. That in itself should tell us where women are at. It says as clearly as can be said: women and person are contradictory terms. For a lesbian is not considered a ‘real woman.’ And yet, in popular thinking, there is really only one essential difference between a lesbian and other women: that of sexual orientation-which is to say, when you strip off all the packaging, you must finally realize that the essence of being a ‘woman’ is to get fucked be men. (Kolmar & Bartkowski, 2010, pp. 197-200)

When given the context of why this group came to be, it is clear that the lesbian feminists are angry that they were denied a spot in NOW because of their sexual preference; they didn’t want to be fucked by men, so they weren’t ‘women’ enough.

Victoria Woodhull and the Radicalesbians both were fighting for sexual freedom. The only difference was their sexualities.

 

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Kolmar, W. K., & Bartkowski, F. (2010). Feminist Theory (Third ed.). New York: David Patterson.