Militant. Femi-nazi. Man-Hating.
Is there even a difference? Has feminism become solely a platform to complain about minor inequalities and assert dominance over men? Most people would say yes.
This ‘radical’ feminism pits sister against sister, women against men. It teaches it’s followers that women are better than men and that the only way to achieve equality is through gnashing teeth and bitter words.
I would call myself a radical feminist, but a different breed of radical. I am radical in the notion that I believe a feminist should not spout unsupported facts, but do her research and have educated opinions. I am radical because I believe that men are of equal importance to the feminist movement. I am radical in the fact that I believe it is through love that we achieve equality, not anger.
It’s time we alter our call and strive toward radical feminism and radical love. Here are nine simple steps you, too, can take to becoming the right kind of radical.
- Check Yo’ Facts
You say that for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes $.77. Yet, do you even know why or if that’s true? Don’t spout out facts without knowing how truthful they are. Know what you stand for and why.
- Spread Love Not Hate
Feminism is not a whine session, nor is it a way to get back at those who’ve mistreated you. It is easy to channel past hurts into vengeance. However, we must be the bigger person. We must speak in love and not in anger and resentment.
- Love Yourself
A true feminist respects her(or him)self. How can you fight for others to have equal treatment if you don’t even believe you deserve it? You are amazing, talented, and wonderful – believe it! Don’t accept treatment less than you deserve.
- Don’t Be a Bystander
Don’t stand on the sidelines when someone says something sexist or inappropriate. Even if it can be uncomfortable, say something! Remember, though, to speak it with respect and love, rather than with a bitter attitude.
- Support your sisters
Gossip. Judgment. Jealousy. We sabotage one another with lies and name-calling. We call a goal-oriented woman a ‘bitch’ and a girl who’s dated more than one guy a ‘slut.’ But what if, rather than tearing each other apart, we built each other up? If we unite and support one another we can rise through the ranks together. Often times, we are our own worst enemy.
- Include Men
A movement cannot succeed by ignoring 50% of the population. Men and women are equal and deserve equal share of the conversation. Don’t ignore men’s rights too—such as the acceptance of sensitivity and femininity in a man. A society is not equal when only one side of the story is told.
- Embrace Intersectionality
We’ve come too far to continue to separate social justice issue into categories. Privilege stacks upon itself. It isn’t just women’s rights—but rights for people of different races, classes, and countries. A true feminist must value all social justice causes and lift them up together.
- Find a Cause
Feminism is broad and sometimes difficult to grasp…so pick something! Are you passionate about STEM or the media? Incorporate feminism with your passion and witness the changes you can make.
- Do something!
Feminism is nothing without action. Prove to people that you’re serious about equality. Run a 5k for charity, start a fundraiser, write a blog! There are so many things you can do—just pick one!
At the end of the day, war begets war and hate begets hate. Only love will beget love. The most radical feminist is the feminist who loves wholeheartedly and who speaks in sympathy and compassion. Lead your life and your feminism with love – for that is the only way change will ever happen.