As a feminist, it really puts the wind up my skirt when I hear another woman say, “I’m not a feminist, but…”. If you believe in equal pay for equal work, the right to choose what to do with your own body, the right to vote, the right to education, the right to have a career and/or children and the right to own property, then you are a feminist. If you are against rape as a weapon of war, marital rape, sexual enslavement, genital mutilation (female circumcision), sexual discrimination and being treated as less than human, then you are a feminist.
Women want the same freedoms, rights and privileges that are afforded to men, no more, no less. I don’t see why that is so hard for some women to understand.
We have accomplished so much in a relatively short period of time, but change takes time and we still have battles yet to win. In North America alone, we are still struggling. As a matter of fact, just last week, after 28 years in the Canadian courts, Canada Post has finally lost a pay equity case. Yes, the Post Office fought for 28 years, taking this case all the way to the supreme court, spending far more than they would have spent if they had just abided by the first ruling against them. http://www.psac-afpc.com/news/2011/issues/20111117-e.shtml. It was just 1982 when the Canadian Equality Law went into effect.
In the United States, Nebraska was the first state to criminalize marital rape in 1976. It took until 1993, yes 1993 for the other 49 states to follow suit. In Canada, Bill C-127 came into effect on Jan. 4, 1983, making marital rape a criminal offence.
I hope that these examples will make women think twice the next time they want to say, “I’m not a feminist, but…”. The more you distance yourself from the fight, the less likely it is that we will continue to win these kinds of battles. It’s only by standing united that we will continue to advance.