The conversation about whether or not feminism is a bad word is irrelevant and distracting. Currently, a myriad of political, social and economic events more pertinently mandate feminist analysis, but moreover they mandate feminist action. Unfortunately, the conversation on feminism in Finland has also been side tracked by a fear that the term might turn off people. Below is my very short, passion fueled articulation of why this conversation irks the flapping labia out of me. It is short because I have more important things to do.
The video on HuffPost Women's facebook about how feminism is not a dirty word was laborious to sit through. The clip devotes considerable painstaking effort to articulate that feminism doesn’t equate to hating men. To placate cis-men and spell out to them that they are still held close to the loving bosom of many a woman (as though all feminists are women), even if women are concerned with things like equal pay, centers patriarchy. Centering the concerns and emotions of cis-men in a conversation of what feminism is, or is not, is antithetical to the raison d’être of feminism.
The HuffPost Women’s video attempts to make feminism more accessible by catering to the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately for HuffPost Women, catering to the lowest common denominator in this case seems designed to protect the comfort of cis-men. This attempt at a palatable, neatly packaged two minute video clip, where feminism is passively consumed and delivered via silver spoon, by seeking apology for strong feelings from the patriarchy, negates the ethos of feminism.
Feminism subjects people to critical self-examination, which can be painful but also liberating. Seeking out feminist knowledge and solidarity leads to the articulation of your relationship to power and privilege. For those whose existence is positively mirrored in all facets of society, gaining feminist knowledge can be scary. To all of you who realize you enjoy undue privilege because of your class, race, gender, sexuality, able body, age and geographical location etc., if you realize this privilege and change nothing about how you conduct your life, you are complicit in the oppression of other people. Your comforts in life are upheld by the oppression of others.
Stripping feminism of its mandate for critical self-examination deflates the movement of its political goals. Feminism is not about loftily converting people to like the name. The political goal of feminism is to abolish all forms of oppression. Because of this, feminism will have no fair-weather friends. Feminism will not be easy. You can order your food with a mobile app and have it delivered to your door (if you can afford to), you consume your way into an identity, you can find your casual fucks on Tinder, but you will never be fed feminism with a silver spoon.
Also end note I HATE A LOT OF CIS-MEN AND IT IS IN FACT BOLSTERED BY A CAREFUL FEMINIST ANALYSIS AND MY PERSONAL OFTEN NEGATIVE INTERACTIONS WITH THEM.