What does it take to be a Feminist?

“Feminism” according to Wikipedia is “a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes.” In layman’s language, it is a “the belief that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities”. Or according to Chimamanda Ngozi, “a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.” I would probably quote Chimamanda a lot because I’ve just finished reading her book We Should All Be Feminists.

People who deserve the name ‘Feminist’ have actually fought for these rights and equal opportunities for the girl child. We’ve come a long way and I am honestly grateful that I get to enjoy the freedom and the opportunities that probably my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother didn’t have. I know of a family with 4 boys and 4 girls and the father decided to educate the boys only. What was the problem? Why did they have the perception or still do that a Man gets to be on the forefront of everything? Who came up with that idea? No disrespect, but any kind of abuse and evil treatment can be narrowed down to “I’m a man” phrase. I’m not here to talk about men, so that’s a story for another day.

Ladies, we have become so comfortable with these privileges that we take them for granted. There was a time we couldn’t do certain jobs, lead, have a certain position in a company etc. We have been taking the back seat for the longest time. People fought for those rights so why don’t we embrace and wear that crown unapologetically? Why do we have to do less or be less just because? If you are the smarter one in the relationship, own it. Don’t be anything less to make them comfortable.

Chimamanda says “I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.” Elizabeth Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Angela Davis and so many more, didn’t fight so hard for you to not take full advantage of it. This is one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay” by Madonna. Trust me if you are tougher than him, ambitious or not putting up with BS you will be branded bad names.

Now that’s a minor problem, the biggest problem I have with women is, currently everyone is a feminist. We know that we can’t all be feminists; it takes real passion, hard work and dedication to fight this battle. I cringe every time a person says she’s a feminist and yet they haven’t done anything to back it up. I understand the support we have for each other and going hard for each other but does that make you a feminist? What have you done for the society? What are you doing to change the inequality in the society? It takes more than what people think. And if you still insist on being a feminist at least be rational in dealing with inequalities, not everytime a woman is right and not every time a man is wrong.

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11 thoughts on “What does it take to be a Feminist?

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  1. Nice read.
    But tell us, did you just write because you got some motivation or because you are actually a feminist. If the latter is the reason; you really have to tell us how you help to the cause.

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    1. Uuum do I really have to tell the world that am helping? No, am not a feminist, like I said, ‘it takes real passion, hardwork and dedication.’ I support women and all about women empowerment, but I can’t brand myself as feminist because I haven’t done enough to deserve that title.

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  2. To a greater extent our society and culture plays a major role on this feminism agenda so finding an overnight solution is very unlikely, we’ve to preach the message again and again nonetheless. Good examples are Indian and African societies on how they handle both genders.

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  3. I heard this about racists, but here it is adapted to feminists.
    There are four type; 1) Active anti-feminists, 2) passive anti-feminists. 3) passive feminists, 4) Active feminists. You seem to be rightly complaining about group 3, wishing they would get active. That is always the problem, getting a cause that motivates them.

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    1. Oh, wow! Thank you for that clarity, but I think they should implement what they keep talking about. It is now annoying because everyone claims to be a feminist but they have done nothing to back it up.

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      1. You are so right. Think about it. There are two types. One is the person active in other causes and doesn’t have time for another, but passively supports. The other is so busy with life, ie work. that they need to see a reason to spend some of their time on this. Find a reason that stirs them, a specific cause in feminism, such as changing a specific law in response to some stirring newspaper article.

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      2. Now that’s way active, like really into it. But have you heard of ‘I don’t like men who treat women in a certain way because I am a feminist’ and it ends there? I mean, why are we using this word loosely? Almost everyone claims that she is a feminist ‘just because’. It really bothers me and they are not even looking for the ’causes’ or act in a way that could convince you that yes, this could speak for women.

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