12 Questions that Every Feminist Gets Asked

I recently discovered a humorous post written by Daniella Djiogan at Written Loud, consisting of “12 Questions that Every Feminist Gets Asked“. Most of these questions, I’ll admit, are ones that even I’ve been asked. But I also see them (and others) asked of many Feminists.

However, Daniella’s post doesn’t answer them- not surprising as a post listed in the Ironic category. Still, though, I think they should be answered- and I’d like to share my personal perspective on them today.

In the bible, it says a woman was created from a man, so men are superior, right?

I am not Christian. As a result, ultimately the Christian doctrine and its beliefs- and the beliefs of its denominations- is not something that I am concerned with in the slightest… But I will say that the answer is still no; no one is superior to anyone else when it concerns basic human rights and dignity.

Can women still demand to be pampered by men?

Demand? Absolutely not; though you certainly have a right to express or otherwise communicate your personal desires for more (or less) than what you receive from a person in the context of affection, gifts, and the like? No one gets to explicitly demand anything like that from anyone regardless of Gender or Sex.

Should a man still open the door for you?

Quite frankly, it’s simple common courtesy and polite behavior- and polite behavior dictates that you hold the door for those entering or exiting the building at roughly the same time as you; that, when entering or exiting a building, you check around you to ensure that no one is close behind or in front of you. If there is, then at the very least you should prop the door open until they can lay hands on it in order to support it themselves.

With that in mind, my answer is absolutely; if you (as a man) are in such a position then it is the right, polite and mannered thing to do. However, it shouldn’t be done just by men- nor should it be done just because we are Woman. Instead it should be a politeness which is performed by everyone, and which should be afforded to everyone that they encounter– not just a single group of people for arbitrary reasons.

Should a man pay for the first date?

Like with door holding, this one also boils down to common courtesy and politeness; polite behavior dictates that the person issuing the invite always pays for the people whom they invite to a social gathering- unless another agreement is made or method of payment is arranged before the gathering occurs.

So if the person who asks someone to a social gathering (whether that gathering is intimate or not) is male? Then I do fully expect him to be willing to pay for the experience of the one(s) they invited. But, again, like with the door holding this isn’t a politeness that should be participated in by or afforded only to one group of people… If it were a Woman who made the invite instead, likewise she should be the person to pay for the experience unless otherwise arranged beforehand.

Can a woman still be a feminist if she’s a housewife?

You abso-fucking-lutely can; Feminism is a set of extremely diverse sociopolitical ideologies. It can (and should) definitely impact the way in which you approach and interact with the world and its people… But so long as your decisions do not directly and negatively impact others? Any decisions that you make in terms of how you ultimately decide to live and find fulfillment within your life on a directly personal level (such as whether or not you become a Housewife) has no effect on whether or not you are “a proper Feminist”.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is bigoted and ridiculous; there is no “one size fits all” solution to the problems of this world that Women face. Furthermore, Feminism isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) about further limiting Women’s behaviors and actions… It’s about gaining sociopolitical equality for them- and ultimately that equality inherently includes the equal right to make the choices which best suit us, based on our incredibly unique and nuanced lived experiences, wants, and needs.

Isn’t it against the rule(s) for women to be sexy and a feminist at the same time?

It’s not (or shouldn’t be) about imposing even more sociopolitical rules on Women concerning who or what they can or cannot “acceptably” be. If you want to be sexy- whether it’s for yourself, other Women, or (gasp!) even for Men– then go for it! And please, do reread the above answer, too.

Do feminists have to be “pro choice”?

Feminism is not a Monolith and every variant of it has its own beliefs about Women, the causes of female inequality, and the solutions for it… Some of these Schools of Feminist Thought, yes, are (for some reason) staunchly Anti-Choice in regards to reproductive health and access. So while I personally find it odd and ridiculous to call yourself a Feminist and be Anti-Choice about reproduction? The answer is still no. You don’t technically have to be Pro-Choice in order to be a Feminist. But you might want to make sure that you’re looking into a School of Feminist thought that supports your stance on that.

Why are you getting married if you’re a feminist? Aren’t you suppose to hate men?

First of all, Feminists don’t inherently hate men. There certainly are some out there, and while I might not agree with that mentality, they have their own reasons for doing so. But regardless of those who do, at its core, Feminism simply wants Women to be sociopolitically equal to Men when, historically, we have not been.

Secondly, Marriage itself is a legal contract which affords legally recognized rights to people- and it is a contract which should inherently have nothing to do with Religion, Gender, Race, Sex, or number of people involved.

Are you a feminist because you are a lesbian?

I’m not a Lesbian, but I am Pansexual. And no, a love for Women does not predispose someone to being a Feminist or automatically mean that they are. In fact, I know a lot of Women who claim to be Feminists who don’t- despite their claims otherwise- actually love Women in any context (sexually, romantically, or even sociopolitically)… And likewise, I know many Women who do love other Women (sexually, romantically, or sociopolitically) but whom surprisingly aren’t Feminists.

Can men be feminist?

They definitely can be, yes. But Men should be careful to ensure that they are being good allies. After all, Women have experienced the problems that Feminism seeks to correct, and Men have not. Ergo, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your voice and words means more than the Women who are speaking about these issues. As allies and fellow Feminists you should amplify our voices… Not drown them out.

Why not just call it equality instead of feminism?

Why call it equality? Equality isn’t what it is… Equality is what it specifically seeks to achieve.; equality is a purpose… Feminism is the set of ideologies with that purpose as their core reason for existing; equality is a point… Feminism is a set of sociopolitical ideas and methodology to move us to that point. Calling it equality is ridiculous. A better question would be “why not just call it Egalitarianism”- and that has a simple answer.

Egalitarianism is a specific ideology which holds that, on a foundational level, all people are equal and therefore should be afforded equal human and sociopolitical rights by default. Feminism, however, is a targeted focus on a specific form of inequality; it is a related ideology that focuses on one specific group of people (out of many) who don’t have that sociopolitical equality- and seeks to change that… Specifically it focuses on the historical sociopolitical inequality of Women compared to Men. Some Feminists are Egalitarians too (like myself), but not all of them are.

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