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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.

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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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5 Things Feminism Is Not 

Many people are put-off by the word feminism simply because they believe it means something it doesn’t.

 

Women want to be treated superior to men.

Most female feminists do not want to be treated better than men. They simply want to be treated equal to men.

Women want to be paid equal money for doing less work than a man.

Again, most female feminists want equal pay for equal work. If a man and a woman have the same job and do the same work they should get the same pay check.

Feminists only care about female rape victims.

Most feminists believe that if someone rapes someone else, it is wrong and they should be put in jail. The genders do not matter.

Feminists think women should dress masculine and don’t shave their legs.

Most feminists believe anyone should wear whatever they are comfortable with. If you feel good in a dress, wear it. If you like jeans and a t-shirt, that’s cool too. No matter your gender.

 Feminists are all gay and hate men.

Nope. There are lots of straight feminists as well as men feminists.

 

The definition of feminism is equality of the sexes. That’s all we want. If you have any questions about any of these statements or have anything to add feel free to message me!

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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.

5 Phrases That Make You Sound Like An Asshole

I want to start by saying; it is okay to make

Feminism
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mistakes. It really is. No one is born

knowing every socially correct word or

phrase for every aspect of life. We learn.

And words and phrases go in and out of

style. Sometimes in certain parts of the

world one thing is considered polite but

considered rude somewhere else. So yeah I

understand the frustration. Like I said ‘it is

okay to make mistakes.’ What isn’t okay is

to be an asshole. If you offend someone,

apologize, and do NOT say it again.

Phrase 1*: ‘You wear a hijab because you are oppressed.’

Wearing a hijab is a personal and religious choice. Part of feminism is letting everyone wear what they feel most comfortable in. This includes hijabs.

Phrase 2: ‘Trans girls have male privilege because they are born boys.’

Trans girls have a whole other level of oppression that we as cis girls will never have to face so show some compassion to your fellow woman.

Phrase 3: ‘You don’t really want to be a house wife; that’s just your husband not wanting you to have a career.’

Some women really enjoy staying home with their kids. Some women enjoy not having kids, only a career. Some women do both. All are valid.

Phrase 4: ‘Saving yourself for marriage is anti-feminist.’

Nope. Sexual preferences and when you have is a personal choice. Neither prude shaming nor slut shaming is okay.

Phrase 5: ‘If your girlfriend dresses masculine then you’re not really gay.’

The way people dress is their business. Who someone dates is also their business. So mind yours.

Once again, everyone makes mistakes. The difference between making a mistake and being an asshole is knowledge. You now know these phrases are wrong, so don’t use them and you are well on your way to not being an asshole:)

Feel free to share some phrases you’ve heard that should be avoided, below!

*These are in no particular order.