Opinion | I’m sick of ‘fake feminism’

feminism

Gracie Fleischman, Opinions Editor

Scrolling through my Instagram feed often leaves me annoyed, but last Thursday, I was reminded of a certain subsect of Chapman that irritates me the most. Women posted photos and stories featuring “the women I love most” and “some of my favorite ladies” for International Women’s Day on March 8. Even more posted cute illustrations and graphics about being a “badass boss” and various iterations of labeling themselves as feminists.

Now, let’s be clear. I am a feminist and I have definitely posted about it on social media in the past. But, I have a problem with this particular brand of feminism – the type that comes around once or twice a year. Maybe it’s on International Women’s Day or maybe someone was feeling extra patriotic voting for Hillary Clinton last year.

I call this brand of feminism “fake feminism,” in which people’s dedication to ensuring women have the same opportunities as men ends with themselves. As long as they can buy Lululemon clothing and their skinny Frappuccino, they are satisfied.

I call this brand of feminism “fake feminism,” in which people’s dedication to ensuring women have the same opportunities as men ends with themselves. As long as they can buy Lululemon clothing and their skinny Frappuccino, they are satisfied.

To be a real feminist, you have to venture outside of your comfort zone and advocate for people who aren’t exactly like you. This means supporting the rights of not only cisgender straight women, but also transgender, lesbian, bisexual, asexual and queer women.

To be a real feminist, you have to support women of all sizes and shapes, whether or not they have a vagina. Whether women are plus-size, slim, have thighs striped with stretch marks, have faces dotted with acne or covered in contour and highlight, they all need to be included in your definition of feminism.

To be a real feminist, you must advocate for women of all colors – no more “white feminism,” which only includes the needs and wants of already over-represented white women. Women of color made up only 7.1 percent of the total 535 members in Congress in 2017, and comprised only 3.8 percent of all board seats in the Fortune 500 in 2016. Making sure women of every color have a seat at the table needs to be the focus of every feminist.

On March 8, Ivanka Trump tweeted, “Today we come together in recognition of women at home and around the globe. We celebrate women’s achievements, past and present, and pledge to empower women to reach their full economic potential for generations to come.”

This is fake feminism and so is any word coming out of her mouth as long as she continues to support her pussy-grabbing, child molestersupporting father. In fact, anyone who supports President Donald Trump or political policies that hurt women, children, the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color, simply cannot call themselves feminists.

And to all the men out there, including Chapman fraternities that announced their support for women last Thursday – tread carefully. Just because you love your sister or your mother doesn’t mean you’re a feminist. Just because you have friends who are women and put “feminist” in your Tinder profile, doesn’t mean you’re a feminist.

Until men stop raping, slut-shaming and catcalling us from their cars, they aren’t feminists. Until people stop telling women of color that they are exotic, harassing gay men for having the courage to embrace their sexuality and assuming any woman who rejects you is lesbian, you are not one.

If this seems like too much to ask, you probably will never be a feminist. But feminism isn’t supposed to be easy – no form of activism ever is.