Today, at breakfast, my sister labelled me a “feminist.” My whole family now refuses to talk to me for more than 30 seconds, and acts as though I have an incurable, highly contagious disease. FML #20129490
It’s amazing how feminism is treated like a disease. Feminist is such a dirty word that it reduces women into mumbling the following key phrases:
I’m not a feminist, but…
…Not that I’m a feminist or anything…
anytime they say something that could remotely be interpreted as *gasp* a belief that women should be just as valued as men. It’s almost like a magic spell (you know, ‘cuz feminists are witches).
So I want to take a little bit of time to debunk some of these myths. I’m not going to do it by addressing each myth one by one. I’m going to do it in as few words as possible:
Feminism is a commitment to achieving the equality of the sexes. This radical notion is not exclusive to women: men, while benefiting from being the dominant sex, also have a stake in overcoming the restrictive roles that deprive them of full humanity. (Source)
Even better, the current wave of feminism is actually about addressing all forms of oppression, and is a commitment to achieving equality for all groups (People of Color, LGBT communities, etc).
S0…It’s not about achieving world domination. It’s not about fooling women into thinking that they can have babies forever, which causes them to have miscarriages because they wait too long to have children (seriously–someone actually linked feminism to miscarriages). Most importantly: it’s not about hating men or claiming that women are superior to men. In fact…
Did you know research has shown that feminists have less hostile attitudes about men than non-feminists?
Why? Researchers think it is because non-feminist women are more likely to (incorrectly) believe that men are biologically determined to be jerks and, therefore, it should just be accepted–but they’re not very happy about having to accept it. Feminists, on the other hand, are more likely to (correctly) assert that men’s behavior, just like women’s, is a result of socialization. Therefore, men can be good, fair, and equitable.
Cycling Feminists: Men and Women Unite!
My blog is about cycling so you may be wondering why I’m delving into the topic of feminism. After all, I am certainly not the first person to write about this issue (see here, and here, and here). Well, that’s because I’m a feminist. And J is a feminist, too (Surprise! feminism is not just for women–men who think the women in their life should have equal rights are feminists!). And we’re feminists who are interested in cycling.
Cycling is a male-dominated sport and there are constant messages that tell women cyclists that we simply aren’t as valued as much as men cyclists. In other words, cycling is a sport that could really use some feminism.
So this post is my introduction to feminism, as well as my first real call to all cyclists: Please actively do something to make cycling a sport that is equally available & enjoyable for men and women. If you have no idea what I’m talking about–then consider this your first wake up call and start paying attention.