Feminist is a dirty word, all over the world, just as socialist is a dirty word in the USA. Both are used as insults. Men can be socialists, so, bigots save their nastiest taunts for women; if we are feminists, they demonise us by calling us feminazis. Shame on them.
I’m both a socialist and a feminist, and you cannot insult me by calling me either. “Feminazi”, I will not tolerate.
The patriarchy, including some women, say that men and women are different. Yes, they are, and that’s one reason why I’m a feminist.
Men and women’s bodies are different, which is why, historically, more women have died or been critically injured in car accidents than have men. Until 2014, there was no such thing as a female crash dummy, and it took ten years to get the funding to develop one. Men and women are different; the patriarchy claims it, but does not recognise or account for the differences, except to keep women in the space defined for them by men.
Some women claim that they are not feminists because men and women are different. But that’s precisely why I am a feminist.
Did you know that almost no female mice are used in medical testing labs? Drugs are tested on male mice. Some claim that we do not need feminism, that it is somehow unnatural because men and women are different. If men and women are different, shouldn’t we test medicines on female mice in equal measure with male mice?
It is because I am a feminist that I applaud the introduction of female crash test dummies, seventy years after the introduction of the first crash test dummies, and it is because I am a feminist that I believe female test animals should be used in labs in equal numbers as male test animals.
Men and women are different, and I celebrate those differences.
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As a feminist, I talk about equality with men. I know that I am not a man, and I do not want to be a man. I simply want to live in an equitable society where a person’s talents, capabilities, and character count for something. Men and women, all races and creeds, all sexualities and gender identities… All of us should have a voice and an equal chance to live well and fulfil our potential, whatever that may be.
The patriarchy claims that men and women are different; what they mean is that men are superior to women. If they believed that men and women were different, but equal, those differences would be recognised and celebrated within the establishment. Of course, they aren’t.
Feminism isn’t just for me, and it isn’t just for women. Feminism is about a better life for everybody.
Sometimes men forget that they all have mothers and grandmothers, and many have aunts, sisters, wives and daughters. If those men don’t want their female relatives to have an equal life experience with their own, that only suggests to me that they want women in their lives only in order to exert their patriarchal superiority. I don’t believe that’s what men want or need in their lives.
“A gender line… helps keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg