A stray thought: It is extremely hard NOT to use Tris Prior of Divergent as an example of a strong female character. In fiction, I naturally enjoy reading about characters who have their cool moments, where they jump off trains and fight and face all their worst fears at once and are different, but are also significantly flawed and ordinary enough for us to identify with them and not see them as some invincible superheroine. In short, people who are strong and imperfect, even whose imperfections make them stronger. So I have to resist the temptation to make this post about strong female characters in fandoms. Because they are not real. As much as I think and wish they are. And use postmodernism to make excuses: (“We don’t KNOW that they’re not real, because we don’t know anything!”)
This is a post about F-E-M-I-N-I-S-M. Oh my gosh! I spelt out a taboo word! I’m actually speaking of this movement of deranged killer females. My blog should be taken down.
Now I’m going to say something even more shocking:
I am a F-E-M-I-N-I-S-T. And I believe in the message F-E-M-I-N-I-S-M is trying to put across.
That was such an awful thing to confess that I may as well say the taboo word. I am a feminist and I believe the message feminism is trying to put across. There are just no words to describe the severity of what I just said. You all thought I was sane – no you didn’t, you all thought I was logical and not a psychopath – and I just said that. What is the world coming to?
I cannot believe all these misconceptions of feminism. People are probably wary of most non-culture-related -isms, either because people are suspicious of those who campaign for change by nature or because of movements, such as communism, which didn’t end well. Especially since communism was also to do with equality. But feminists aren’t revolutionaries. We’re not trying to find utopia, or claim total equality in every subject, or make men quit their jobs. We just want to be accepted as having equal rights to men. To be paid the same amount if we do the same job. To be looked at as not a sex object or something to stare at, but as a person. For everyone to not be judged as a man or a woman, simply as a human being.
Being a feminist doesn’t mean you have to be a role model or feel like one, or have a tragic backstory that makes you a better person. You don’t have to be a strong female character. You don’t even have to know what a strong female character is. All you have to do is believe. Which sounds cheesy, but is true. If you think women and men should be equal, that no one should have to worry about rape, that no one should be insulted or spoken to based on gender, that no one should be stopped from doing what they want based on gender, that no one should be harassed for making a change or defying stereotypes based on gender, that everyone should be judged in their multiple dimensions, you’re a feminist.
Feminism isn’t a revolution, or the “new communism,” or a movement created by mentally ill maniacs who want men to be rounded up and sent to concentration camps and women to be World Controllers a la Brave New World. It’s for people who believe that both genders should be looked at in the same way. There are people who are famed for being man-haters who call themselves feminists, but that is not feminism. We just want equality. We want gender equality for everyone.