Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So for a long time I've been planning and threatening to post a little piece about my ongoing feminist education and why I'm a feminist. It probably would include a lot of stuff about the disproportionate burden of women's healthcare costs when basic--not special--needs like family planning and birth control are not covered by insurance or by safety-net providers. Or this doozy of a study I read today that tells us that "women over 45 are significantly less likely to be placed on a kidney transplant list than their equivalent male counterparts, even though women who receive a transplant stand an equal chance of survival." Or the statistics on rape and domestic abuse, or this depressing tale of the hidden camera "what would you do?" segment on Good Morning America, in which 3 men sat and watched another man drug a woman's drink while she was in the bathroom, and they didn't try to stop him, and they didn't tell her.

But it turns out I don't need to do all of that to explain why I'm a feminist because I can just quote Hillary Clinton from her opening statement at her senate hearing. Women and girls, she says, "comprise the majority of the world's unhealthy, unschooled, unfed, and unpaid. If half the world's population remains vulnerable to economic, political, legal and social marginalization, our hope of advancing democracy and prosperity is in serious jeopardy. The United States must be an unequivocal and unwavering voice in support of women's rights in every country on every continent."

Feminism is really that simple. "Equalism" is fine, but the people who prefer to identify themselves that way need to walk the walk and push for gender parity and social justice and human liberation and not just use "equalism" as an excuse for why they, personally, are not feminists. And until worldwide institutionalized misogyny is a thing of the past, I will be a feminist. Which means I will probably be a feminist until the day I die.

5 comments:

  1. Her statement made me well up a little. It's so true and so heartbreaking and so maddening.

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  2. And, to add to Jag's comment, so astonishing when it's written that way, spelled out. When we're reminded, even those of us who know. We still forget those huge truths, or I do. I was blown away by this quote.

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  3. Thanks for this:

    "Equalism" is fine, but the people who prefer to identify themselves that way need to walk the walk and push for gender parity and social justice and human liberation and not just use "equalism" as an excuse for why they, personally, are not feminists.

    That needs to be said more often.

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  4. I've never heard the word equalism before. Hmmm.

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