President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins is not behind the door when he states that he is a feminist. Neither was his two predecessors President, Mary McAleese and President, Mary Robinson.
The San Diego State University chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), has a flier entitled – “You Might Be A Feminist If…” , that includes the following attributes that allow men and women to see what it means, essentially, to be a feminist:
- you are a woman or man that believes in ending sexism.
- you believe in equal pay for equal work.
- you support choice and reproductive freedom.
- you believe that women should not fear for their safety at night.
- you believe that rape victims should be treated with respect, not suspicion.
- you believe that women should not be defined by their bodies.
- you want to see more female representation in elected office.
- you know that equal rights are not “special rights”.
- you believe that no opportunity should be closed to a woman because of her gender, race, class, or sexuality.
- you believe that religion is not an excuse for sexism.
- you want your daughter, mother, friend, sister, girlfriend, or wife to be safe from violence.
- you believe in speaking up and taking action to end sexism.
- you believe that women, women’s work, and women’s opinions matter.
Feminism means all of these things. If you agree with all or many of these statements, you might just be a feminist! Many people who read this list, and previously had not considered themselves to be feminists, reconsider their position.
Finola Brennan, Co-ordinator NCCWN – DWN shares her thoughts on feminism –
“Feminism means very many different things to very many different people.
For me, feminism is the belief that all people should be treated equally in legal, economic, social and political arenas – regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and other similar predominant identifying traits.
Feminism includes the idea that a person’s gender does not define who they are or what they are worth and that being a woman [or indeed, a man] should not put a person at an overall, and especially -institutionalized disadvantage.
Sometimes calling oneself a feminist comes with a plethora of stigmas including that one is a bra burning, man-hating militant, and of course – a lesbian!
Nearly all who would consider themselves under the feminist umbrella would agree that the core of feminism revolves around a fundamental belief in equality.”
The editorial group of the National Collective of Community-based Women’s Networks – Donegal Women’s Network (NCCWN- DWN) would be interested in hearing your point of view.