If you’ve read a single blog post, or even our social media profile, it won’t be a surprise to you that we are feminists. Some people have trouble with that word, but I have a hard time understanding the aversion. I love the word feminist. To me it evokes power and purpose toward a more equitable society. What could be better?!
Mirriam-Webster defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” It’s hard to argue against the logic of that. Men and women have equal worth as human beings and deserve equal access to rights and opportunities. In my opinion, the difficulty arises in the second part of the definition, “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.”
In order for feminist goals to be achieved, we have to dismantle the systems which maintain the patriarchy. Change is hard and generally, people don’t like it. As humans, I think we often fear more for what we stand to lose, rather than hope for what we might gain through social change. For example, rather than thinking about a woman or person of color taking your job, think about the talent and innovation marginalized populations can add to the economy, creating better jobs and opportunities.
The thing that I think many people miss, particularly men, is that
The patriarchy hurts men too.
I say this A LOT, to friends, family, acquaintances, people who have the unfortunate luck of being placed at my table at a social function. But it’s true. The patriarchy keeps men inside of a box, where they are shamed from showing their emotions, from expressing vulnerability, where their self worth is only defined by their financial output. These systems foster a culture of toxic masculinity. This manifests itself in lack of social and economic opportunities for women, but more importantly in a violent and dangerous society, where women’s safety and lives are constantly threatened. In short, this isn’t good for anyone.
The politics of feminism is a huge subject and from time to time we will delve into these fascinating and sticky topics. There are so many nuanced topics to consider; intersectionality, unpaid labor, the gender pay gap, sexual harassment and assault, underrepresentation in the government and the workplace, reproductive rights and healthcare, the lack of value given to caregivers, the list goes on and on. If this is your cup of tea, join us in the conversation! We want to hear your thoughts. What are we missing? What books and articles should we be reading? If you’re not feeling political, we respect that too. Just scroll on past this blog post. We promise to talk about booze and food soon enough.