I have been fortunate that for much of my life, I have been able to keep feminism at a comfortable arm’s length. I could abstain from the more heated conversations, since I don’t have a uterus. I recently heard an interview that made me re-consider. The March 21st episode of Reality Check Podcast featured an interview with the co-founders of sexyfeminist.com Jennifer Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudulph.
I found their site to be pretty large for a cursory glance, so I looked to their Facebook page for a concise summary: “Feminism is hard. Any sane woman believes in female empowerment, but putting those beliefs into practice can prove nebulous at best, disheartening at worst.” I guess it’s the nebulous nature of feminism that makes it hard to define, so it takes a pretty large site to cover an adequate cross-section of the movement.
Visiting the site, I felt a little like I was intruding on a private meeting, despite the co-founders saying in the interview that they welcome men to get involved. In fact, if men aren’t on board with women’s rights, it can only go so far before it just degenerates into the same hostility that feminism has inspired for generations.
Another interesting site is now.org which is the National Organization for Women (the nation being the US). It featured more social and political content, while Sexy Feminist is more of a lifestyle site.
While feminism did not start in the Sixties, it was then that it arguably became mainstream. Therefore, my generation of men was raised with a bigger idea of women’s roles in society. We also had parents and grandparents with narrow but tidy definitions of a woman’s role. Please forgive us men who come to the discussion table with some confusion.
It has become time for me to acquaint myself with what feminism is all about, Now that I’m raising a little girl, I have some skin in the game, and it’s important to me that she goes out into the world with what she needs to succeed, mentally and socially.
Since many of my blogging buddies are ladies, I’d like to hear your thoughts on what feminism is, and how it applies to your live. Bonus points if any of you have a daughter, and want to say how it affects your parenting!