Now, feminism has become a hot topic and buzzword, both in our personal and political lives. We see it emblazoned on shirts going down the runway at Fashion Week, but who talks about the fact that said shirt retails for $700, something that’s downright ridiculous and laughably unattainable by your ‘average’ person.
I’ve seen the word feminism create fiery wars of words on Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s something that is a divisive word, but in reality, it's not that divisive a concept.
Let’s get it down to the basics.
- Do you think women should be equal to men?
- Do you think ALL women (trans women, cis women, white women, women of color, queer women, straight women, LGBTQ women, etc) should be equal to ALL MEN (trans men, cis men, white men, men of color, queer men, straight men, LGBTQ men)?
If you answered yes to both, congrats, you’re a feminist. It’s not that hard. IT’s not about being a bra-burning, man-hating radical- though let’s be honest, even if it is/was, that’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s about lifting women up through your daily actions and about continually fighting for equal pay and equal rights.
So, okay, let’s say you identify as a feminist. Great, you’re with it, you’re hip, you understand the political climate of today and that women are most definitely being attacked, especially women who aren’t white or straight or cis or decently well off.
So now what? How do you as a self-proclaimed feminist do anything to change the world around you? Or are you hoping someone else picks up the slack?
I hate to break it to you, but everyone needs to do something in their daily lives to actually help the agenda of feminism. You can’t hope that others will be political for you.
It can be small, like trying to speak about other women positively and try not to tear other women down for their successes. It can be trying to work to help other like-minded strong women get recruited at your company/in your field if you work in a male-dominated field!
If you have more time, volunteer! I work with Girls on the Run, which builds the next generation of strong, powerful women and feminists (ask me how long it took to explain misogyny to 21 third-fifth graders), but there are organizations like Girls on the Run or NOW where you can donate littler chunks of time. Or work with Planned Parenthood. Or call your representatives and senators and congressmen/women.
If you have more money than time, donate your money! Look for places that uplift women. Look for foundations that strive for equal pay and equal rights.
Here are some amazing organizations- look into their volunteer programs, and if you have the means, donate!
She Should Run
Center for Reproductive Rights
Feminist Majority Foundation
Women’s Refugee Commission
Women’s Global Empowerment Fund
National Organization for Women
Association for Women's Rights in Development
Global Fund for Women
If you want to identify as a feminist, you can actually do something every single day to be one. You don’t have to “get political” by giving hours and hours of your time or thousands of dollars. It’s about fighting micro or macro aggressions when you see them. It’s about lifting other women and helping them get up. It’s about constantly supporting the strong women around you and encouraging them to reach higher and higher. If you have extra time or means, use it. It is so important to put your heart into something that matters, and feminism truly does matter. It’s not hard to use a little bit of time in every day to help other women out, or to listen, be educated, and move on to educate others.