What Feminism is, and what it is not
Feminism is the movement for women’s full equality. It seeks to grant women the choices to do and be anything that they could wish to do or be that does not harm others.
Feminism is not any movement that seeks to control or limit women’s expressions, agencies, freedoms, or choices. It does not give them more than those that are not white or able-bodied, or socially beautiful or heterosexual or American ought to have, and it does not give them less than those than everything men have that they ought to have.
Feminism is not limiting a woman’s right to reproduce. It does not pressure women into choosing to abort with insurmountable economic hardship, public shame, manipulative and selfish partners, jobs that are hostile to mothers, and a lack of educational opportunities.
Feminism is not limiting a woman’s right to not reproduce. It does not throw her in jail for buying condoms, Plan B, or tying her tubes. It does not criminalize the performance or seeking of abortion. It does not shame and manipulate her with lies and dogma. It does not let legislative hurdles make the acquisition of anything for full reproductive agency impossible, too expensive, or unnecessarily complex. It does not sacrifice her opinions for the sake of her parent’s wishes, her community’s wishes, or her partner’s wishes.
Feminism is not silencing the suffering of the sex industry’s victims. It does not excuse the horrors of human trafficking and sexual slavery. It does not exclaim “boys will be boys”. It does not celebrate fairy tales and shame inconvenient truths. It does not celebrate the culture of the pimp. It does not blame the scorned woman for her partner’s lies. It does not pretend that women in pictures are not real. It does not excuse abuse and rape and hate and racism and pain with cries of “fantasy!” and “freedom of speech!” and “but I have a boner!”
Feminism is not limiting the economic agency of any woman. It does not take away or prevent her from having anything but her body, and then imprison her for selling that. It does not blame women for the continued wage gaps with empty excuses of market forces and women’s “natural uncompetitive nature”. It does not discriminate at hiring, firing, and promotion. It does not grope the asses of administrative assistants, and fire them for complaining.
Feminism is not judging a woman on her appearance before her character. It does not only love her if she hates her body, its nourishment, and its natural form. It does not tell her to buy chemicals manufactured by industrial slaves to put on her face and clog her pores before she can be worthy. It does not shame her for giving into forces set in motion before any of her known ancestors were born. It does not demand that she cut open her body and distort it, and then shame her for doing so.
Feminism is not limiting or distorting the sexual agency or pleasure of any woman. It does not pressure, manipulate, drug, or rape. It does not commodify children. It does not define sex only as penile penetration. It does not excuse the dalliances or selfishness of her partner. It does not shame her for loving one who is not a man. It does not demand that she ensure another’s pleasure before her own with her appearance, submissiveness, or silence. It does not keep from her knowledge of her own body.
Feminism is not the dismissal of the concerns of those who are not white, able-bodied, young, attractive, American, Christian, or heterosexual. It does not excuse the genocide and rape of millions of women with cries of “cultural tolerance”. It does not demand that its followers ignore their perspectives for the “greater picture” of the suffering of those that already have more. It does not excuse racism, homophobia, ablism and other causes of its allies, and it apologize for its privilege when it accidentally does. It does not put aside its cause for an election or war. It does not prioritize the suffering of any person with an “Oppression Olympics”. It welcomes the perspectives of all and everyone without judgement.
Feminism is not censorship, ignorance, violence, racism, homophobia, insensitive jokes, ethnocentrism, imperialism, or unfettered capitalism. We can learn a lot about what feminism is by knowing what it is not.