Friday, June 7, 2013

Feminism is for Everyone

This post is about strides forward for feminism, but I really meant the title of this post when I wrote it. It boggles my mind when men are critical of feminists not just because those men usually have no idea what feminism is about (if you don't know: it's about women having the right and the freedom to make their own choices), they are also oblivious to the fact that feminism benefits them. Feminism benefits everyone because it's about tearing down gender stereotypes and expectations and freeing people up to be whoever they want to be. If you're a guy and you dislike the fact that most women expect you to hold open the door for them, feminism is for you. If you're a guy who dislikes the expectation that you play and enjoy watching sports, feminism is for you. If you're a guy who gets mocked for being too feminine for any reason at all, feminism is for you.

Feminism is for everyone. It destroys nothing but cruelty and oppression. If you want to be a classically masculine man, feminists won't stop or mock you. One of the manliest characters I know is Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec. Not only do a lot of feminists like him - including moi - he himself is a feminist! It's actually more difficult to be a classically feminine woman in a world where feminists are making progress than a classically masculine man. Some feminists judge women who like to cook and clean and wear high heels and change their last names and have babies and be homemakers. But that's wrong because feminism is about choice and as long as women are the ones who are deciding what to do with their lives, it shouldn't matter to anyone else what they choose.

I have been happy to see that 2013 has so far been a good year for feminists, especially in regards to publishing. I can't say I've seen a whole lot of change, but I've heard a lot of good conversation, and that's the first step. Below are two of the wonderfully hopeful things I've read lately. Maureen Johnson's article in particular made me feel like I could hang up my feminist shoes because she's got everything under control. (I didn't hang up my shoes, but it was wonderful to have that feeling.)

Maureen Johnson's grand experiment with gender and book covers

Delilah S. Dawson's blog post about sexism in sci-fi/fantasy publishing

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