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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

10 Reasons I'm a Feminist

What's that?  I'm a feminist?!  Yup.  A wicked awesome feminist who wears Feminist Cannons on his shoulders and shoots Holy Feminist Balls at sexism.  Or something like that.

Something I've never done before is provide some kind of explanation for why I am a feminist.  Hence this post.

Here are the ten reasons I am a feminist.  Feel free to list yours in the comments!
1.  I am fundamentally opposed to all forms of inequality, whether intentional, structural, or otherwise.

2.  Most of my life has been in the care of women.  My mother and grandmother played pivotal roles in my life, most notably because they were the people who actually raised me.

3.  I studied feminist theory in college before I was willing to call myself a feminist.  In doing so, I learned about dozens of different interpretations and worldviews, some of them more radical than others.  I also studied queer theory in college, though I was already pro-LGBT before that (for another time).

4.  It took a lot of doing, but making myself open to the possibility that I might have things wrong meant I could hear what my female friends were telling me when they called me out on things.  This willingness to "hear" people meant I learned far more than I otherwise would have, whether specific to feminism and women or to other issues (homosexuality, etc.).

5.  Feminism has done extraordinary things.  The Women's Suffrage Movement.  Abortion Rights.  Changing the social fabric of much of the world.  In brief, feminism has been one of the most influential ideas in human history.  Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?

6.  I've spent so much time online looking at how the world treats women that it's difficult for me not to see the inequality all around me.  I've even taught media representation at the college level in order to show how men and women are presented in advertising, and why that affects both men and women by imparting certain social and/or physical standards by which we are expected to live (not an absolute, of course).  Being so embedded in this "world" means it is nearly impossible for me not to believe something is wrong and that we need to do something to fix it.

7.  Feminism represents my interests, too.  Fighting for maternity leave means fighting for paternity leave, too.  Fighting for equality for women means fighting for equality for men!

8. Representation matters.  Women make up roughly 50% of the population, so why would we accept a world in which our media doesn't represent them as they actually are?  I don't.

9.  I'm a science fiction scholar, which means my day job literally involves reading about the future in its myriad forms (and sometimes about weird alternate histories and the like).  I see equality as the future for which we must always strive, so it makes a great deal of sense that I would be inclined towards ideas that are concerned with creating a better future.  Feminism is, in a way, a type of theoretical science fiction.

10.  Now, more than any other time in my life, there is a concerted effort to roll back the rights of women, whether by restricting reproductive rights, repealing or weakening laws that protect women economically or from abuse, etc.  Now, more than ever, it is important to be a feminist, and openly so.
And there you have it.

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