If you believe men and women are equal and should be treated as such, you are a feminist by definition. However, admitting you are a feminist can bring judgement and assumptions, especially about your political party. Feminism has become such a partisan issue because people only associate it with the Democratic party.
Today, the word “feminist” is often associated with uber liberal “bra burners.” If you are a feminist, you may be stereotyped as someone who marches for women’s reproductive freedom at pro-choice rallies. These notions of feminism leave out all of the women who believe men and women are equal, but are not liberal.
It is possible to be a conservative feminist. These women believe there should be more female representation in government, but may not agree on all of the reproductive issues. That should not disqualify them from being a feminist. These women want a culture of equal rights and opportunities, but may not see eye-to-eye with the liberal feminists.
Websites like WomenAgainstFeminism.com are dedicated to the women who disagree with feminism. These people don’t all believe men are better than women, they just do not like where the “feminist movement” has gone.
Politically, there is sexism on both ends of the spectrum. Women as right leaning as White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and as left leaning as former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton face the same kinds of sexism in the workplace and media. Women’s fashion choices are often heavily scrutinized by the media. Both Sanders and Clinton have been put on blast for their clothing choices, something that would never make headlines if they were men.
Sometimes feminists seem to only want to defend women who believe what they believe. When this discrimination occurs, it is important to not be a selective feminist. If you are going to label yourself a feminist, it is important to stand up for all women, not only the ones you agree with politically.
Even celebrities like “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams have expressed their opinion on the feminist movement. Williams is honest about not liking the term “feminist.”
“I also feel like we should stop calling feminists ‘feminists’ and just start calling people who aren’t feminist ‘sexist’ – and then everyone else is just a human,” Williams said. “You are either a normal person or a sexist.”
This distinction is often forgotten in politics because of the divide in beliefs.
Modern feminism has morphed into a frenzy of women hating other women for their ideological beliefs. Feminism should not be a partisan issue. Fighting for more women in office and better representation is not something that should be claimed by a party. It is something most women want. Feminists need to remember they are fighting for equality. To do so, they must defend all women, not just the ones who agree with them.
Sarah Grobety is a 20-year-old mass communication junior from Atlanta, Georgia.