Let’s invent a new word!

I am so tired of people who asks if I am a feminist. REALLY? You are a feminist??? But you seem so nice! Sigh.

So what should we call it?

So what should we call it?

And then I have to explain again, and again, and again, that feminists are NOT man hating harpies who want world domination of women. Surprise surprise! And no, feminism is NOT about eradicating all differences between women and men. Yes, there might be feminists who hate men, but that’s like saying that all Muslims are terrorists: It’s a small, extremist group, who gives everybody else a bad reputation.

It seems like a lost battle to re-invent the word “feminism”. It is too tainted and bad-mouthed.

So what should we instead call people who just want all human beings to have the same rights and opportunities in life? Both legally, and de-facto? But who acknowledge that biologically and historically there might be some disadvantages to one sex, which requires the system to take certain pro-active measures into consideration for there to be real equity? Who don’t want to force all women to work and be the breadwinner in the family, and who don’t want all men to cry and take one year of parental leave? But who nonetheless want everybody to be able to do exactly that if they want to, and to take individual choices which break with traditions and stereotypes, without being discriminated for it? (It’s really not too much to ask for, frankly.)

So what kind of -ism should we use? “Masculism”, the counterpart to “feminism”, could be an option. But both words share the common problem that the concept itself implies the preference of one sex, even though it doesn’t necessarily mean that. “Humanism“? As good as it could have been, it does have a different meaning in how it is used today, which goes beyond gender equality. “Equalism“? Nah. Again, it can mean much more than just equality between the sexes.

Frankly, I’m at a loss. I have no idea what one should call it. Any ideas?

 

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Everybody has an opinion about gender equality

GenderEven if I use money every day, I would never claim to be an economist or have the audacity to write an article about finance. Even if I use a phone every day, I would shut up and listen when technicians explain to my why it’s not working. The same with oxygen… I breath it every day, but wouldn’t claim to understand the chemistry behind it. However, strangely enough, with regards to gender equality, everybody seems to have a strong opinion about it based on their own experiences, and think of themselves as authorities on the subject just because they are a gender, or perhaps because they are vaguely known in a totally different area of expertise. I wonder if people who work with gender equality ever will get any respect for our knowledge, except hear that we are “feminist man-haters”. Sigh.

Graffiti in Beirut

I was strolling the streets of Beirut this morning when I saw this graffiti on a wall (among several others). Good, important message, still much work to do.

Graffiti in Beirut

Graffiti in Beirut