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Let’s Be Honest – It’s Time We All Embrace The “F” Word

Captain’s log: 2019. It’s an interesting time, historically speaking. We can call each other, by accident, from our purses and pants pockets. Cars can park themselves. Coconut oil is life, you can grocery shop online, and I regularly pay for things by waving my phone (MY PHONE!) at the debit thingie until it beeps. As a society, we are moving boldly forward.

Except when we are not. You’d have to be living under a rock (or even in a van down by the river), not to be noticing that our neighbours to the south are deep in the heart of women’s rights. And by that, I mean taking those rights away. I used to think that the (seeming) revival of racism and sexism was Trump’s doing. A conservative and rich old white man leading the US seemed to be the problem; he was radical and authoritarian and people were drinking the Kool-Aid. Three years later, I understand things much differently.

The idea that white men are at the top of the food chain isn’t Trump’s fault, nor his doing. He has simply paved the way for the many, many people in Canada and in the US to reclaim their voice in this way. The misogyny runs deep. In 2019 we still have men who are making laws about women’s bodies and choices. And even more depressing, we have women that are completely OK with this.

I cannot tell you how many times over the past few years I have seen men and women visibly get uncomfortable when I tell them that I am a feminist. I have heard women over and over again say, “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a feminist or anything, I just wish I was able to get ahead in my job like the men seem to be able to”. I don’t know what happened to give Feminism such a bad rap. There is this ugly notion that if you are a feminist, you must hate all men, not wear a bra and eschew the idea of ever having children (although, aside from hating all men, who cares if a woman doesn’t want to wear a bra or have kids?).

Here is what I think feminism means and why all of us – men and women – need to claim this world view. Feminism is the belief that everyone, regardless of gender, deserves the same economical, social and political opportunities. Feminism means that our daughters will have the same opportunities in this world that our sons will have. It means that all voices, regardless of gender, have the same weight and consideration that men’s voices do. Pro-women is not anti-man. Some of the brightest and vocal feminists that I know are men. A world where everyone is able to contribute equally and fairly is what feminism stands for.

What I will say is this: these times call for bravery and courage to speak out about the injustices and discrimination. Western women are still fighting for equality and women who are racialized have it even worse. If we are going to make it out of this oppression, we are going to need to grab onto each other and move forward, loudly, together.

 

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