Yes, I’m a Feminist and Yes, I Wear a Bra

I recently wrote a post in which I went off on a tiny tangent about my definition of “feminist.” Since that wasn’t the true topic of my post, I said it was a topic for a separate post, which I’m writing now.

Feminist seems to have become a dirty word in today’s society.

I have been asked, “Are you a…feminist?” in hushed, often accusatory tones.

I have friends who refuse to speak about or acknowledge the fact that I am a feminist. Others will roll their eyes anytime I express an even slightly “feminist” viewpoint.

To them, and to many others, when you say feminist, they picture women who believe that all men are evil, women who refuse to wear bras or shave their legs, women who…(gasp) are lesbians.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what all they picture, but, whatever it is, they don’t like it.

So, what do I think of when I hear the word feminist?

Equal pay for equal work – No matter your gender, your skin color, your religion, if you have the qualifications and are capable of doing the job, you should be paid fairly.

It shouldn’t be okay to pay me $0.75 less an hour just because I happen to have a uterus.

Hiring based on qualifications – I’m going to upset some people with this, but I don’t believe in Affirmative Action. If I’m hired for a job, I want it to be because I am the best-qualified applicant. Not because they don’t have enough female employees.

I also don’t believe in standards for jobs being lowered just so women can have that job.

I’m a military brat, so the military is what I’m thinking of for this particular point.

I’m making up requirements here, but if the military requires men to be able to lift 200 pounds in order to qualify for a specific job, why should that be dropped for women? If the ability to lift 200 pounds isn’t a necessity for the job, why would that be a requirement for men?

As far as I’m concerned, qualifications/requirements for a job (military or otherwise) should be determined and the applicant, be they male or female, should be judged on their ability to meet those requirements. And nothing more.

Fun side story – my dad was an Air Force pilot and he wanted me to grow up to become the first female fighter pilot. He did, that is, until he got me spinning too fast on a merry-go-round when I was about 3 and I threw up. He moved on to other dreams after that.

No more gender roles – For example, some of the best parents I’ve known have been fathers, not mothers. If a man wants to stay home and raise his children, why should he be thought of as less of a man?

Or, if a woman wants to work outside of the home, we need to stop making her feel like she’s a bad wife or mother.

Or, if someone wants to follow “traditional gender roles,” we need to stop accusing them of being antifeminism.

Now, I still think that the man I marry (whoever that lucky sod may be) has to be the one to kill the spiders. Not because he’s the man and I’m the woman. But because spiders give me the heebie-jeebies and I just can’t handle it! I was way too young when I watched the movie Arachnophobia. Getting chills just thinking of it! Bluh…

I won’t bore you with feminist history!

I could, but I won’t. (Unless you want me to! In which case, let me know and I can definitely give you details!)

There are feminists that fit the pictures people imagine, just as there are extremists in any group.

Just like the Westboro Baptists call themselves Christians. They certainly don’t fit my definition of Christian (by any stretch of the imagination), but they still consider themselves to be such.

You can wear a bra and still be a feminist.

You can shave your legs and still be a feminist.

You can be the female CEO of a Fortune 500 company and still be a feminist.

You can love pink and all things “girly” and still be a feminist.

You can be a stay-at-home mom and still be a feminist.

You can be lesbian or straight and still be a feminist.

You can be a man and still be a feminist.

Pure and simple:

Feminism is a call for equality, and not just for women!

*On a not completely unrelated side note, a recent study has found that wearing a bra might actually be more detrimental than not! ¬†Feminist or not, that’s something to consider…

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