As y’all might have noticed, I no longer blog every single Friday on feminist issues. Writing a weekly post on feminism started to burn me out. However, I still plan to continue writing a few feminist blog posts every month. Plus my weekly newsletter, Friday’s The F-Word, has re-launched!
2017 is still new and shiny, a year filled with hope and possibility. Looking at the feminist work still to be done, I want to reflect on a few reasons why I’m a feminist.
Why I’m a Feminist
- While Americans have gotten better about telling girls they can do anything boys can do, we’re not as quick to tell boys they can do anything girls can do. Why shouldn’t boys paint their nails? Why shouldn’t men work as nurses or teachers? From Anne Thériault, “The message that we consistently send out is that in order to achieve any kind of significant career goals, girls need to adopt traits that are typically associated with masculinity… The flip side of all of this is that we shame any boys (and, to a certain extent, girls) who participate in activities or behaviors that are seen as being more ‘feminine.'” One of the reasons I love the film Legally Blonde is because Elle Woods is smart, hard-working, and loyal… all in fabulous pink clothing. Just like we shouldn’t force girls into pink stereotypes, we shouldn’t devalue traditional femininity.
- I’m tired of people allowing misogynists to define feminism. Maybe try listening to what feminists actually say before dismissing us all as man-haters?
- The next U.S. president openly bragged about sexually assaulting women. Need I say more? Yes? Fine. What I find almost worse are all the people tripping over themselves to excuse his comments as “locker room talk.” Ladies, if you honestly think that “all men” talk that way, I genuinely pity you. I can’t imagine living my life surrounded by would-be rapists. For the record, contrary to misogynistic belief, feminists don’t actually think all men are rapists… But rapists do think that.
- Some people STILL send mail addressed to “Brita Fleck.” Newsflash: that person does not exist. At all. Anywhere. My name is Brita Long. My name has always been Brita Long, and it always will be Brita Long.
- Medical gender bias continues to be a problem. Ten years ago, I learned that heart attacks can present different symptoms for women than for men. Why don’t all doctors know this too? From a 2013 article on women’s heart disease, “Women under 50 years old who have a heart attack related to heart disease are twice as likely as men to die.” Women receive lifesaving medications and therapies less often than men do. Women also wait longer to receive treatment. Medical gender bias poses a greater problem than just treatment for heart disease. Gender bias exists in the ER. Doctors also routinely dismiss women’s physical pain as mental illness.
These are just a few reasons why I’m a feminist.
What about you? Are you a feminist? Why or why not?