What does feminism mean to me?

March 8, 2018 9:58 pm

Happy International Women’s day to all my sisters around the world 

It’s 2018 and unfortunately women are still not treated as we should be. I am a proud feminist and I think you should be too. But, there are some things I want to clearify about what feminism means to me:

1. Feminism is for everybody. There are unfortunately feminists on this planet that feel like they are better at being one than others. In the past women of color have often been excluded by white women from the movement. That time is (hopefully) over, but it is important as feminists to stay critical and become more reflexive of our movement. There is no right or wrong way to be a feminist. So let’s be more inclusive. Regardless of genders, colors of skins, nationality, educational backgrounds, hijab or no hijab, the choice you make as a grown woman to be a stay at home mom, and what not. If you stand for equal rights and opportunities, you are an equal feminist. 

2. Very often when I tell people that I am a feminist people look a bit disgusted or laugh or say ‘oooh yes I support women’s rights but I’m not one of those’. The situation becomes even more interesting when I say that I demand my future life partner to openly say they are a feminist as well. How dare I ask my boyfriend to put the F-word in his mouth. To those who read this and recognize themselves: I still like you, but **** off. Dare to ask yourself: ‘why am I so afraid to say that I stand for equality?’ Trust me, at least half of the world will like you even more! #Smashthepatriarchy

3. If I say that I am a feminist, that doesn’t mean I want you to treat me like a man. It means I want to be able and have the choice to take part in the same opportunities as men. It means that I want my society to value girls for all their strengths and wisdom they hold, whether those fit into the stereotypical gender roles we hold or not.

4. Feminism is about choice. And whether or not that choice is to have children but still making the decision that your work is important, or having children and making the decision that you will stay at home or not having children. To keep your baby, or not. Whether that choice is to shave your legs or not. Whether you dress in long or short dresses or heels or sneakers. Whatever you choose, it is you and you only that makes that choice and we need to work as a society to not pressure women into pre-defined roles. Don’t tell women what to do.

Eva Oskam
One Young World The Hague Ambassador