I Am a Feminist
by Elena Greco
February 16, 2017
I am a feminist.
What does that mean? “Feminist” seems to conjure up all sorts of negative images for some people.
According to Merriam-Webster, a feminist is “a person who supports ‘feminism’.” Their definition of “feminism” is:
– the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities;
– organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests.
So according to Merriam-Webster, I am someone who has the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities and that I support organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests.
Urban Dictionary offers this definition: “A person who supports equality between the sexes.”
The Oxford Dictionary defines “feminism” as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.”
So, yes, I am a feminist. I believe that female human beings should have all the rights, privileges and opportunities that male human beings have. How could that be objectionable to anyone?
Feminist does not mean liberal, it does not mean militant, it does not mean “against” anything; it means you are “for” women and equal rights and opportunities. Yet some people refer to those who consider themselves feminists (which I would assume would include all educated, intelligent or enlightened human beings) as “feminazis.”
As you might guess, that term is a combination of “feminist” and “Nazi.” The term was coined by Rush Limbaugh in 1989. According to Wikipedia, “’feminazi’ is a term used pejoratively to describe either feminists who are perceived as extreme or radical, women who are perceived as seeking superiority over men (rather than equality), or to describe all feminists.” “Feminists who are perceived as extreme or radical” seems to refer to the perception of the person other than the feminist, someone who assumes that anyone who would like women to have the same rights as men to be “radical.” I would have to ask, what century might that person belong to? Because that is certainly not an extreme belief or a new one. As for “seeking superiority over men,” I don’t know any women who are doing that. We have been seen as inferior for such a long time that just evening up the playing field is a mighty challenge. I don’t know any feminists who are striving for superiority over men. If there are, they should probably be given a different name from the rest of us, maybe “Amazonians.”
No, we feminists just want to be treated as equal, rather than as less than. We would like to earn the same pay for the same job as a man does, rather than 77 cents to his dollar. We would like not to automatically be viewed as less capable simply because we do not have a penis (which has never actually conferred capability or superiority, but is simply an organ for perpetuating the species). We would like to have the same right that men have to manage our own health and our bodies. Should a man have to obtain permission from his wife or mother in order to have a vasectomy? I think not. Neither should a woman have to have permission from a husband or father or really anyone at all in order to do anything whatsoever with her own body.
So being a feminist is really a pretty ordinary thing. It means I value women, I honor women, I respect women. I would like women to be seen as equal, rather than as less than. I would like to earn a reasonable wage, based on my abilities and experience, rather than my sex. I would like to make my own medical decisions. Is that so unreasonable?
If you don’t think so, you just might be a feminist, too.
And for those who aren’t feminists, which would be those people who believe women to be inferior, who do not want to grant them a reasonable wage based on their abilities and experience, and who do not want them to be able to make their own medical decisions, there is a term for you, too. But I won’t mention it here. If you’re listening, I would ask that you consider your own wife, daughter or mother and ask yourself honestly if you would like for her to be treated the way I just mentioned. If not? I hate to tell you this, but you might be a feminist.
Elena Greco is a singer, writer, producer/director and holistic counselor/coach. An opera singer and specialist in Spanish art song, she is equally at home in cabaret and musical theater. Whatever the genre, she wants the audience to be inspired and thoroughly entertained. As a writer, she maintains a personal blog and has been published in national publications, including Psychology Today and Classical Singer. She has two books coming out on Kindle soon, one about vocal accompanists and one about trauma. She writes about the creative arts, psychology, communication, persuasion, health, social issues, culture and politics. Elena is founder and producer/director of ELENA GRECO MULTIMEDIA PRODUCTIONS™ (EGMP) (www.elenagreco.com/music/egmp), a company which offers a different kind of entertainment, one which actively and uniquely engages both performers and audience, presenting projects that entertain, educate and enliven, through music, visual art, technology and other creative expressions that expand the senses. Among other creative outlets, EGMP includes CONCERTS FOR HEALING™, which focuses on issues of health and ecology, uplifting and entertaining through beautiful popular music while educating about these important issues, and OPERA REALE™, which offers simple, affordable and unusual multimedia productions of great opera with the finest local singers and musicians, focusing on expressing the composer’s music at the highest level. Elena’s specialties as a holistic counselor/coach are creativity and creative artists, trauma, and communication; she has a degree in Counseling Psychology/Human Development, as well as certifications in the healing arts. To further her intention to bring healing through music, Elena hosts THE MUSIC SALON™ monthly to provide a haven for creative artists to share their art among colleagues and receive support in their creative process. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on the web at www.elenagreco.com. You can also read future articles by Liking her Facebook Writer page (https://www.facebook.com/Elena-Greco-Writer-1504107506563538).