There is no single way to be a feminist; being a feminist can take on very different forms. Essentially, a feminist is someone who believes in equality between the genders. Most people would say that they favor equality and gender rights. They believe that men and women should have equal opportunities and the ability to do whatever they want with their lives.
1. Love and Respect yourself
It may sound cheesy, but loving yourself and practicing self-care empowers you. When you love yourself, you are essentially saying “my humanity matters.”
- With this is loving your body, even (especially!) if it does not fit the media’s stereotype of perfection. Feminists often fight the misconception that an attractive female has one particular set of traits.
- This does not mean that you can’t spend time making yourself look pretty. You can wear makeup or high heels and be a feminist, but you don’t have to!
2. Balancing Responsibilities in Your Relationship
It can be common for members of heterosexual relationships and marriages to slip into traditional gender roles. If you want to stay home with your children while your husband works, that’s fine! You can still be a feminist! However, you and your partner should make mindful decisions about household responsibilities.
- If you do most of the cooking, perhaps your partner should clean up the kitchen after dinner. If your partner does laundry on the weekends, you can contribute in other ways, like by vacuuming. As long as you’re making decisions about responsibilities based on choice and personal preference, and not on gender stereotypes, you’ll be incorporating feminism into your lifestyle.
3. Educate Your Kids Who Believe in Gender Equality
There are many ways to raise children to be feminists. A good start is encouraging them to embrace their individual interests and passions, regardless of their gender. You can also teach them to question gender assumptions (such as why girls’ items are invariably pink and purple, but boys’ items are never pink). Help them make life goals that do not hinge upon their gender.
- It is also important to emphasize both the mother’s and the father’s role as a parent. This will minimize the assumption that mothers parent while fathers work.
4. Maintain Positive Mental Attitude in the Workplace
Ideal workplaces would all be blind to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and certain other life choices. In reality, this is not always the case. Maintain professionalism in the work place and always perform your best; if you feel that you are being discriminated against, (ie: paid less for similar work or passed over for a promotion) due to your gender. Do not be afraid to speak out about the inequity.
- If you have a managerial position, ensure fairness and equity in hiring, pay, and promotion policies.
5. Empower Women
There is an unfortunate modern tendency for women to judge and belittle the choices of other women, (particularly on social media). To be a feminist, support and empower other women instead of judging them. Realize that women who make decisions that differ from your own have likely put as much thought into those decisions as you have.
6. Recognize Systemic Inequalities
An important part of being an informed feminist is cultivating an awareness of systemic prejudices against women around the world. You cannot stop every individual from having a particular opinion about women, but you can expose systemic inequalities.
- You can support organizations that provide suppressed women in other cultures education and opportunities.
- You can notice trends such as the discrepancy between the percentage of politicians or world leaders who are female, versus the female population of the world.
- Realize that in systems that discriminate against women in the areas of education or employment, women’s economic lives become dependent on others in power, which takes power from them.
7. Fight Against Gender Discrimination
Go to rallies that promote women’s equality. Join organizations that fight for the equality of women in your area as well as other countries. Speaking out about inequality is an important step towards achieving equality. You can find resources for feminist activism http://feminist.com/activism/ here.
8. Vote for Pro-Women Political Leaders
One way that you can be a feminist and support feminist causes is to vote with women’s rights in mind. Voting for politicians who advocate for women in the workplace and women’s healthcare rights can put your feminist beliefs into action.
- Additionally, you may want to find out if a candidate (male or female) has women working on his or her campaign staff. Advocating for women’s employment rights is less meaningful if a candidate doesn’t actually employ women.
9. Support the Rights
Part of being a feminist is supporting the rights of everyone to do what they want in their lives and careers, even if it means breaking traditional gender stereotypes.That means believing that a mom or a dad can choose to stay at home to raise young children. It means believing that a man or a woman can become a CEO of a company or a politician or president.
10. Understand Feminism.
A feminist believes that men and women should have equal opportunities and may spend time sharing and cultivating those beliefs. Feminism is not about rejecting female sexuality or upholding women as superior to men; it’s about challenging preconceptions about gender roles. It’s about making observations and asking questions like, “why are pilots usually male, while flight attendants are usually female?”
11. Explore Common Misconceptions About Feminism.
There are many misconceptions about feminism. Some people hear the word “feminist” and imagine a woman who wears her hair short, hates men, and acts aggressively all the time. However, a feminist can also be a stay-at-home-mom raising 4 kids and spending her days cooking and cleaning. A feminist can also be a man.
- Feminists do not have to remain unmarried, hate men, or be lesbians.
- Feminists do not have to dress or act a certain way.
12. Study The History of The Feminist Movement.
To really understand feminism, you may want to brush up on the different waves of the feminist movement. Learn about the most influential women leaders of women’s the suffrage movement. Learn about women’s equality issues such as equal pay for equal work, tax benefits for childcare, and maternity leave policies.
Also Read: Gender Equality And Women’s Empowerment