Feminism and me.

Feminism (according to Wikipedia): "a set of political, philosophical and social movements and ideas that share a common goal: to define, establish and achieve the political, economic, cultural, personal, social and legal equality between women and men. men. Feminism therefore aims to abolish, in these different areas, the gender inequalities of which women are the main victims, and thus to promote the rights of women in civil society and in private life. "

I searched for many definitions of this term. This is one of the most complete and true definitions I have ever read. How many times have I been given a definition of this movement without my understanding? Not that I do not really understand the issues, but who can really explain what feminism is? Is there only one kind of feminism?

When I was little, I thought that feminism consisted of stripping one's breasts and shouting at political representations in front of the cameras. I found it so useless, degrading and I did not understand. I mean, in what denuding the breast allowed the women of the world to have more rights? So I decided to give up and just be just me. But in my head, I unfortunately assimilated every person who called himself a "feminist" to the women who stripped themselves on TV by shouting like hysterics.

However, it was still in my head. I mean, even as a little girl, I considered that the patriarchal and macho society in which I lived definitely did not suit me. But feminism as I did not know it either. I was clearly lost. So I decided to do nothing and live my life as peacefully as possible in this detestable society.

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As time passes, the movement grows, like me. I watch videos, debates, articles on feminism. I look Beyoncé loudly proclaim that she is a feminist and I observe practically all my friends declare themselves feminist. But despite this, the movement always repelled me. What I mean by that is that I'm not the type of person to become like this or that just because a star did it or it's fashionable (Life update: Beyoncé became vegan, i'll let you imagine what's gonna happen next haha.)

But I was definitely starting to get tired of street harassment, which I was confronted with quite young. At school the same. Remarks on the physical. The macho remarks (a woman is supposed to know how to cook for her husband). I was really fed up. But where to start to stop all this?

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I decided to watch more videos. More debates. But it still did not work. The feminism of the millenials included fights that I consider unnecessary. I have already seen feminists rising against the size of pockets because that of men would be larger than that of women!

So I decided to go back to the source. By doing this, 4 people became my mentors:
First of all Simone de Beauvoir who in France is one of the pioneers of feminism with her book "Le second sexe". The real fights are here. Equal pay. Parity. The fight against patriarchy. The right to vote for women. The right to work.
Simone Veil, then. 1975, the law for abortion. I began to understand, slowly but surely.
Then the Suffragettes, in England. I did not even know them until I saw the movie "Suffragettes" with Helena Bonham Carter. I was captivated by their fight and the way they got the right to vote. But the one I remembered most and who received my greatest admiration was Emily Davidson.
And finally Chimmanda Ngozi Adochi. The one I identified most with, being a black woman, I needed a figure that looks like me. From that moment, I considered myself very clearly as a feminist, even if there are still some gray areas for me (the barrier between equality and equity, for example, is what being a feminist is more about equality or equity and the fact that a man can not be a feminist, but what about transsexual men?)

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I am therefore a feminist. But as I speak, there are always things that are wrong. And I'm speaking to people who denigrate feminists, but to some women and men who are supposedly "feminists" but who apply a feminism "2.0"

1. Feminists who want the woman to be superior to the man.
No. That's not feminism. The first time I dealt with feminism, I was told "gender equality". With certain ideas that came closer to a supremacy of the woman to the detriment of the man. The first word when we talk about feminism is EQUALITY. Is it so complicated to believe that women and men can not live together without one being superior to the other? A woman has a brain, the man too. Let's make both of them work as EGAL for better living.

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2. Feminists who argue that for a single part of the female population:
Many feminists (wrongly) think that feminism applies to only one part of the population. Let me explain: how many times have I spoken to feminists who denigrate women who wear the veil by choice? How often do I talk to so-called feminists who did not want to fight for women who wanted to cover themselves, like the story with Burkini in France in 2015? Let's not forget the "feminists" who do not argue for some women on the pretext that "it's their customs": "why recognize only the oppression of women when it is the whites"? As a black woman I can testify: how many times have we found extenuating circumstances by saying, "that's the way you do in your countries, right"? The same is true of Eastern societies and women.
I have seen the opposite too: all the women who take care of themselves and strip themselves on the networks and whose people make fun of them. Some who call themselves "feminists" also criticize them and do not advocate for them "because they do not serve the cause and give us a degrading image". All this hatred against women when we are supposed to support each other! Sometimes I am overwhelmed.

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3. Feminists who do not know how to distinguish between flirt in the street and street harassment: I admit that the barrier between the two is really fine. It's a pretty difficult question. But sometimes I have seen aberrations. Street cruising and street harassment are very different things, and unfortunately many confuse. It must be said that the definitions are rather vague. The street may not be the best place to be flirted ... But that should not be banned either. In concrete terms, how did people go before when there were no mobile phones, no social networks or specialized sites to do this? The street is a public place, where things happen, good or bad, that could even be described as tragic. Can we demonize this place? I do not know. As I said above, it's a pretty difficult question that I do not have the answer.

4. Men who think that men can not be feminists: Many think that it is a fight specifically reserved for women, and which aim to "overthrow" the superiority of men. Many of these are accustomed to the power society confers on them and mistakenly think we are here to take their place. NO. We try to be your equal. When we talk about feminism, your masculine ego takes over and you steer and you are not interested in the subject, while it could bring a lot.

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5. People who think that being a practicing religious and feminist can not be together: Yes we can (Obama's voice). Certainly (in France anyway) our struggle remains individual and is not recognized and even less organized: there is no organizations like in Egypt, Nigeria, Iran or Spain and it's not yet studied in universities like in the United States, but we try, at least on our scale, to do our utmost, especially on social networks where we can make our voices heard. Many of you are skeptical: "But in most religious texts, we denigrate women ... No? ". No. The interpretation of religious texts by men makes women under-represented and unfit to be feminist. The interpretation that I MYSELF make religious texts allows me to be religious AND feminist, with all due respect to religious men who are ready to do anything to keep their superiority and extremist feminists who do not respect us and do not want make the effort to understand us.

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6. People who think that because some women are veiled, they can not be feminist : From the moment it is their choices, what prevents them from thinking like us and campaigning with us? We are not all obliged to undress to emancipate precisely. As long as it remains a choice!

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7. People who think that feminism is a useless fight: many women (and men by the way) consider it a useless fight, phrases like "men will never change", "it's hard to to fight against them "," they will never accept this or that "come back often. There was a time when I was part of these people. But the fight against abortion or the right to vote has succeeded and show us that if, even if it is a long and tough fight, it can work.

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8. Women who hate feminists:
They exist. And it's your choice. Several reasons push them to think like this: they have a bad image of the movement, we take for morons or on the contrary are delighted in their situations which could however be greatly improved. Know that we fight for you too, even if you do not like us. We fight for each of us, remember.

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It's only 74 years since women can vote in France.
It's only 53 years since women can work and open a bank account without her husband's agreement in France.
That makes 38 that rape is classified as a crime by law in France.
It's not even 100 years old. And it's just in France.
Not in all countries of the world.

We fight against excision.
We fight against patriarchy.
We fight against the dictates of society.
We fight against rape.
We fight against harassment in all its forms.
We fight against all inequalities.
We are fighting against domestic violence.
We fight for parity.
We fight for the right to vote for all the women of the world in all the countries of the world.
We fight for the right of work for all the women of the world for all the countries of the world.
We fight for abortion.
We fight for equal pay.
We fight for freedom.
We fight for equality.

Merci d'avoir lu. (sorry for all my mistakes btw)