by MIA FREEDMAN
Here’s something weird: the idea that if you call yourself a feminist, you are duty bound to support the actions and ideology of every other person in the world who has a vagina. Really? No, REALLY?
This week has been interesting. I’ve fielded many surprising “how-can-you-call-yourself-a-feminist?” accusations via social media on two very different subjects.
The first was triggered by my column (which you can read here) where I wrote about Birthzillas. Apparently, by questioning women who choose to give birth at home despite their pregnancies being high risk (with often fatal consequences for their babies), I am somehow ‘betraying the sisterhood’.
The same accusation was made last week when, on Twitter, I questioned mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s bid to hire and fire editors at Fairfax where she is now the biggest shareholder. So to be clear: apparently if you are a feminist, you should support everything every other woman does just because…….she’s a woman. How insane and insulting, this idea of using the word ‘feminism’ to shut down debate and critical thought on the basis of what’s in your knickers.
As How To Be A Woman author Caitlin Moran says, “When did feminism become confused with Buddhism? I don’t build in a 20 per cent ‘Genital Similarity Regard Bonus’ if I meet someone else wearing a bra. If someone’s an arsehole, someone’s an arsehole – regardless of whether we’ve both been standing in the longer toilet queue at festivals or not.”
Sing it sister. For me, feminism is simply about equality. And that doesn’t mean giving anyone a get-out-of-jail free card just because they’re female.
What does feminism mean to you? Does feminism mean sticking up for the choices of all women, even when you disagree with them? Do you consider yourself to be a feminist?