Why do you refuse so strongly to be called feminist?

Allow me to introduce this article with an image that can be signed off with ‘PERIODT’ or ‘YASSS’!:

Okay, back to business. In my previous series postcard titled ‘feminism 101’, I had defined feminism as believing in the equality of the sexes. I also went further to say that:

‘You’d think that this definition was good enough for people to immediately plead allegiance and become feminists too. Quite the opposite my dear. And honestly speaking, I find it very weird and absurd that upon looking at this definition, people can still say “I am not a feminist”; just because they feel the word has been “bastardized”. And this makes me wonder, why do you refuse so strongly to be called feminist? (A post for another day)’.

Well, today is that day!

Back to my question, why do you refuse so strongly to be called feminist?

The most common reason being: ‘some feminists have made it about men hating, control, blah blah blah—these people actually go on to give, according to me, baseless arguments. Sigh.

Quick question though.

When that religious guy raped a woman, why didn't you renounce your religion or your God? Why didn't you say ‘Oh no, this man has made a mockery of my religion, he has given a bad name to us, I better just renounce my faith’. Why didn't you?

I have an answer for you. Well, because, you do not use the issue or misdemeanour of one person to cancel out a whole religion, or a whole movement or a whole idea.

So, if 20 feminists have been saying ‘non feminists’ things, —which by the way I do not even know what this means, or if it should mean anything—is that good enough reason to say that you will not go by the name, or by the tag? Why can’t you take on the name boldy like a believer and preach the gospel and truth of feminism. Why are you more concerned about people’s negative perception of feminism? Why can’t you be the redeemer to liberate them from these so called ‘false’ messages?

You say, ‘I understand the movement and I support it but I just cannot take the name.’ Darling, you shock me. Darling, you are a part of the problem.

Don’t be this person.

But I get it. You don’t want to admit it. You don’t want to be a victim. You think feminism is a ‘dirty word’; you think it's synonymous with ‘man hating’, according to Emma Watson.

You think someone’s dedication to fighting for equality should be toned down. You hate that women can be free to wear whatever, do whatever, have sex with whoever; all without feeling shame.

How can they? Why should women—creatures made to live and die perfect—be ‘allowed’ to live voraciously and freely?

According to Dina Leygerman, 2017, you think it’s not classy to fight for equality. You hate the word pussy; unless of course you use it to call a man who isn’t up to your standard of manhood. You know, the type of man that “allows” his woman to do whatever she damn well pleases. I get it.

You believe feminists are too emotional, irrational, unreasonable. Why aren’t women just satisfied with their lives, right? You get what you get and you should not get upset, right?

As Toluwanimi Onakoya tweeted :

I will end this by saying that

‘Dear non-feminists and people who desperately hate to accept the name feminist but say they support gender equality;

I will keep fighting for you and for your daughters. I will walk and run for you. I will speak for you today, tomorrow and everyday of my life. I will disturb and cause chaos in ‘sacred’ places and cultures to make sure you are alive, you are safe and you are comfortable. I will continue to make sure that you feel ‘privileged enough and don’t need more’ because women like me are going to be doing the work. It hurts that you discredit our work and label us noisemakers and ‘too much’; but we will continue. For you, for us.

Everything and all we—feminists—are doing, we do for you. Even more for your fourth generation daughters and inevitably, your sons.

I hope that you one day see the light, and you join hands with us to fight against the discrimination and bondage. Our hands will be wide open expecting and waiting for you.

Love and light.

Novelist, poet, and editor. Academic in the making. Purchase my books here—http://stephanieodili.com/books/