Labels often lead to misunderstandings but right now I feel like putting this label out there for greater clarity. I’m a feminist. I’m a feminist in a big, unapologetic way.
Feminism is a movement that says all human beings are equal, are of equal worth, and have the inherent right to live free from the shackles of prescribed gender roles and the institutions which were built around them.
The energy described as femininity has long been oppressed in both men and women, leaving both at a disadvantage. This created a history where women, and the feminine energy in men, continually suffered marginalization and disenfranchisement.
As a feminist I am free to say that I accept your life choices, whether you are a man or woman, and honor your individual journey. Feminism, like other movements aligned with the natural progression of the universe towards justice, love, and peace, is at its core one more pointer towards the inherent unity of life.
One of the great aspects of feminism that I admire in the women and men who act upon its principles is the ability to look again. Feminism takes a look at what our minds have created and asks whether or not they are true and useful. It asks, is the manner in which I am treating and perceiving a person and her choices based upon the lens of my own life experience? It asks, can I gain new insights by looking at human beings that seem different from me, free from the story my mind has already created about them?
The enemy of feminism isn’t men and it isn’t women. The enemy of feminism isn’t ignorant bloggers who have large audiences that are quick to agree with their unexamined inflammatory judgments. The enemy of feminism is not women who behave this way or that way.
What is the enemy of a person attempting to look upon other human beings in a new way, regardless of their previous assumptions? That, of course, is the ego itself. The ego is created when who you are gets all wrapped up with the thoughts that you have. Strong opinions, stories, assumptions, and an us-versus-them mentality is the birthplace and breeding ground for the ego. This is also why, for all the ego’s hatred of the meaning of feminism, it loves the label, it loves the thought that it can then use as fuel for its pseudo-life. If feminism is more than just a bundle of thoughts in your mind that you do or do not identify with, then you are experiencing its meaning beyond ego.
So before you go judging women and men for sharing their unique life experiences from their perspectives, laugh at the voice in your head. If you can do that, the voice in your mind hasn’t become the ego, and you can still enact the principles of feminism by seeing the true worth of every human being from freshly unveiled eyes.