This is my follow up post to, “Am I a Feminist?”
Just a few months ago, I wrote a post, essentially asking out loud if I was a feminist. At the time I had a point of contention with the word “feminist.” I wrote:
My first thought when I hear this word is an eccentric woman, who makes a big fuss with every single issue related to women’s rights. I’d say my feelings toward this first reaction leans towards annoyance.
In hindsight, I sounded misguided. But I’m not going to apologize. I was being honest and I think that’s how you start conversations of change. (FWIW: Even women have issues with the word feminism) Since I wrote that post I’ve thought a lot about the word feminism.
In my meager attempt to offer some type of solution, I thought we had two options when it came to the word “feminist.”
Either we need to desensitize everyone to the word feminism, or we need to come up with a new phrase.
Perhaps desensitize wasn’t the right way to present change, but my intention was to find a way for people (both men and women) to feel comfortable calling themselves a feminist. Then I saw Aziz Ansari’s interview on David Letterman the other night. I think he explains feminism and the fear people have with the word perfectly.
Like Ansari says in the video, feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
When you break it down like that, it’s much easier to align yourself as a feminist. Block out Precious’ mom attacking you, and it’s hard not to feel comfortable calling yourself a feminist.
Hi, my name is Jesse and I’m a feminist.
Last week, I posted on Facebook that I had backed Girls Driving for a Difference on Kickstarter. Four female Stanford students will be driving around the country and teaching middle school girls the design process and empowering them to be tomorrow’s leaders.
In my Facebook status I wrote:
If we want more women in tech and leadership roles, we need to start empowering young girls today. I want my niece to have every opportunity available to her in twenty years. If you are aware of other noteworthy organizations/projects that I can support in some way, please let me know how I can help.
I love my niece to pieces. I don’t have children or know when I will. But as I get older, I’m starting to feel that desire to make the world better for the next generation. To me, that’s my niece. She’s an extremely bright five-year old. I hope she pursues a career in math and science. But it’s her life, not mine. I’ll support her in whatever endeavor she chooses. But what I do want is for her to have all the opportunities at her disposal. I want her to expel her energy for greatness, not equality.
Therefore I will be doing my part to help fight for equality. Right now, I don’t have a ton of money or influence. I’m not in a position to hire more women executives in technology (yet!). But what I do have is this blog and my everyday life. I’m going to do what I can to spread the word around me that feminism isn’t a bad word and encourage others to stand up for feminism (including you reader!).
Please let me know of any events, organizations, or projects that I can support in some way to continue to spread the word. In my youth, I fear I might have been misogynistic and I’m paranoid I still project misogyny on occasion to the world. I’m not a perfect person, but I’m striving to improve myself and the world around me. Let’s do it together.