The other day a friend described me as a feminist. Me!? It got me to thinking…
Apparently my social media posts, blogs, articles – my content gives out a ‘feminist’ vibe. I can see why. My work is woman centered, so it makes sense the assumption would be feminist. It’s time to change all that.
I’m not going to change what I’m saying. I’m not going to change where I’m saying it. I’m not even going to change how I’m saying it. But I am going to make my WHY very clear.
I’m an egalitarianist. Granted, it’s not as quick and easy to say as feminist but it’s such an important distinction and here’s why…
Egalitarianism – from the French egal, meaning equal – the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
Feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes.
Why am I, as a woman with a vagina and everything, all bent out of shape over this?
Egalitarianism automatically emcompasses feminism however it doesn’t necessarily work the other way – feminism doesn’t automatically compass egalitarianism. You see, egalitarianism is based on true equality, not just gender equality, whereas feminism is based on gender equality leaving out other issues such as racial and socioeconomic equality. And this, my friends, is a massive difference…huge! And why I will no longer sit quietly and be accused of putting out into the world, a feminist vibe. An egalitarianist vibe – damn straight – but a feminist vibe – hell no!
And don’t think for one second that I’m alone in bristling up over being described as a feminism…I’m definitely not alone. There are so many women today that are cowering away from identifying as a feminist. Why? Did our grandmothers not protest and burn their bras for our equal right to vote? Should we not continue to take up the fight of pay gaps and inequality of parental care or even housework? Sure, but not at the price of true equality. You know – equality for every human on the planet (and those still to come).
And quite frankly – feminists have caused this mass exodus of other women themselves. They have caused the term ‘femi-nazi’ to be added to our collective vernacular. They have caused the male-hating connotation to be attached to feminism. They are responsible for women feeling guilty or even ashamed if they enjoy a man opening a car door for them or buying them dinner, if they choose to shave their pits, if they like wearing makeup.
Sadly women think there is no other choice – stay quietly cowering in the shadows OR be a feminist with its exclusion of true equality. Well, come on over girlfriends – egalitarianism is where it’s at and we’re all equal here.
In a March 22, 2015 article on Odyssey, Beth Turnbull wrote, “It is my personal belief that referring to the movement for women’s rights as feminism serves to remind us that this fight is about women. I feel that the term “egalitarianism” erases women from the picture. Calling this movement “feminism” reminds us who is to benefit from the reform.”
Well, I call bullshit. Yep, bullshit. You can’t erase women from the picture by embracing egalitarianism. You just can’t – just like you can’t erase equality for the homeless, equality for transgender, equality for Hispanics, equality for the disabled or anyone else . THAT IS THE POINT. Egalitarianism is equality for EVERYONE – not men, not women, not blacks, not whites, not those with purple polka dots, not those that are wheelchair bound, not those battling with mental health issue, not those struggling to put food on the table every single day – EVERYONE!!
And egalitarianism includes men’s rights. Yep – their right to parent, their right to safety against violence, their right to work in female dominated industries, their right to decide what happens to their bodies, their right to equal rights too. More on this another day.
So, for today, let’s get one thing perfectly clear – I’m into equality. Period.
Lacey is also an accredited member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), a part of the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers, Birth Photographers Australia, and Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project by Leilani Rogers #PBAP. More recently, she has started her own campaign #humansuncensored to help desexualise human bodies, men and women alike.