There’s a distinction that seems obvious to me that I’m finding is not obvious to everyone else. I know I’m not alone, but there was some amount of misunderstanding of my post, What is even the point of feminism anymore? So I’m going to try to elucidate it here.
When I say I’m not sure what the point is of “Feminism” I’m not saying there is no point left in advocating for women. Those are two different things. One is immediate and practical and the other is theoretical and analytical. It is critical thinking, long-term planning for the future, generations from now.
Feminism, as most feminists will point out to those who declare themselves not feminists, is the fight for equality for all. It used to be all about equality for women but some really smart people pointed out that actually what we need to do is fight the patriarchy and that patriarchy oppresses a lot of people, including themselves sometimes.
It is a long game. It takes thought and critical analysis of the culture we live in, at our own thoughts and behaviours, in order to begin to correct them and pass them down to our daughters (and sons) in the hope that they will continue this work.
It is “one generation of deeply loving parents can change the world.”
It is in conversations about masculinity and domestic labour where people might take note and make small changes and their kids might get less of an impression that dads don’t do those things. And their kids, in turn, even moreso.
It is in talking about economic freedom, especially things like Universal Basic Income, because you know in the current political climate it was going to take generations.
Its discussing the merits of cooperation over competition; such a depressingly long, slow, generational process.
These are the kind of things that underpin what Feminism is to me.
Bringing awareness to rampant sexual abuse, or unfair uniform guidelines, domestic violence and things of that nature are advocacy. It still falls under feminism, but its the work of being a decent human being rather than Feminism to me.
So when I say “What is even the point of Feminism anymore,” what I’m actually saying is that if we don’t have generation after generation to get this right, which is deeply distressing to me, all that’s left is advocacy for the oppressed. I’m not saying there’s no point in advocacy either! Sheesh! (Sorry I didn’t make that clear enough.)
Anyway I’m starting to see it’s not going to make a huge difference on the outside. I still promote connection based parenting because it’s good for the kids, immediately and for their whole lives. They’re going to need the good mental health! Economic freedom is not going to happen but that’s not going to stop me whining about how wrong that is! Same for domestic inequality really. All I can say is stick up for yourselves and teach your daughters to do the same, and teach your sons empathy, cooperation and fairness. Hopefully he’ll pick up on what he needs to.
I have a bunch of modernised fairy tales in production still; I was feeling defeated like they wouldn’t matter anymore but maybe if they matter to me and a couple kids someday that’s good enough, right?
So don’t worry. I’m still on side! Obviously!